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Chipotle's Three Strikes

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Let’s be clear from the get-go that I’m in no way suggesting that raising animals for food is okay, regardless of whether that process is made more “sustainable” or not. But I think the information below is valuable for people who are trying to make informed decision about their diet.

I’ve seen a lot of posts lately about Chipotle’s support for the new film Food, Inc. since they’ve been sponsoring screenings all over the country and promoting their food along the way.

Well, today I spotted an article by Carolynn Carreno from The Huffington Post. She began to question the reasons why, as advertised, only 35% of Chipotle’s beef is raised sustainably and the rest comes from places like those depicted in Food, Inc. Carreno found out from a Chipotle rep that “depending on what region you live in, you are either being served good meat, or bad.” Sounds like job half done to me.

Currently living in the Upper Midwest, I also hold a bit of a grudge about the insane serving size and caloric content of Chipotle’s food which, because of its attention to food origin, is perceived to be a better alternative to fast food.  But according to The Daily Plate, one Chipotle Chicken Burrito has 1179 calories, 47g of fat and 2989mg of sodium while a Big Mac only has 540 calories. Their “Food With Integrity” motto promotes food that’s “better tasting, coming from better sources, better for the environment, better for the animals, and better for the farmers who raise the animals and grow the produce.” But apparently not better for people who eat it. CEO Steve Ells has even said that the country “could be a lot healthier and happier if we just ate the right foods”…but that probably wouldn’t include Chipotle.

To top it all off, I was just apprised of some recent human rights concerns over the produce that it uses. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers writes, in a letter to CEO Steve Ells, “Your company has shown admirable leadership in working with – and incubating – meat suppliers willing to meet your higher standards. But your failure to do that same hard work in the Florida tomato industry – together with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) – threatens to render your announcement an empty gesture aimed more at public relations damage control than an effort to make real change.” Would like a little integrity to wash down your humble pie, Chipotle?

These guys might have remained under the radar if they hadn’t been siding themselves with a film that exposes the horrors of the food industry but you can’t have your 1000+ calorie burrito and eat it too.

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