I imagine it’s difficult for vegans to grab a meal on the go. Their specific dietary requirements – no animal products at all – aren’t exactly a priority in the beef and chicken heavy fast-food industry. Some restaurants offer a veggie burger, often cooked on the same surface as their meat burgers, but Chipotle has started doing vegan its own way.

USA Today reports that Pacific Northwest Chipotle stores now sell a version of Sofritas, “shredded, organic tofu that’s braised with chipotle chiles and roasted poblanos and served in burritos, tacos or bowls.” They’ll cost around $6.50.

The Sofritas were tested earlier this year in the San Francisco Bay area and are now at 33 restaurants in the Pacific Northwest. If they are successful, they’ll expand throughout the country.

One of the facts I found interesting about the Chipotle Sofritas is that one-third of the people who have been ordering them are not vegans; they’re meat eaters. Those who order the vegan Sofritas are trying to reduce the amount of meat they eat. I get that. I frequently order vegetarian options at good restaurants because I like to cut back on meat. The vegetarian dishes are usually delicious meals that I wouldn’t make for myself, and they’re often less expensive than meals with meat.

It’s great that choosing to go meatless from time to time is becoming common among meat eaters. If more of the better fast-food restaurants like Chipotle offer vegan options that just aren’t imitations of their meat offerings (like the ubiquitous veggie burger), perhaps meat consumption could be significantly reduced by those who eat on the go.

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Chipotle's new vegan option: Sofritas
Forget the veggie burger — Chipotle is offering vegans an alternative that appeals to both vegans and meat eaters.