Hey Chipotle

“Come with me, and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination, take a look and you’ll see in to your imagination. We’ll begin with a spin traveling in a world of my creation.”

This is exactly what youve done Chipotle; taken consumers for a ride in your imagination.

Your latest video just slapped farmers and ranchers across the face.  You say that you serve food with INTEGRITY; need I remind you the definition? Just in case; integrity is an adherence to moral and ETHICAL principals, soundness of moral character and HONESTY.

Your latest video has not only classified the majority of farmers and ranchers as individuals with NO integrity but degraded their very lifestyle.

For those who haven’t yet seen the latest Chipotle video here’s a little insight of what you’ll find;

A world that’s dead, overused and barren.  A place with no green grass, crops or even trees! A world that farmers have abused, misused and degraded.  Chipotle did a great job depicting our food system as one being stamped straight out of a factory without regard to animal welfare or the environment.

I’m not going to link the video, but here are a few still shots to give you an idea.

Chipotle factory

Chipotle land

So Chipotle, here are just a few issues I have with your video;

1)      You pride yourself on integrity, while completely missing the “Honest” factor in your video.  Farmers care for the land, the environment and their animals more than anyone else because without all of these they would have nothing.  Farming is their livelihood so why in the world would they jeopardize that? Maybe you should consider showing REAL farms and ranches in your videos so consumers can see firsthand where their food REALLY comes from.

2)      You portray meat being processed and coming straight out of factories.  Where do you think your meat comes from? I’m a meat scientist and have been in PLENTY of “Factories” that produce YOUR products.  That’s right, farmer John isn’t killing and processing your meat on the family farm, it’s all coming from a factory.  So please don’t act like just because you carry an “All Natural” label your products are exempt from processing.

3)      And then there’s this;

Chipotle chicken

Really Chipotle, what is this? Are you simulating farmers pumping hormones into their chicken so they grow big and fat?  Let’s talk about that for a second; hormones are ILLEGAL, so since they are illegal, they are NOT used in poultry production.  My family raises commercial poultry, and let me tell you, there is no “shot giving” to any of those animals.  I couldn’t imagine giving 100,000 birds an individual shot.  THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN.

Your website says that in 2009 your CEO and founder Steve Ells testified before congress trying to get antibiotics banned in the ranching industry.  Is that what the above picture is trying to portray? Would you like it if we banned doctors from prescribing antibiotics to you? I’d say not, well animals are no different.  When you get pneumonia you expect an antibiotic to help you overcome your sickness and this is the same thing we do for our animals.  When I have a sick animal on my farm, I don’t stick it in the barn and just hope for the best; I give it an antibiotic so that it can fight its illness.  This practice is something farmers like to call animal welfare; it’s no different than caring for a sick child.  Farmers want their animals to be healthy just like their own families.

4)      Next there’s this;

Chipotle dairy

I can’t say that I’ve EVER seen something quite like this. What it is exactly? Typically this is what I see when I drive by dairies.

Dairy Carrie Cows

Photo by Dairy Carrie

So Chipotle, I’m not sure how a company based on “Integrity” can justifiably portray the industry that puts sustainable food on your tables in the manner that you have.  Your video is condescending and demonizes the majority of family farmers and ranchers in this country, an action that contradicts the sole meaning of “Integrity”.  You really should be ashamed of yourself for misleading your consumers they way you have.  If you’d like to see how a “REAL” farming operation is managed and cared for, I invite you anytime to our family farm.

Until then, I’ll continue to find my burritos elsewhere along with many other family farmers.