First food chain to eliminate genetically modified organisms

First food chain to eliminate genetically modified organisms

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Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are crops that have had specific changes introduced to their DNA that do not occur naturally, using the science of genetic engineering. According to the US National Statistical Service.

USDA National Agricultural Statistics, 94% of the corn and 93% of the soybeans grown in this country come from GMO strains (2014).

"There is a lot of debate about genetically modified foods," said Steve Ells, founder, president and co-CEO of Chipotle.

"Although many countries have already restricted or banned the use of GM crops, it is clear that a great deal of research is still required before we can truly understand the full implications of GMO cultivation for consumption.

As the debate continues, we decided to avoid these ingredients. "

Chipotle became the first national restaurant company to voluntarily publish the amount of GMO ingredients on its menu in March 2013, and at that time pledged to move to non-GMO ingredients for all of its food.

The problematic ingredients were soybean oil, which is used to cook french fries and tacos, and in a number of recipes (for example, the marinade used for grilled chicken and meat) and for cooking (both in their grills and for use in pans).

Corn and flour tortillas also include some GMO ingredients. Work with the supply chain was key to Chipotle reaching these mere zero GMO organisms.

While one of the arguments for using GMOs is their low cost, the Chipotle chain change did not lead to significantly higher costs and did not force prices to rise. Tortillas are the only food on the Chipotle menu that contains any type of additives, including a minimal number of preservatives and dough conditioners.

While the company has taken significant steps in reducing the number of additives in its tortillas, it is now embarking on a quest to eliminate all remaining additives.

The goal is to achieve a simple recipe with only a few ingredients, like tortillas made in more traditional ways that include only wheat flour, oil, water, salt and a flour tortilla yeast, for example.

Chipotle is working closely with its tortilla suppliers and the Washington State University Bread Laboratory to develop a new system of making tortillas that will allow the dough to rise slowly and eliminate the need for dough conditioners.

Removing the few preservatives will be a bit easier, but it is still a challenge, simply because tortillas are difficult to keep fresh for long.

The company has developed new tortilla recipes and initial taste tests have been very encouraging, but it is too early to say how long it will take before these new tortillas are served at any Chipotle location.

"We are changing the way we think about and eat fast food, and that means cooking with the best ingredients - ingredients that are free of additives - but still serving food that is affordable, convenient, and most importantly delicious," Ells said.

"That is very unusual for fast food, but that is the mission we are on, and we keep moving forward."


Video: How are GMOs Made? The Genetically Modified Hawaiian Papaya Case Study (July 2022).


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