Chipotle

GMOs are kind of a sticky wicket. In a super-oversimplified nutshell, some people say they’re bad (unless you’re a huge corporation getting rich off them). Others are quick to counter, “OMG how else are we going to feed the world?! Shut the eff up already and grow the robot-food!” I’ll make no pretense of neutrality. Robot food for everyone! (KIDDING. Shudder.)

So those of us in the skeptical-of-GMOs camp may be happy to hear Chipotle is voluntarily identifying GMOs in its menu items (although only on its website, not in stores) — making it the first restaurant chain in the country to do so. Writes the company:

Our goal is to eliminate GMOs from Chipotle’s ingredients, and we’re working hard to meet this challenge. For example, we recently switched our fryers from soybean oil to sunflower oil. Soybean oil is almost always made from genetically modified soybeans, while there is no commercially available GMO sunflower oil. Where our food contains currently unavoidable GM ingredients, it is only in the form of corn or soy.

Chipotle is seeking to reduce the GMOs in its menu items but has no delusions of completely eradicating them anytime soon. In the meantime, its transparency is a good business move, spokesperson Chris Arnold told Businessweek:

It’s not a concern to us that we’re going to lose business over this. If anything, it engenders more trust when you’re more forthcoming about the food you serve. Any downside there may be … is going to be eclipsed by the upside with being transparent.

You can check out Chipotle’s genetically modified ingredients on its website. Items identified include that tasty barbacoa beef, chicken, fajita veggies, brown and white rice, steak, and tortillas. Wow.