You're what you eat (Blog 7)

Wanna Change the World? There’s Nothing to it, Says Chipotle


In early September the Mexican fast food chain Chipotle released a short video entitled “The Scarecrow,” an innovative marketing tactic with an anti-factory-farming message. The video features a Scarecrow who works in an industrial food factory, but then returns home to his small farm where he decides to harvest his vegetables and travel to the city to sell burritos. I read an article from The New Yorker entitled What Does “The Scarecrow” Tell Us About Chipotle which provides insight into what this video says about Chipotle as a company and also what broader implications it has regarding the food system in America.

An important point that the article brings up is whether this video represents a true commitment to sustainable development and food reform or if it is just a marketing gimmick to get consumers to buy more burritos. Chipotle claims that they are using sustainably raised ingredients, such as antibiotic-free meat bought from suppliers which meet animal welfare standards. However, without any solid proof or confirmation of these claims, it’s up to consumers to trust that Chipotle is telling the truth. But the fact that Chipotle has started promoting these sustainable policies encourages us to believe that they are truly committed to the messages they are sending about food supply. And on a broader scale, it proves that consumers are changing their attitudes about food and care more about ethical and sustainable ingredients.

In addition, Chipotle seems to be making much more of an effort to maintain sustainable and ethical standards for its suppliers and is much more transparent about their meat’s origins in comparison to other fast food companies. This raises the question of whether fast food restaurants like Chipotle have an obligation to responsibly source their ingredients. I think that the answer is yes, especially with consumers changing attitudes regarding sustainability and food reform.

Although the Scarecrow video may give Chipotle more credit than it deserves, I do appreciate what the fast food restaurant is doing and I’m sure a lot of other consumers do as well. In addition, the video brings to light many of the controversial issues with factory farming and initiates important conversation about the American food system.

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8 thoughts on “Wanna Change the World? There’s Nothing to it, Says Chipotle

  1. Fast food is an icon of American food style I think, and the video you shared really reflects the situation of the supply of fast food, hormone and high quantity of production. I think people should reconsider their own menu of food and think about the sustainability.

  2. I agree that fast food has pretty much become a staple in the diets of many Americans. This is mostly due to its low cost and convenience, because a lot of people cannot afford to purchase local and sustainable food. I hope more fast food chains will follow in Chipotle’s footsteps towards a more sustainable food supply chain.

  3. Obviously fast food isn’t going anywhere. However, it is nice to see that some are taking the right steps to become more transparent about the foods they are serving. Hopefully, others will follow in their footsteps and also people will start taking a bigger interest in what goes into the food they are eating.

  4. I think that Chipotle’s effort to be more transparent is great. It is not one of the cheapest forms of fast food however and I think that the American people who do rely on fast food are not headed here first. I agree with you that these companies should source their supplies so that consumers can evaluate them. As stakeholders people deserve to know as it could directly impact their health.

  5. The music in the video is haunting, especially since it is taken from Willy Wonka, a children’s movie. The part of the video that showed the scared cow was so sad. I think that after creating a video that raises such indignation about how the food industry works, Chipotle managers would have to have no conscious in order to lie to consumers and act in the same manner.

  6. I think that its great that companies are implementing sustainable strategies. However, it is difficult to determine whether if it just to please the stakeholder or whether the company truly believes in its initiatives.

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