I love the Internet’s ability to give me what I want, when and how I want it. So I decided to trust it with my lunch. Could an image search wield a results page leaning towards my own inkling of a thai infused daikon curry kebab on a hogie? I put Google to the test and they came up with onion rings, pizza pies, roast pig, donuts, spoiled bananas, a food art inspired fruit salad, Jelly beans and baby eating baby food. I give up.
I jogged through my recent lunch encounters and decided that I wouldn’t mind another chipotle salad.
Being outside of NYC is difficult, but with my brand spanking new 4G mobile network, life becomes manageable. I did a quick search and found a site near my GPS location and astoundingly, a “chipotle music video” to complement my mood for the walk over to their most convenient location. I was pumped.
The music video ended up being a short set to the Willy Wonka theme song. Now I don’t know why exactly it got me so excited in the first place, but it did leave some unanswered questions. If any of you haven’t seen it, it’s viral – get on it. Here’s the skinny, a farmer-scarecrow lugs around all day in a pink slime factory trying to establish the meaning of his life amongst the exceedingly corporatized management of milking cows and plumping up chickens. When he returns after his day long sob story he gets inspired to do something out of the box and decides to open up a ‘farm fresh’ eatery mimicking my neighborhood Chipotle. Really touching, but i’m already on queue to order my salad bowl and catch up on commentary about this hot little viral number. I’m a busy man.
Brandon Oldenberg (one of the co-directors of the short) states “It’s a universal concept about an unlikely hero up against a big problem making a decision to do something about it.”(1) He lays down the premise of this real world ordeal with spectacular imagination in his film. There is a world of hidden costs behind the way our lunch is manufactured. That whole landscape of over fed livestock and modified agricultural messes is what were putting into ourselves and essentially cheating the natural order of its methods. All this leads to madness, causing an imbalance at the expense of maintaining economic sustainability, in the meantime we overly neglect the long term movement towards living a greener and healthier lifestyle. Unfortunately the less familiar leave it at that. So will I for the sake of terseness – maybe next week we’ll talk about cow milk-puss and clone tomatoes attacking my jedi-ish body mind chakra.
The whole issue is profound and very unlikely to be tackled by corporate offices, but Chipotle believes they can help raise a certain level of awareness through discourse and calculated restructuring of resources.
The Food with integrity campaign launched in 2010 has made a significant impact to Chipotles bottom line, pushing them into new territory, while also bringing a certain degree of skepticism to their initiative. Since they began marketing themselves as ‘more than just aware’ of the sustainability issues, they’ve moved towards naturally raised meats and organic locally grown ingredients where “at least 35 percent of one of their produce items were sourced from smaller local farms (defined as within a 350 mile radius of the restaurant).”(2) This alone has pumped their corporate structure to strive towards a national awareness across all of their establishments.
Many believe this claim to be unsupported because they haven’t been through independent inspections and those same people claim that a lot of their reports on company specifics are obscure. Whatever the case may be, it’s commendable that they’ve implemented multilevel campaigns to raise awareness for customers and the industry.
I want to believe them, every bit of those luscious corn kernels and that big glop of guac had me wanting more. Why should I have to worry about whether or not one of my favorite food vendors is a hundred percent on board the gravy train towards a more expensive organic market? Is it ok that only 38.53 percent of their ingredient list is put together at a local farm rather than having a dedicated corn kernel factory somewhere along the supply chain? Am I just blowing it up? I took another seemingly massive bite and moved to the issue of personal health and mindfulness of our earth.
Ive spent the past seven years of my life eating organic locally produced produce – I can trace my morning glass of milk to a single cow and the farm that supplies my groceries is a brisk half hour ride from my residence. My corn comes from my neighbor’s backyard and from time to time my own garden supplies many of the foods I eat. The benefits are immense, not only am I cultivating the earth for future generations to come, but the sense of peace I get from supporting my local growers is rewarding.
Im at peace with MY world. Can your local Mcdonalds give you that? Chipotle believes it. Lets see where their going with this.
- Cheney, Alexansandra. “The Story Behind That Fiona Apple Chipotle Ad.” Speakeasy RSS. Wall Street Journal, Sept.-Oct. 2012. Web. 20 Sept. 2013.
- Beylis, Bettina. “How Chipotle’s ‘Food with Integrity’ Strategy Can Really Succeed.” Triple Pundit RSS. Triple Pundit, 15 Oct. 2012. Web. 20 Sept. 2013.
DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com