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Thursday, May 7, 2015

G-M-Oh No You Didn’t

Chipotle Mexican Grill in Manhattan, KS
Known for its marketing tactics, Chipotle has recently made another bold move.
Not often (read “never”) have I been skeptical of the ingredients that make up my food. It may be a perk of growing up with a connection to agriculture, or maybe it is a trusting attitude towards the measures and regulations that food has to go through so it can be put on the market. On the other end of the spectrum, there are groups of people that want to know what exactly they are eating for the sake of their health, the health of their children, and the health of the environment. In my opinion, people with these concerns deserve to have truthful information provided to them so that they can make informed choices.
So what is the issue? The issue is what information people accept, and what they challenge. Instead of doing research over genetically modified organisms, a very hot issue in agriculture right now, groups prefer to have them labeled on food packaging or removed from food altogether, regardless of what they are. Chipotle Mexican Grill, who garnered national attention in 2013 for showing what items on their menu contained GMO ingredients, has made another bold move by recently removing GMO ingredients from their food menu altogether. Chipotle states on their website that they are dedicated to sourcing “the highest quality ingredients,” and according to them, GMOs somehow fall short of that mark. The company describes one genetic modification as capable of producing pesticides and insecticidal toxins. With words like these, it could make anyone hesitant to eat anything that produces pesticides.

Orkin man photo
Don’t worry, this guy’s job isn’t a part of your food!
The reality? The crop produces a protein, found even in organic pesticides, that deals with insects, and has shown not to be harmful to humans in any way. So why is Chipotle set on removing any hint of genetic engineering from their food?

One of the main reasons the chain provided for removing GMO ingredients was to appeal to customers who choose to avoid them. So instead of providing helpful information so that those who are cautious can be informed, Chipotle is now perpetuating the fear that exists around genetic modification. I decided to give the company the benefit of the doubt when they provided links for those wanting to know more about GMOs, though my feelings were quickly reversed when this list of “informational” websites included links to groups that were dedicated to convincing the public about not using GMOs.

Where are the groups dedicated to shedding a truthful light on GMOs? Where are the people that are answering questions with first-hand experiences, giving those who are skeptical a source that can be trusted? While many in the agriculture sector like to give Chipotle flak on their stance towards food, could we better spend our time by promoting honest agriculture, the real “food with integrity?”
As stewards of the land, farmers are the ones who need to speak up for it, not restaurant chains. We all have the opportunity in our life to tell our stories, so why not tell our food’s story? Talk to those who are concerned for their children, or are concerned for the ground that the crops get planted in. Connect with them, and provide them information.

Do you have questions of your own? Let us know!

Until next time,
Chance Hunley


  1. Heh you can add this to the pissing in the wind anti Organic post on your site. You're on the wrong side of history. Simple as that. Chipotle is just the first. What the heck are we all going to do with chemicals and GMOs in our food?!?! *gasp* *laugh*

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