FOOD, INC. gets a plug from fast food… really!
If you’ve already seen the documentary FOOD, INC., you know that film reiterates the argument that the industrialization of our food supply resulted largely from the rise of fast food: the business model requires a large supply of cheap, consistent meat and produce. If you haven’t seen the film, it turns out you may be able to do so for free… and that fast food Tex-Mex chain Chipotle will pay for your ticket.
It turns out this partnership isn’t a case of stange bedfellows. As ABC’s Nightline illustrated recently (see above), Chipotle isn’t just the largest customer of Polyface Farms (whose owner Joel Salatin appears in the film); they’ve also operated for a long time by a “Food with Integrity” philosophy focused on “unprocessed, seasonal, family-farmed, sustainable,nutritious, naturally raised, added hormone free, organic, and artisanal” food ingredients. Now, all of the pork and chicken served in Chipotle’s gourmet burritos and tacos is “naturally raised”: humanely (allowed to range freely) and healthily (no growth hormones or antibiotics). Fifty percent of its beef also meets these standards. Combined, these procurement standards makes the chain the largest server of naturally-raised meats in the world. Additionally, about 35% of Chipotle’s beans are organically raised.
According to founder and co-CEO Steve Ellis, Chipotle’s on a mission to reverse engineer fast food’s relationship with agriculture, farmers, and food processors: they can use their size to influence the move back to more sustainable agricultural and processing practices.
So, if you haven’t already, go see FOOD, INC. on a fast-food chain’s dime… and feel good about it.