The Scientist

This video has been out for a while, but I only just saw it. It took me by surprise while I was at the movies a few nights ago. I was having a nice conversation with my roommate when this video came on before the previews, and we both fell silent. I was eager to see where the video was going, what the point of it was. I knew it had something to do with sustainable farm practices, ethical treatment of animals, or organic food or something. The suspense was daunting, but when the end finally came, I was confounded. I was expecting to see an advertisement for PETA or Slow Food, something of the sort, but instead, I saw Chipotle.

I always knew Chipotle was different from other fast food restaurants, but I didn’t know it was such an advocate for naturally raised food. I was intrigued. After visiting the Chipotle website, scavenging through their links, and reading through their history, I found out a few interesting things about Chipotle I hadn’t known before. Maybe you haven’t either.

The carnitas at Chipotle is probably my favorite item to order on the menu, and now I know why. Turns out Chipotle sources 100% of their pork from farmers who follow these guidelines: raise animals in a humane way, feed animals a vegetarian diet, never give animals hormones, and allow the animals to display their natural tendencies. To add to that, 85% of their beef is sourced from farmers who follow the same guidelines, and they won’t stop until they reach 100%. Chipotle also tries to buy locally (within 350 miles from the store) when it can. Overall, I was just very impressed as I read through their facts and philosophies. There are many other initiatives Chipotle is taking to make the world a better place. Take a look for yourself here.

I was equally impressed with the video as well. I felt it went through the evolution of industrialization of food in a simple and understandable manner. I especially liked the part at 1:10 when the video shows the farmer’s remorse of how he raised his animals. I’m sure a lot of farmers feel the same way and are conflicted between providing for themselves and raising good, respectable food.

I think Steve Ells, the founder of Chipotle, is on to something good. Maybe his business model can act as a catalyst of change, and other restaurants will start doing the same. Until then, support your local Chipotle.

FYI: McDonald’s doesn’t own Chipotle. McDonald’s was an investor until 2006. Chipotle is now it’s own public stock on the NYSE.