I spoke with Chipotle this morning.
They indicate that the vegan burrito is available throughout California - not just in Northern California. So if you are anywhere in California or parts of the Pacific Northwest and you need a vegan meal...
Here's what they stated. It includes all of the ingredients in the vegan burrito -- or Sofritas as they call it...
We are serving our vegan Sofritas™ option in all of our California restaurants. Following is a list of the ingredients in Sofritas™:
Red wine vinegar
Ground toasted cumin
Chipotle Chile (Dry Ground)
Rice Bran Oil
According to an article in USA TODAY, it looks like Chipotle will begin offering a vegan burrito. The article indicates that they will begin rolling this out in the Pacific Northwest. They said that if it is successful, it might have a national rollout.
Until now, no major fast-food chain has nationally rolled out a hot, vegan entree besides veggie burgers. (Vegan means the food contains no animal products — not even cheese, eggs or honey.) On Monday, Chipotle Mexican Grill, known for its use of organic ingredients and naturally raised meat, will announce that it's making a major strides toward leading the fast-food industry into vegan territory.
Chipotle stores throughout the Pacific Northwest will begin selling Sofritas — shredded, organic tofu that's braised with chipotle chiles and roasted poblanos and served in burritos, tacos or bowls. Price: about $6.50.
The article also mentioned that Chipotle is currently selling this product in California. A few years ago, back in 2010, Chipotle was selling a burrito with vegan meat but they eliminated that product. Here's a link to an article from our website discussing that: Chipotle vegan food. According to an article In the Sacramento Business Journal, the vegan version of their burrito has indeed been available in Northern California for the past few months.
Chipotle Mexican Grill expanded its vegan tofu burrito to all of Northern California, including a local launch at its Ikea Court store in West Sacramento on Wednesday.
The so-called “sofritas” tofu item was tested in seven Chipotle restaurants in San Francisco and the Bay Area. The chain has now rolled out the offering to all locations in Northern California, including 18 shops in the Sacramento area.
Here's the information directly from Chipotle's website:
We start with organic tofu from Hodo Soy that we shred and then braise with chipotle chilis, roasted poblanos, and a blend of aromatic spices. The result is a delicious, spicy tofu that will give vegans and carnivores something they both will love.
The investing website, The Motley Fool, has written reports about this publicly traded company and how they are ahead of the curve as compared to other fast food restaurants by recognizing that veganism and vegetarianism is a growing movement. They also mentioned some of the health issues involved with red meat consumption:
Dining with consciousness Conscious dining is increasing, and this relates to other niches that could grow as well. Take vegetarianism and veganism. There's a growing trend of health awareness in America, and statistical evidence of the healthiness of a plant-based diet directly feeds into that trend and the rethinking of eating habits.
Nature Medicine recently published Cleveland Clinic research that pointed to a compound in red meat that promotes hardening or clogging of arteries. Last month, a major analysis, partially funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, cited data from Loma Linda University researchers. They compared mortality rates of those who practiced different types of diets, using a huge sample of 73,000 individuals, all of whom were Seventh Day Adventists, who as a rule eschew other unhealthy habits like drinking and smoking. As it turns out, over six years, adults consuming plant-based or largely plant-based diets showed a tendency to live longer than the carnivores.
Obviously, some companies see these trends and are already ahead of the curve. Chipotle is one of the significant chains that provides vegetarian and vegan customers with menu options. It's also launched new tofu Sofritas, which fit the bill, and its nascent Asian ShopHouse chain also offers tofu options.
Yes, there are those who will not support a restaurant that serves meat. Yes, there are those who feel that eating fast food is counter productive to trying to eat healthfully. From my point of view, I think it is good to hear that there are more options available for vegans enabling them to be able to grab a quick bite when they haven't made other plans and/or when they want to be able to go out to eat socially with friends and colleagues who eat animals.
I hope the vegan burrito is a success at Chipotle and they do roll it out nationally.