Rachel Paige
April 27, 2015 8:48 am

Chipotle firmly believes in the idea of “food with integrity,” and now they’re taking that idea a step further. Starting Monday, after more than two years of working towards this, Chipotle will only serve food free of genetically engineered ingredients. This is a win for us, and a win for burritos, and a win for Chipotle.

What exactly does this mean? It’s not as drastic and scary as it may sound. All Chipotle is doing is getting rid of ingredients — from the oil the chips are fried in, to the preservatives used for their chicken — that include genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. The reason behind their decision is twofold: There’s still research needed to confirm the safety of long-term GMO-linked consumption, according to Chipotle’s website. Plus, cultivating non-GMO foods is better for the environment, “because they reduce the amount of pesticides and herbicides used in farming.”

“Chipotle is on a never-ending journey to source the highest quality ingredients we can find,” reads a statement on the company’s website. “Over the years, as we have learned more about GMOs, we’ve decided that using them in our food doesn’t align with that vision. Chipotle was the first national restaurant company to disclose the GMO ingredients in our food, and now we are the first to cook only with non-GMO ingredients.”

This isn’t hard, or even drastic, for Chipotle to do, considering they only have a grand total of 68 food items to begin with, and most of their GMOs were found in corn and soy products. “The vast majority of our ingredients don’t come in a GMO variety, and we use lots of whole, unprocessed foods, so it was easier for us to do,”  Steve Ells, founder and co-chief executive of Chipotle, explained to The New York Times.

Chipotle’s really excited to go all GMO free, and it’s the first restaurant chain to completely get rid of them. “This is another step toward the visions we have of changing the way people think about and eat fast food,” Ells continued. “Just because food is served fast doesn’t mean it has to be made with cheap raw ingredients, highly processed with preservatives and fillers and stabilizers and artificial colors and flavors.”

The food that gave them the most trouble trying to rid of GMOs were the flour tortillas, only because their replacement options weren’t all that great. “We won’t use lard for tortillas because of our vegan and vegetarian customers, and we can’t use palm oil because of the environmental impact,” Ells explained. Now Chipotle is using a non-GMO. canola oil, which costs a little bit more, and Chipotle might have to raise its prices, but let’s cross that bridge when we get to it.

This is just another huge step Chipotle has taken to make the world a better place via burritos. Back in January the chain announced that they were no longer working with farmers who weren’t raising their livestock humanely (and yes, this has lead to a shortage of carnitas, but we understand why and we’re happy about it). Just last week, Chipotle announced that they would now deliver — incredibly amazing. Now add in this new non-GMO practice, and we absolutely love everything Chipotle is doing. As their website reads, we’re “G.M.OVER IT” (the GMOs that is, not Chipotle).

Image via here.

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