A new generation of consumers are coming of age and they have different expectations for what goes into their food. Fast food chains are notorious for putting artificial ingredients into dishes that many of us can’t pronounce. Remember Supersize Me? Remember when McDonald’s started using “real white meat” in their chicken nuggets? Dietary standards are shifting and consumers expect a higher quality of food: something that won’t kill them.
But are fast food restaurants really listening?
Something surprising is happening. They’re making a change! Multiple fast food chains across the country are going “clean and simple” when it comes to their ingredients.
Chipotle has notably stopped using GMOs in their food products, making them the first national restaurant chain to be completely GMO-free. (Most scientists agree that GMOs are generally safe, but they remain a very controversial topic, and many people try to steer clear from them.) Chipotle started this campaign years ago but finally changed their tortilla recipe to exclude genetically modified corn and by replacing the soybean oil used for cooking chips and taco shells with non-modified sunflower oil.
This opened up a channel for the consumer’s voice to be heard. Recently, Taco Bell decided to follow suit with a set of its own changes:
- Removing yellow dye no. 6 from their nacho cheese.
- Removing blue dye no. 1 from their avocado ranch.
- Carmine will be removed from red tortilla chips.
These changes, however, do not apply to Taco Bell’s menu items that are co-branded (e.g. fountain drinks, Doritos). But their efforts are a huge step forward! Other restaurant chains have started to follow suit…
The following restaurants are all starting initiatives to remove artificial chemicals from their food:
Taco Bell (of course)
But what does this mean for consumers?
That we can finally expect “real” ingredients in our fast food! With these chains taking steps to remove high fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes, and artificial additives, and GMOs from their food, the world will become a far more nutritious place. This is not to say that it’s suddenly OK to eat fast food all the time. But when you do, you can feel better knowing that you’re not eating a stew of chemicals. You will be eating fast food that is cleaner and more simple.
…And yes, you’d like fries with that.