Chipotle removes GMOs

Ingrid Chan, Staff Writer

It’s not encouraging to know that high percentages of the produce we eat every day contain GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. During the last few years, many Americans have been opting for naturally grown crops due to uncertainty regarding the safety of genetic modification. In response to this, Chipotle Mexican Grill has discontinued the use of GMOs in its products and is now the first national restaurant chain to cook with only non-GMO ingredients.

Genetically modified foods contain genes, often taken from an entirely different species, not normally found in their organic forms. This in itself is unappetizing for many people because we never know what exactly has been done to our food. The genes are engineered to do a number of things—some are herbicide-resistant while others produce pesticides, in which the plant itself cultivates toxins to kill potentially harmful insects. It makes one wonder what effects these toxins could have on our body.

Almost everything we eat, whether it’s processed or preserved, consists of some genetically altered ingredient, and it has been this way for over a decade already. It’s not surprising that most consumers have dismissed the ever present GMOs as not a concern. However, they shouldn’t be treated lightly for long. Having been introduced to agriculture only twenty years ago, GMOs are still such a mystery that even medical experts are not sure what may happen in the years to come. If we stay on the safe side by not consuming too many of these unnatural products, we’re guaranteed to be unaffected, even if genetic alteration turns out to be harmless.

It is also a relief to know that Chipotle emphasizes morality by only using animals that have been decently cared for. The company insists on pasture-raised cows for all beef and dairy related ingredients, as well as open-housed chickens and pigs. It has a set list of guidelines outlining the exact treatment, care, and food required for the animals before Chipotle actually agrees to buy from the producer. These conditions are checked on annually to ensure the good health of the animals and organic quality of their food. Many other fast food chains don’t pay as much attention to the handling of the animals its products come from, and none have guidelines like Chipotle.

There are a handful of restaurants that have limited their use of GMOs, but only Chipotle has completely left it behind.

By wiping inorganic ingredients off their menu, Chipotle is taking the health and safety of its customers into consideration while still dishing out high quality meals. Even if there is no concrete evidence that GMOs cause health problems, at least you can eat with a sense of peace knowing that Chipotle’s food is completely free of foreign substances.