In the midst of the drama surrounding Chipotle and its dishonest claims on sustainable, organic foods, Taco Bell quietly launched a vegetarian menu certified by the American Vegetarian Association (AVA), making it the first restaurant chain of its kind to introduce a certified vegetarian menu. 

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The vegetarian initiative began after Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol wanted to ensure veggie-obsessed customers knew that “at Taco Bell, vegetarians are not an afterthought.” He explains that while Taco Bell sells over 350 million vegetarian menu items each year, the restaurant is now making a conscious effort to promote the healthy options available.

The menu features 13 vegetarian items, such as the Power Cantina Bowl, all of which are available to order through the Taco Bell mobile app. Taco Bell also offers the option to “hack the menu” by substituting any meat product with a vegetarian option such as beans.

VEGAN TACO BELL! I get this maybe once or twice a month and love it. I just order everything with beans instead of meat, no cheese, no sour cream and add red sauce and tomatoes to just about everything.

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Out of the 35 AVA-approved foods, 26 are vegan, giving both vegetarians and vegans alike the opportunity to indulge in the popular Mexican fast-food chain.

Just one week ago, McDonald’s Germany introduced its first-ever organic burger, demonstrating that the fast-food industry is making a push towards more healthful menu items.

[via Eater]