The posturing by Chipotle on local, GMO-free foods have made their burritos and food practices a danger to their consumers.
Chipotle’s popularity is partially due to its image of a “corporate crusade,” one based in “posturing” about GMOs and promoting hip food trends than establishing protocol for safe and good food, according to Julie Gunlock’s article in The Federalist.
“It’s too bad it takes a potentially deadly outbreak of foodborne illness to remind a massive chain restaurant of its true responsibilities—to serve safe food,” Gunlock wrote.
The scrutiny has followed outbreaks at Chipotle locations in Massachusetts, Washington, Oregon, and Minnesota during the past few months.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced more investigations of an outbreak at locations in Kansas, North Dakota, and Oklahoma, and Chipotle share prices have been on the decline, according to CNN. The stock has declined 27 percent this year.
As Chris Collins, an Oregonian who contracted E. coli from a Chipotle burrito, told Bloomberg, “We fell for their branding.” Chipotle has crafted an expert image as a restaurant that cares about where and how its ingredients get produced and reach the restaurant chain, but safety has taken a backseat as a result.
GMO foods are safe, regardless of the fears that some who promote local and organic food carry. The tradeoff between “providing fresh, locally grown ingredients” and preventing foodborne illness and contamination issues is tricky. For Chipotle customers, feeling good about a company’s food practices has made them sacrifice some food safety and left them sick.