The Restaurant Chain That Just Said No to GMO

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Chipotle Mexican Grill is now GMO-free, making it the first major restaurant chain to remove genetically modified ingredients from its food.

Chipotle’s website said it wants to serve “food with integrity,” and GMOs don’t fit its quality standards.

Chipotle is on a never-ending journey to source the highest quality ingredients we can find. 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.

Although the Food and Drug Administration has approved several genetically modified crops, opponents of GMOs remain skeptical that they are safe for consumption, The Wall Street Journal reports.

It took the popular fast-casual Mexican food chain two years to cut GMOs from its ingredients.

“There is a lot of debate about genetically modified foods,” Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle, said in a statement. “Though many countries have already restricted or banned the use of GMO crops, it’s clear that a lot of research is still needed before we can truly understand all of the implications of widespread GMO cultivation and consumption. While that debate continues, we decided to move to non-GMO ingredients.”

Regardless of where you stand on the issue, it’s not easy for food makers to ditch GMOs, at least not right now.

“More than 90 percent of the corn and soy grown in the United States comes from genetically engineered seeds, making it difficult for big food companies to find enough beef or chicken that comes from animals given non-GMO feed, cooking oil and other processed ingredients,” the WSJ said.

That could soon change. More and more foods are advertising “non-GMO” on their food labels. In fact, it’s one of the fastest growing label trends in recent years, according to the WSJ.

Chipotle said that although there is a higher cost associated with non-GMO ingredients, it was not significant enough to result in higher menu prices.

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