In a first for a major restaurant chain, Chipotle Mexican Grill is G.M.O. Free, preparing only food that is free of genetically engineered ingredients. “This is another step toward the visions we have of changing the way people think about and eat fast food,” said Steve Ells, founder and co-chief executive of Chipotle. “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.” In 2013, Chipotle was the first restaurant chain to indicate which items contained genetically modified organisms, and a small but growing number of restaurants, largely in fine dining, also now label their menus.
Grocers, too, are moving to offer consumers more products free of genetically altered ingredients. The shelves and cases in Whole Foods stores are to be free of products containing such ingredients by 2018, and Walmart is vastly expanding its selection of organic foods, which are free of genetic alteration by law.
Even big food companies are moving to take genetically modified ingredients, or G.M.O.s, out of their products or to label products so that consumers know which are free of them.
Chipotle’s announcement does not mean that the restaurant will be entirely G.M.O.-free. The company acknowledges that some of the soft drinks it sells will contain sweeteners made from G.M.O. corn.
Whether other major restaurant chains will follow Chipotle’s lead is uncertain. The increased demand for such products has made them more expensive and difficult to obtain in the amounts that big businesses need.
Please comment below with your thoughts on this. What other companies would you like to see G.M.O. Free?