By Analiese Paik
When we visited, ate at, and shared out thoughts about Chipotle last year, something made me uncomfortable enough to not put the restaurant on the “safe” list for my family. Beside the cooktop at the Fairfield location sat a plastic bottle squirt bottle with oil in it, and I suspected it was soybean oil. We know that soybean oil is pretty much all GMO. How many foods contained that oil? Was it in their dressings? I didn’t expect to ever get a real answer, but…..
Chipotle has come clean and given consumers 100% transparency by labeling GMOs in their foods. You will be shocked to learn that even their rice contains GMOs. It’s because of the soybean oil!
Using the information on their website, you can now choose Non-GMO when eating there. They are also working to eliminate GM ingredients from all their ingredients. (I do not believe that this applies to animals fed GMOs).
I’m loving that my prognostications about the food industry’s response to consumer demand for transparency have played out. (Read about that here). I said more companies like Kashi and Ben & Gerry’s would reformulate to avoid GMOs in response to consumer demand for Non-GMO products. What I didn’t expect was a major restaurant chain to voluntarily label GMOs in their foods. I guess Chipotle took a card from Whole Foods Market’s playbook.
In the end, it’s only good news for the consumer. And more demand for Non-GMO commodities – think corn, soy, canola, and cottonseed oils and other derivative food products – will lead to greater efficiencies in the marketplace and eventually bring prices down. Currently there is a significant premium on Non-GMO commodities which makes it a challenge for both farmers and food manufacturers to reformulate without raising prices.