Chipotle has been an incredibly popular addition to the fast-food restaurant scene over the past couple of years. Its wide selection of Mexican and Spanish food has drawn more and more people to their doors. One of the most popular items on their menu is their Chipotle bowl, composed of rice, beans, meat, and vegetables all mixed together inside a a bowl. Although this item acts as a nice substitute for an actual tortilla, a new study has shown the container could cause cancer.
“Forever Chemicals” Cause Cancer
These sought-after bowls have come under scrutiny after a new report revealed that they might have been linked to cancer. The report came from a group called New Food Economy, and it says that the fiber bowls are exposed to cancer-causing chemicals when they are manufactured. The chemicals they are exposed to are called PFAS compounds, which are known as “forever chemicals.” They are referred to as forever chemicals because they help the bowls maintain their shape while holding hot and greasy foods.
So what’s the problem with forever chemicals?
Forever Chemicals & The Human Body
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), forever chemicals cannot be broken down by the human body, which causes them to build up. New Food Economy expanded on this notion, saying that the build up of these compounds can contribute to conditions and diseases like colitis, thyroid problems, and cancers of the kidney and testicles.
The problem isn’t only inside the human body, either. When the bowls are disposed of afterwards, the chemicals leak out of the bowls and seep into the soil. This makes the compost that the bowls are in toxic and poisonous, and as a result, the soil becomes a toxin for any plants growing near or in it.
How did Chipotle respond?
People Magazine asked Chipotle to comment on the unfortunate report. A representative said that the restaurant chain was committed to providing safe food packaging to its customers.
They also said the company makes it a point to only enter partnerships with packaging suppliers who make sure they use the proper chemicals and to whom food safety is an absolute top priority. All partners of the company are governed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which provides strict guidelines for what chemicals these fiber bowls can be exposed to. All of Chipotle’s partners use raw materials and products that fully meet and comply with all FDA regulations and requirements.