by Ali Berman
Categories: Eats.
Photo: Flickr / Mike Saechang

A few weeks ago Ecorazzi co-founder Rebecca Carter started a petition asking Chipotle, the company with the motto “Food with Integrity”, to live up to their own standards by providing customers with a full list of ingredients. Right now, it has gathered just over 2100 signatures. But more are needed to get Chipotle to understand that companies can’t expect consumers to blindly trust them. Transparency is vital.

In the fast food world they are one of the good guys. They source local when possible, use dairy free from synthetic hormones, use some organic items, support Prop 37 (labeling of GMO’s) and so much more. So why is it that companies like McDonald’s, Subway, Wendy’s, Dunkin Donuts and Burger King are all willing to disclose a complete list of ingredients while Chipotle won’t? Should their motto be changed to “food shrouded in secrecy”?

This all started when health food blogger “Food Babe” Vani Hari tried to find out from Chipotle what ingredients specifically are used in their food. Unfortunately, she couldn’t get a straight answer. She even went so far as to have a meeting with Chipotle’s Director of Communication, Chris Arnold, but without much success. He said it would be too difficult right now to make the ingredients public, while on the Facebook page, Chipotle said that they keep it secret so that competitors won’t copy their recipes.

It seems to us that if Chipotle’s goal is to serve up their food with integrity, asking for a bit of transparency shouldn’t be too much of an imposition. Companies that don’t do nearly as much for people, the planet or animals are willing to show us what’s under the hood. Shouldn’t we as consumers have the right to know exactly what we’re putting in our bodies? Each and every person who signs the petition is asking Chipotle to please be the good guys they claim to be. Let customers have all the information so they can decide if the food is right for them.

As some have noted, on Chipotle’s website, they do list a vague account of what’s in some of their foods, but they only list the big ticket items. Obviously we know that the beans are made out of beans, but they don’t mention what kinds of oils their foods are cooked in or even list the tortillas. Food Babe found out that the beans are cooked in soybean oil, but as that doesn’t sound nearly as sexy as the description on the website that says, “Our black beans are seasoned with cumin, garlic and other spices, then slow cooked until tender and slightly al dente.” Instead, they chose not to list it. Are there other things they choose not to list?

We believe consumers should have all the facts, not just the ones that make a company look good. We want to love Chipotle Mexican Grill again. We want them to live up to their name. Sign this petition and help them find their way back…as they seem to have lost their way a bit. Integrity should be backed up by the full truth.

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

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