Chipotle Is Paving the Way in GMO Labeling
The food chain that makes “food with integrity” is now paving the way in GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) labeling. Recently, Chipotle added an Ingredients Statement to their website which provides consumers with more information about what exactly they are eating and they admit, not all of it is natural.
The Ingredients Statement
So what exactly is Chipotle’s Ingredients Statement? It’s a list of the foods Chipotle serves and what ingredients are in each item. Next to each listed food is a label which indicates where the ingredients came from. For example, an “L” signifies that all or some of the ingredients came from a local farm. An “O” declares the food to be organic; an “R” specifies the responsible raised meats while the “D” indicates that the food has pasture-raised dairy. These labels shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who is familiar with Chipotle. They didn’t come up with the tagline “food with integrity” without backing up the claim. Environmentally and food conscious, Steve Ells, founder of Chipotle, wanted to serve delicious food without the animal cruelty and processed chemicals. So it may come as a shock to some that Chipotle does serve food with preservatives “P”, hydrogenated oils “H”and even those dreaded GMO’s “G”.
According to the Ingredients Statement, the GMO’s in Chipotle’s food comes from the soybean oil and corn. The preservatives and hydrogenated oils are primarily found in Chipotle’s tortillas and corn chips. Although it will be a challenge, Chipotle has stated that they are determined to find natural alternatives to replace the ingredients containing GMO’s, preservatives and hydrogenated oils. They have already replaced soybean oil with sunflower oil (which does not contain GMO’s) at some of their locations.
Great Idea or Bad for Business?
Some may think that admitting they are serving food that doesn’t necessarily have integrity (since GMO’s are very unnatural and have no business being in our food, in my opinion) may be bad for business. Who’s going to order that Barbacoa Burrito now? However, I think that this is a great step Chipotle is making. Since Congress has failed to pass required GMO labeling in our country, most people who are food conscious have to rely on grocery stores and restaurants who are also food conscious. But that will only get us so far. Without labeling, consumers really have no idea if what they are eating has GMO’s and while some companies are slowly beginning to meet this demand, it’s still not enough. I really think that Chipotle made an honorable decision to put their own integrity on the line and admit what’s in their food. If other restaurants don’t follow suit, well, all I can say is, “what do you have to hide?”
What do you think of Chipotle’s stance on GMO labeling? Do you hope others will do the same? Tell us your thoughts.