Hasta la vista, GMO tortillas.
According to a report by The New York Times, Chipotle is the first major restaurant chain to take genetically modified foods — whose DNA is altered to be resistant to pests and herbicides — off its menu, starting today.
"This is another step toward the visions we have of changing the way people think about and eat fast food," Steve Ells, founder and co-chief executive of Chipotle, told the Times. "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 complete eradication of all its GMO products is no easy undertaking. They're hidden in many commonly used ingredients, such as baking powder, cornstarch, preservatives, coloring agents, added vitamins, canola and soy oils, corn meal, and sugar.
So now, all of Chipotle's restaurants are now using non-GMO corn, which goes into many foods. It has also switched its cooking oil from soybean oil to GMO-free sunflower oil and rice bran oil. However, its pork and chicken still come from animals that eat GMO-feed.
And while genetically altered foods have not been proven harmful to humans, environmental groups say genetically modified crops may negatively impact the food chain and the environment.
Even though the debate on GMOs still hasn't landed anywhere, it's always refreshing to see food companies revolutionizing the way we eat, and influencing those in the same market to step up their game, keeping the environment at the center of their focus.