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Aug 13, 2014

Fast Food Goes Organic

Fast-Food Restaurants Introduce
Organic Menu Items

Last week, The New York Times profiled the rise of healthy fast-food chains, including the likes of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Tender Greens, LYFE Kitchen, SweetGreen and Native Foods. These eateries are growing in popularity because they are offering healthier food choices to an increasingly health-conscious American audience.

No longer must people choose from burgers, fries, shakes and sugar-rich sodas. Now, fast-food diners have the option to eat more healthily on the run. More restaurants are serving organic foods, grass-fed beef and sustainable seafood. There also has been an influx of vegan and vegetarian fast-food restaurants.

The Organic Fast-Food Trend

The success that organic fast-food restaurants have enjoyed is very promising. Tender Greens, for example, showed revenue of $40 million in 2013 with only 12 stores. But even more startling were the results announced by Chipotle Mexican Grill, which showed a 26-percent increase in profit in the last quarter and a rise in shares of 12 percent.

5 Best Organic Fast-Food Chains to Try

Healthy living website Care2 recently listed eight of the more popular organic fast-food options available. The site’s choices include all five of those mentioned in the New York Times article, which we have put in our list below:

1. Tender Greens

Tender Greens serves seasonal, locally grown fruits and vegetables, grain-fed beef that is also free of hormones and antibiotics, and free-range chickens. The restaurant has 10 stores in California.

2. LYFE Kitchen

LYFE Kitchen serves organic “whenever possible” according to its website. The company advocates the use of local produce and a varied menu that includes vegan dishes. There are LYFE Kitchen outlets in California, Colorado, Chicago, Nevada and Texas.

3. Chipotle Mexican Grill

This is probably the largest of the health fast-food chains. Although Chipotle Mexican Grill may not be completely organic yet—the website mentions sourcing organic and local produce “where practical”—the company has made clear its believe that “greener” fast food can be immensely profitable. The restaurant has outlets all over the country.

4. SweetGreen

At SweetGreen, all of the salad ingredients are sourced locally, and many are organic. The meats are all free of antibiotics and hormones, and the restaurants are designed to be environmentally friendly, right down to the energy-efficient lighting, compost heap and bottle recycling stations. There are 27 outlets located in Boston, Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C.

5. Native Foods

This vegan chain of restaurants makes everything from scratch on the 100 percent plant-based menu including nachos, soups and even the cheese. There are outlets in California, Oregon, Colorado, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

While these five organic hotspots are taking America by storm, new organic restaurants are popping up all the time. That’s why launched, to help health-minded eaters find organic eateries across the country. To find one near you, visit our Organic Restaurant Search page.


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