In recent news, Chipotle Restaurants announced they’re focused on eliminating GMOs from all of their offerings. While this seems like a no-brainer – the reality of what this means is huge in the chain restaurant world. They’re also working with smaller farmers, encouraging humane animal husbandry, and building LEED Platinum certified buildings – they’re doing their part for the Team!
Labling GMOs & Moving towards Elimination
Their “Food with Integrity” stance is one of the first to come out,and we hope not the last. What does “Food with Integrity” mean? To Steve Ells, Founder, Chairman and Co-CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill, it means
….a vision for continuous improvement of the ingredients that we source for the foods that we prepare and serve to our customers.
The first step to removing GMOs from their menu – was identifying them. In a bold move, Chipotle posted foods that had a risk for GMO inclusion on their website in the spring of 2013. They were undoubtedly the first chain restaurant to do so. While they haven’t set a target date for removing these foods, they are actively working towards sourcing non-GMO replacements.
Small, Humane Farming Practices
Along with labeling and removing GMOs from their menu items – Chipotle works with small local farmers to reinforce the sustainability of the food they serve. By choosing animals that are not raised in factory farms, small beef, dairy, poultry and pork farms are able to stay in business and flourish with a steady stream of income.
Chipotle also acknowledges the importance of Organic foods, but doesnt dwell on it. We like their point of view:
Organic is great, but it’s not always appropriate for the food we serve. Sometimes we can find farmers who focus on responsible or sustainable practices but aren’t certified organic. We make that call market-by-market, ingredient-by-ingredient, always keeping the big picture in mind.
Green Building Initiatives
In this fast paced world of mini-malls and quick construction, a growing company that is taking the time to build LEED certified buildings is a rare thing. Chipotle has the honor of listing their Gurnee IL store as the first ever LEED Platinum certified restaurant in the US. They also have LEED Certified store in Minnetonka, MN and are moving to featuring all new construction as LEED certified. What exactly does this mean? There’s a fact sheet for that – check it out!
This common-sense, small-farm-focused, sustainable mentality has earned Chipotle a permanent place on Mother Nature’s Team! We’re excited to see what they do in the future and look forward to seeing how they continue to crusade for small family farmers, humane animal treatment and green initiatives.