Chipotle Ad Comments on “Food Inc”

September 15, 2013

Brought me to tears. This is what messaging can be like if you have good people and a nice budget.



One reader has already responded that, ” I like Chipolte’s food, and I also like the ad, but I do think you can make the argument that the “Cultivate a Better World” sign at the end is a bit much, especially when you think about the role meat production plays in greenhouse gas emissions.”

Point taken, but I think there is a reasonable case to be made that, given that we in the west could healthily and sensibly reduce our meat consumption, there are more scientific, humane, and climate friendly ways to produce meat.

Another reader sends me a link to yet another ad in the series, this with Willie Nelson singing the background music.

Another tear jerker.


7 Responses to “Chipotle Ad Comments on “Food Inc””

  1. ahaveland Says:

    Me too. Awesome.

  2. “Created in collaboration with Chipotle Mexican Grill, “The Scarecrow” is an arcade-style adventure game for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and a companion animated short film. Both pieces depict a scarecrow’s journey to bring wholesome food back to the people by providing an alternative to the processed food that dominates his world. The film’s soundtrack is a re-interpretation of “Pure Imagination,” performed by Fiona Apple.”

  3. I’m not a vegetarian, but I get along fine without eating half a chicken every night or a burger for lunch everday. There are ways of producing meat that is less GHG intensive such as some forms of aquaculture.

    On the other hand, this video seems to make it appear that traditional farming (as signified by the scarecrow) was humane and is the way to go.

    I disagree. Prior to the green revolution of the 1970’s family farms had laid waste to huge amounts of land. You’re from Michigan so you’re probably familiar with the ubiquitous hog farms that used to plague the southern half of that State. Go back even further in time and family farms had largely deforested the midwestern and northeastern U.S. It’s the efficiencies and increased yields of modern agribusiness that’s allowed some of that land to be reforested.

    You can’t assume that just because a farmer treats his livestock humanely, they are also not going to pollute or otherwise destroy the environment.

    • I guess part of the problem is that the population of the planet has tripled since 1940. So in order to feed such a large population a lot of food production has been optimized in ways where nature and animals aren’t treated as parts of our natural world anymore. Of course part of why we are even able to do this is the incredible growth in the use of pesticides and fertilizers to artificially mass manufacture food. I highly doubt this is a good way of going…

      I guess we can compare this a bit with the discovery of fossil energy sources – if we hadn’t I am sure the planet would look like Easter Island by now. So its a convergence of problems we are reaching now. The effects of insane population growth with consumption growth and fossil fuel use. I highly doubt we can solve these problems individually…

      This movie called “Home” sort of sums it all up:

      Its quite remarkable how much one single species has transformed the planet in such a short time. I highly doubt its something we are able to “solve” as there is just too many minds that needs to be aligned for any real change to happen.

  4. So Chipolte claims that their cheese and meat come from animals that are raised humanely and responsibly, eh? Free range, not cooped up, hormone free, etc, eh? This is all very good as far as it goes. But they did still need to Kill the cows, pigs, and chickens, right? And dairy cows need to be continuously pregnant to continuously give milk – so what happens to the male babies? And what happens to the cows when they no longer produce enough milk?

    I enjoy going to Chipolte for their excellent vegetarian bowls – with black beans, brown rice, avocado, fajitas, salsa, lettuce. Yummmy. Complete and satisfying! Y cerveza, tambien.

  5. j4zonian Says:

    I guess I don’t get why this is here. Are you saying that Chipotle Mexican Grill is in some way not just another fast food outlet for large corporate industrial ag? How is it different? Corporations separate their Planning, Production, Processing, Marketing, Legal depts. so that each one operates most “efficiently”. That means marketing has almost nothing to do with Planning or Production, leaving it free to develop whatever lies it wants to make up that it thinks will sell whatever kind of swill Planning decides is the most money-intensive product. Is there some reason this ad is not just another example of that, using the latest cultural meme, hatred of that destructive industrial system and desire for a return to nature, to manipulate people into giving up the real return to nature so it can keep them in the industrial fold?

    Started by a guy right out of the barrio, with an $85,000 loan from his father, [sarcasm alert], financed (aka owned) later by that most democratic communist of all institutions, MacDonalds, Chipotle now has 1400 outlets making almost $300 million a year for its investors and millionaire fry cooks and wait staff. As far as I could tell it’s independent now and all its restaurants are company owned, not franchises.

    Is industrial organic food better enough that we should be satisfied with it?
    (I would not call myself a communist or even a socialist)… but is the food better enough in terms of humaneness, ecological impact, and social justice implications to justify the continuation of the capitalist paradigm it enshrines: really poor people making lots of money for really rich people by using advertizing to lie, to sell consumers what they don’t need and would be better off without?

    Industrial “organic” agriculture uses fossil fuels exactly the same way and as far as I know in the same amounts as industrial chemical agriculture, except for the fertilizers and pesticides. Chipotle MG has been caught using undocumented workers with false documents (I don’t even want to try parsing that contradiction). It seems to have the same philosophy and same impact socially and politically as any other fast food corporation. Pastured livestock produce even more greenhouse gases (specifically methane) than other industrially-treated livestock. Meat is in general a woefully inefficient way to produce food for people, using more land, energy, water and other inputs per calorie than plant foods. Exceptions are the tiny amounts per acre or per person that can come out of permaculture systems where domestic animals are used in a way that enhances plant production without creating a larger footprint; and that meat produced in places that are too dry, too high, or too rocky, etc. to produce a plant-based diet for people and can’t be made better (for example, by the use of permaculture or reforestation to recreate rainfall or improve soil). Such places support such tiny concentrations of people without unsustainable inputs from elsewhere (unsustainably mined groundwater, industrially-grown grain feeding livestock, etc.) Pastured meat animals that are still part of an industrial capitalist agriculture system may live more natural mid-lives than CAFO/feedlot animals, industrial veal and chicken, etc. but they’re likely to be artificially inseminated, and usually die just the same way as any other meat animal. Contrary to the image promulgated by such ads, the vast overwhelming majority of meat eaten in the US is (still) produced industrially, with feedlots, huge slaughterhouses now protected by ag gag laws… The ad was long on image, short on facts. Are Chipotle’s animals raised and slaughtered differently? Does it have a substantially smaller ecological footprint (i.e., do less harm) than other industrial food?

    Are Chipotle’s (incremental?) improvements in the industrial ag paradigm enough that we should ignore the alternative: skipping the half-way measures and going right to democratic small-scale local low-meat or no-meat food production (backyard, homestead, truly small farm…) wherever we can and finding other alternatives where we can’t? Have the officers of Chipotle MG come out publicly against GMOs, in favor of GMO labeling, against ag gag laws, for more just and appropriate immigration policies, for more equitable tax structure, against NAFTA and NAFTA-like insults to democracy like Trans Pacific “Partnership “and for strong measures to avoid climate catastrophe? (a high carbon tax, strict cap and dividend…)?

  6. Gingerbaker Says:

    “Meat is in general a woefully inefficient way to produce food for people, using more land, energy, water and other inputs per calorie than plant foods. “

    I question this. I found this post by Richard Carrier to be pretty trenchant to the topic:

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