Climate Change Could Mean No Guac For You — At Least At Chipotle

Is a burrito truly a burrito without it?

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Bad news for burrito lovers: Chipotle warned in its latest annual report that climate change might lead it to leave guacamole out of its burritos and bowls.

The chain blames the possible change on higher prices.  “In the event of cost increases with respect to one or more of our raw ingredients we may choose to temporarily suspend serving menu items, such as guacamole or one or more of our salsas, rather than paying the increased cost for the ingredients.”

The company acknowledged such a move would be a massive disappointment to some of its customers. But, as ThinkProgress points out, considering the company uses about 97,000 pounds of avocados each day, it might not be able to stomach a price increase that could be brought on by global warming.

Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said there’s no cause for guacamole lovers to be alarmed.

“We use fresh ingredients, and things like weather or climate can impact upon supply of those ingredients,” Arnold said. “We are required to disclose issues that could present risks to our business —like supply constraints or higher food costs—and we are very thorough in making those disclosures. With regard to avocados, we saw similar issues in 2011 and incurred higher prices for the avocados we used, but never stopped serving guacamole.

“This is nothing more than routine ‘risk factor’ disclosure,” Arnold added. “The sky is not falling.”

This year has been no stranger to the specter of food shortages. Ahead of the Super Bowl, Velveeta warned that the U.S. might face a shortage of its favorite gooey cheese, although the company did not cite global warming as a contributing factor.