Sunday, February 12, 2012

"Food With Integrity" - Chipotle's Slow Food Message

I was a big fan of Chipotle Mexican Grill's commercial video "Back to the Start" that just aired on the Grammy's when I first viewed it last year at the James Beard Foundation's conference "Sustainability on the Table How Money and Media Influence the Way America Eats". 

Using animation, "Back to the Start" takes a farmer from traditional and sustainable farming to industrial factory farming and back to free-range and humane livestock farming that he started with.


Twitter was buzzing for over an hour after the commercial ran. People who vowed not to tweet during the Grammy's couldn't help themselves. The commercial is GREAT!

"We have to end Monsanto-style farming, support organic free range no chemical foods! says tweeter @margaretspence.

"Best commercial ever" said another viewer.

After 19 years, this is Chipotle's first TV commercial. Farm activist and country singer Willie Nelson sings the song "The Scientist" originally by Coldplay to 26 million television Grammy viewers.

According to the New York Times as of last week "The Willie Nelson rendition of “The Scientist” has been downloaded about 25,000 times so far, and 60 cents from each 99-cent download has gone to Chipotle’s foundation" (Chipotle Cultivate Foundation). The foundation donated $250,000 to Willie Nelson's Farm Aid in 2011.

In its press release, Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle said "We are changing the way people think about and eat fast food. We have always understood the importance of serving food that is raised right, but that is a difficult thing to communicate with the limitations of traditional advertising. 'Back to the Start' tells the story of a farmer's journey from traditional farming to an industrial food production model, then back to his roots of traditional farming again - a story that tracks closely with some of our suppliers and that demonstrates why we think it is so important to serve food made with ingredients from more sustainable sources."

I have yet to try a Chipotle burrito, but I'm glad to know it will be made from "good" "slow" and "real" food.

Now back to the Grammy's ... Adele wins Best Album...

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