No additives. No artificial colours. No flavours. Not even as much as a preservative. Completely organic — from start to finish!
That should make it unquestionably halal, right?
Chipotle Mexican Grill, or just Chipotle as it's commonly called, is a famous fast-casual restaurant in the United States, Canada, and many European countries!
Chipotle is one of the first chains of restaurants to focus solely on locally and organically grown foods while being the first to advocate the use of responsibly raised meats, meeting one of the highest welfare standards.
With all these buzzwords like natural and organic being thrown around, you could easily say all Chipotle meals are halal.
Let's get back to the basics, though. What makes a diet halal or haram?
Any food that does not contain even a slight trace of pork, alcohol, blooded foods, meat from carnivore animals, or animals not killed following Islamic law is said to be halal.
The presence of any of these soils the food, therefore making it haram and unethical for consumption!
So, quick question: Is Chipotle Halal? Yes... and No!
While none have the halal certification, most Chipotle restaurants meet the halal standards and serve meals safe for consumption, whereas others don't.
Let's delve deeper into some of Chipotle's menu, ingredients and cooking process.
A typical Chipotle restaurant serves bowls, tacos, salad, and burritos with different flavours (chicken, steak, carnitas, veg, barbacoa, etc.).
According to their sites, these are made from just 53 simple organic ingredients.
Avocado pear, tapioca starch, chicken, jalapeno, soybeans, different species of pepper, thyme, cultured cream, juniper berries, distilled vinegar, lemon juice, cheese culture, tomatillo, gypsum lime juice, garlic, corn starch, cloves, brown and white rice, vegetable rennet, water, black beans, wheat flour, canola oil, tomato, cheddar cheese, bay leaf, white sweet corn, beef, wheat flour, amongst others.
Let's review some of them to find out if their meals are halal or haram!
Looking at the list, you could easily dismiss this as a vegan house, and you won't be entirely wrong. Over 70 % of Chipotle ingredients are of plant origin, and they're all halal.
But, the presence of pork, cheese, beef, and chicken (depending on how they were slaughtered) places a question mark on whether Chipotle is a halal brand.
According to the law of Islam on diets, pigs are impure.
So, whenever pork is involved in a diet, irrespective of its processing, it makes the diet haram.
If you want to enjoy a haram-free diet at Chipotle, make sure it has no pork. On the bright side, a third of Chipotle has been said to stop serving pork in their restaurants.
So you could easily walk in and get yourself a halal pork-free diet.
The next ingredient of concern is cheese. In comparison, there has been an argument that the cheese used is made in ways that make them halal, Therefore making the chipotle diet halal. This thesis has not been proven, so avoid meals with cheese to be on the safer side.
The meats (beef and chicken) could be halal if they follow the laid down halal rules for meat which involve how they are prepared and handled before slaughter.
Chipotle has not labelled any of its meats halal. So, it's best to leave out any meat except when the slaughter method is confirmed to be halal.
The manufacturing process could also make Chipotle haram.
The brand prides itself on extreme cleanliness, gloves, and sanitary equipment. However, there is a possibility of haram food or meats (precisely) touching the halal ones or being produced using the same machines, contaminating them and making them haram.
Compared to most restaurants, Chipotle is a great place to get halal foods — mainly if you stick to their vegan diets.
Chipotle uses vegetarian and vegan ingredients, which make their tortillas, veggies, rice, beans, salsas, chips, and guacamole Halal.
They use vegetable-based rennet to create their shredded Monterey Jack cheese, Queso, and 100 % cultured cream in their sour cream, all of which are Halal.
However, non-vegan diets like carnitas (made with pork), steak, and barbacoa (from haram beef) are often haram.
Now you can decide if grabbing a diet from Chipotle is the right option for you.
If you decide not to, Here is a company concerned with giving strictly halal and tasty diets.
In the meantime, you could also check out these restaurants;