Chipotle promotes serving food that only contains only the best ingredients, and we’ve never doubted them for a second. But is it all that healthy? We eat their food day in and day out, taking their words for granted, without ever questioning their validity. So, I decided to do some serious investigating on their website and found a couple interesting facts that may make you want to rethink your next burrito.

The Physical Ingredients

Photo by Jessica Payne, Dartmouth Spoon

Some of Chipotle’s ingredients, such as sunflower oil, are not everything they’re chalked up to be. Granted, Chipotle did opt out of soybean oil, which is a much worse option; however, sunflower oil is still not the best for your body.

In terms of nutrients, sunflower oil has more saturated and polysaturated fat than canola oil. It has also been linked to diabetes by increasing blood sugar and insulin levels. Some sunflower oils even have an omega-6 content as high as 70%, which contributes to your body’s inflammation. In general, any type of processed oil is unnatural for a healthy diet. Which brings us to the next ingredient: rice bran oil, an olive oil substitute. Though it has more vitamin E than most oils, it is lower in “healthy fats.” In Chipotle’s defense, it lasts longer on shelf, which makes it a better option for restaurants trying to allocate supplies appropriately.

Photo courtesy of Rae Allen at

Their True (Or Not So True) Form

Unfortunately, Chipotle isn’t fully non-GMO. They acknowledge that GMO soybeans are virtually health killers, so props to them for limiting them as much as possible. However, they still use GMO white masa flour and cellulose gum, which the FDA has deemed as “generally regarded as safe, but subject to limitations in some foods.” Scary.

The Added Components You Would Never Use In Your Kitchen


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All of Chipotle’s tortillas and tortilla chips contain propionic acid, which has been linked to the development of autism in rats. They also contain benzoic acid, which is mildly toxic and studies have shown lead to ADHD. Then again, it is present in most processed foods, so if you’re trying to avoid it all together, cutting out Chipotle alone probably won’t make a difference.

At the end of the day, Chipotle is a for-profit company aka they have to make a profit that will make them and their shareholders happy. They have to ensure that their products will last as long as they need them to. Whether you think this justifies the use of preservatives their food contains is up to you, but just knowing about them can’t hurt.

All in all, it seems like Chipotle is doing substantially better than other restaurants. They make an incredible effort to keep their ingredients fresh and sourced from sustainable farmers, however there is always room for improvement. Chipotle doesn’t pledge that it provides the healthiest food on the market, so you can’t blame them for using ingredients that aren’t the absolute best for your body. Plus, a burrito is a burrito no matter which way you look at it.

Want to know more about you Chipotle experience? These articles will surely fuel you fire: