You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

Chipotle Becomes the First National Restaurant Chain to Go GMO-Free Two years after beginning to label GMOs on the menu, the burrito chain has stripped genetically modified ingredients from all offerings.

By Kate Taylor

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Monica Dipres

Chipotle has finally reached its goal of going GMO-free.

The burrito chain announced today that all restaurants will now only cook with non-GMO ingredients. This makes Chipotle that first national chain to completely strip genetically modified items from the menu.

The company explained the decision by pointing to inconclusive research on the long-term effects of genetically modified food, the potential negative impact of GMOs on the environment and customer demand for non-GMO offerings.

"We believe everyone should be given enough information about where their food comes from and how it was raised to choose for themselves what they feed their families," reads the company website explaining the decision. "We hope these principles of transparency and honesty extend beyond consumers to everyone who has a stake in the food system, and Chipotle respects the right of every farmer, rancher and grower to follow practices that make sense for their business, even if they do not make sense for ours."

Related: Meet Dos Toros, the NYC-Based Burrito Chain That's Not Afraid of Your Chipotle Comparisons

Chipotle began labeling menu items that contained GMOs in 2013. Two major culprits were corn, which was an ingredient in tortillas, and soy, which was used in tortillas and cooking oil. While most corn and soy products made in the U.S. still come from genetically modified crops, Chipotle has now either removed these ingredients or turned to GMO-free variations, such as sunflower or rice bran oil.

There are a few exceptions. Most animal feed, including those fed at farms that produce Chipotle's meat and dairy, contains GMOs. Additionally, beverages that contain corn syrup, such as sodas, will still not be GMO-free. However, last summer, Chipotle began testing an organically sweetened root beer in select location – a test that suggests the future may bring more GMO-free beverages for the chain.

In addition to testing GMO-free soda, the chain has stated that its next area of focus in terms of boosting food quality is stripping additives and preservatives from the tortilla.

Chipotle's stringent food quality standards are currently cutting into sales at the chain, due to a pork shortage caused by a supplier's violation of the company's animal-welfare standards. Last week, the company revealed that fans of carnitas had, instead of ordering a new type of burrito, simply stopped visiting Chipotle until pork returns to the menu. Chipotle plans to gradually increase its pork supply over the summer, but will not be able to offer carnitas at all locations until the fall.

Related: Chipotle Just Introduced Two New Ways for You to Get Your Burrito Fix

Kate Taylor

Reporter

Kate Taylor is a reporter at Business Insider. She was previously a reporter at Entrepreneur. Get in touch with tips and feedback on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor. 

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Side Hustle

He Took His Side Hustle Full-Time After Being Laid Off From Meta in 2023 — Now He Earns About $200,000 a Year: 'Sweet, Sweet Irony'

When Scott Goodfriend moved from Los Angeles to New York City, he became "obsessed" with the city's culinary offerings — and saw a business opportunity.

Personal Finance

How to Get a Lifetime of Investing Experience in Only One Year

Plus, how day traders can learn a lesson from pilots.

Branding

94% of Customers Say a Bad Review Made Them Avoid Buying From a Brand. Try These 4 Techniques to Protect Your Brand Reputation.

Maintaining a good reputation is key for any business today. With so many people's lives and shopping happening online, what is said about a company on the internet can greatly influence its success.

Travel

Save on Business Travel with Matt's Flight's Premium, Only $80 for Life

This premium plan features customized flight deal alerts and one-on-one planning with Matt himself.

Science & Technology

Here's One Reason Urban Transportation Won't Look the Same in a Decade

Micro-EVs may very well be the future of city driving. Here's why, and how investors can get ahead of it.

Marketing

I Got Over 225,000 Views in Just 3 Months With Short-Form Video — Here's Why It's the New Era of Marketing

Thanks to our new short-form video content strategy, we've amassed over 225,000 video views in just three months. Learn how to increase brand awareness through short-form video content.