Chipotle’s Tortillas Will Soon Be Preservative-Free and Full of Whole Grains (Recipe: Rice with Almonds and Peas)

I am reproducing the article by Josh Scherer from here below. Yay for healthier fast food options!

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Shortly after Chipotle announced that it would begin phasing out all genetically modified ingredients, The New York Times pointed out a stunning statistic: The chain’s entire menu contains 64 ingredients, compared with 81 ingredients in a single burrito from an unnamed competitor. As it turns out, 11 of those ingredients were lurking in Chipotle’s tortillas—and CEO Steve Ells is trying to change that.

As it stands now, the tortilla ingredient list is as follows: flour, water, whole wheat flour, canola oil, salt, baking soda, wheat bran, fumaric acid, calcium propionate, sorbic acid, and sodium metabisulfite. The goal—following the Mark Bittman adage of not eating anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food—is to reduce the list to four simple, easy-to-pronounce ingredients: whole wheat flour, water, oil, and salt.

“We aspire to make artisanal tortillas on an industrial scale,” Ells, a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, told the Times. Because Chipotle goes through roughly 800,000 tortillas every day, it’s going to be a long, uphill climb toward “artisanal.” It doesn’t want its tortillas to receive the same ridiculed fate that befell McDonald’s 12-ingredient “artisanal” chicken breast, and if the ingredient list of the major brands of tortillas is any indication, its goal may not be so easy to achieve.

Helping the chain along the journey is The Bread Lab, part of the plant-breeding program at Washington State University’s Mount Vernon research center, north of Seattle. There, scientists and bakers study the diversity of locally grown grains to determine those most suitable for craft baking, malting, brewing, distilling, and in this case, tortilla making.

Chipotle, in keeping with its mission to improve the nutritional content of fast food, is looking to use hard white wheat flour in its revamped tortillas so they will bestow on consumers all the fibrous benefits of whole grains while still keeping the bleached-white appearance millions of burrito eaters have come to know and love.

So, Why Should You Care? Eight out of 10 Americans eat fast food at least once a month. Most of the old-guard establishments—McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell—stake their business models on highly processed, sodium-rich foods that are cheap to source and produce. The disruption happening in fast food—healthier offerings in response to falling same-store sales—can largely be attributed to Chipotle, which has made a successful brand from the appearance of providing healthier, ethically sourced food at affordable prices. CEO Ells has shown his commitment to creating a more ethical and sustainable business model by cutting all GMO ingredients from the menu, only sourcing from farmers that ethically raise animals, and bringing in as much organic produce as cost allows. If he continues to be successful, others will imitate his moves, leading to a more ethical and environmentally friendly food industry.

It’s not going to be as simple as ripping key ingredients out of the recipe and sending a new list of instructions over to the factories. The chain will have to figure out how to manage with a shorter shelf life while maintaining that signature Chipotle taste and keeping costs down (it’s already hiked prices twice in the past year).

The Bread Lab is working on creating larger batches of the new, simplified tortillas, which will be slowly introduced at test locations.

Creating a four-ingredient tortilla on such a massive scale would be unprecedented. But so was getting America to start eating tofu instead of pork, and Chipotle managed that just fine.

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What did you think? I thought the article was really interesting! Traveling is so hard because of all the crappy food out there! I usually end up at Subway or getting a salad from Wendy’s (both which happened this past weekend while I traveled for flyball).

Speaking of which, the girls and I drove up to York, PA for flyball this weekend! We had a FABULOUS time! So many friends to catch up with since we hadn’t been to a tournament since April, and the girls just love the sport! Plus, it’s a great venue with a costume contest! Look at Cheryl and her crew!

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One of my teammates and her dog even got on the Dream Team!  Wahoo, Amanda and Bloomie!

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This was Envy’s first tournament running full-time. And she did amazingly well! She ran a 3.89 which is her fastest time yet! And she got a new title (FDCh-S). I think she was very pleased with herself! She did burn all 4 of her pads because of the combination of the rain and the mats, but now I know to be aware of it. I had no idea!

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And Callie was also a rock star! She ran solidly all weekend with a lot of 4.1s and 4.2s! Yay, LRD! And she is always just the happiest dog! She got a new title, too! Her FMX! And because it was her first time running on a multi-breed team, she got THREE multi-breed titles!  The girls really racked up over the weekend! I just love watching them race and spending time with fun people.

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And the biggest news of all:  A is moving to North Carolina!!!!! He accepted a job with a firm in Raleigh and is moving within the month! I have been on cloud nine ever since he was offered the position. (I’m not going to lie, I also cried tears of happiness for approximately 30 minutes on Monday morning.)  25 days!!! We are so beyond thrilled! And I think today’s quote is very appropriate because what we wanted and what we got definitely coincided. 🙂

1 year ago: High Impact Activity, Bone Density and First Fridays! (Recipe: Tomato Mozzarella Tart)

2 years ago: DOMS (Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Pasta)

Quote of the Day:

“Happiness is…wanting what you want, getting what you get, and hoping that the two will coincide.” -Howard Mumford Jones

I have been trying to eat healthier. It’s hard. It’s not fun. But I’m trying. I made this Cooking Light dish to go as a side a little while ago. Super easy if you need a quick side dish! 192 calories for 3/4 of a cup! Not too bad!

Rice with Almonds and Peas

Rice with Almonds and Peas

Ingredients

– 1 cup unsalted chicken stock

– 3/4 cup uncooked white basmati rice

– 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

– 2/3 cup frozen peas, thawed

– 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

– 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Directions

– Bring stock, rice, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

– Fluff rice with a fork. Stir in peas and pepper. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle with almonds.

Courtesy of Cooking Light

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This entry was posted in Callie!, Envy, Overall Health and News, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

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