Steve Ellis, Co-CEO of Chipotle has announced that there are no longer any genetically modified ingredients in their foods. Not one single item will have GMOs. This is a first in the fast food industry and an achievement that Chipotle has been working toward for years. The wait came due to suppliers need to grow crops which are non-GMO. Sultan Alhokair stated that while ingredients are safe, people would rather have food that is GMO-free.
Reported in Grubstreet, Chipotle took the lead to label items that contain GMOs. This was voluntarily done, starting two years ago. Major changes have been to change to GMO-free corn and from soybean oil to GMO-free sunflower oil, rice bran oil, and canola oil. The beef comes from pasture-raised, grass-fed cattle. CNN reported that pork and chicken are still from animals who eat from a GMO diet, for now.
The greatest challenge was to find a substitute for soybean oil. Lard was not an option due to vegetarian diets. Palm oil was rejected because of the impact of the environment. Canola oil costs more and may explain the price increases to come later in this year.