Is Chipotle Smarter than a Fifth Grader?

Several months ago I went to talk to a few fifth graders about GMOs. I was having a hard time explaining the whole GMOs-are-a-process-not-a-thing thing, when I finally just said — Okay, here’s what they’re NOT. You don’t take a giant scoop of GMOs out of your GMO jar and add it to the cereal. That’s not how it works.

Scoops! Cereal! We had recognition.

Fast forward to the present, in which I’m watching a game called how many scientists does it take to get an answer from Chipotle…

Tweets about chipotle
Tried telepathy? Goes great with guac.


in which Chipotle will not be tweeting about their magical GMO-free cheese
Oh Candice! My Candice!

Curious, I clicked on Candice’s link and asked how exactly Chipotle manages to use GMO free cheese when almost all cheese on the market is made with genetically engineered rennet.

Later that night, I received their response.

You've got mail!

Kavin noticed that they called me Alicia. But, hey, what’s in a name? That which we call a “non-GMO enzyme…produced by bacteria, mold or yeasts that have been genetically modified” by any other name is just as genetically modified.

Chipotle says that their cheese is GMO-free because the genetic modification is only part of the cheese-making process and not part of the cheese itself.

Hmm, I feel like I’m experiencing deja vu. Am I talking to a fifth grader or a “Food with Integrity Director”? Call me, Chipotle. I’m great with charades. I can act out scooping and everything.

A day or two later I came across this excellent infographic from Biofortified illustrating various crop modification techniques —


Do you know which ones of these processes are considered “GMO”? Does Chipotle? Maybe I should call their Food with Integrity Director? Is there a fifth grader in the house?

Featured image by flickr user Jeepers Media

Jenny Splitter

Jenny Splitter is a writer, storyteller and over-scheduled mom of two living in Washington, DC. She spends her glamorous days trying to write whatever she can, counting 1-2-3 in a slow yet threatening manner to her children, playing with gluten and working to eradicate dog hair from the planet (or at least her home). Find her on Twitter , Google+ and Facebook

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One Comment

  1. Based on the gibberish I have seen.. All of the above “except for” traditional cross breeding would be GMO to the paranoid – i.e., the one single one, on the entire chart, most likely to result in random, unknown, possibly dangerous, mutations. But, heh, at least is “natural”, just like plutonium, or meteor strikes, right?

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