Chipotle bashes livestock production again

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Chipotle, I think you need to start reading the Feedyard Foodie blog by feedyard owner Anne Burkholder about how she really raises cattle. Or maybe you need to see the video about the “Back to the Ranch” tour of urban chefs and food writers to Nebraska beef operations to see how beef is produced.

Why do I say this? Because I just saw your animated film that is set to be shown in theaters nationwide starting in September about factory farms (read the press release here). Great animation, haunting song by Willie Nelson (a cover of Coldplay’s “The Scientist”) but absolutely demeaning to the thousands of livestock producers who care for their animals and the land to produce wholesome and sustainable protein products.

"We have always understood the importance of serving food that is raised right," said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle, in the press release. "We produced this film to help illustrate the choices people face in deciding what to eat, and hope that it will encourage people to choose food that is raised with respect for the land, the animals, and the farmers that produce it."

I guess their “Food With Integrity” mission is only about how animals are treated but it seems to disregard how Chipotle, who is so environmentally conscious, doesn’t seem that conscious about the health of its customers or its contribution to the fattening of America. Looking at their nutrition information on their website, a standard chicken burrito with fresh salsa, rice, pinto beans and sour cream has 870 calories, 26.5 grams of fat and 1940 mg of sodium. If you add cheese and guacamole, you can add another 250 calories, 21.5 grams of fat and 370 mg of sodium. They care about “factory farming” but apparently not much about heart health.

Hey, I like Chipotle’s food, but have been increasingly uncomfortable with their messaging that seems pretty lopsided against conventionally raised livestock. I guess I’ll save some money and a whole lot of calories just bringing my lunch to work instead.

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