Post updated November 1 and 2
Highly processed candy and junk food like this and this gives me the shivers for a number of reasons. (Mainly, because it’s not actually “food” as any other mammal would recognize it.) Highly processed fast food scares me, too — care for a Happy Meal that looks the same after sitting out for 6 months, anyone?
But you know what? Sometimes even a foochebag like me is stranded in an airport, hungry. Like last week, when I’ve never been happier to see a Chipotle Mexican Grill. Chipotle’s tagline is “Food with Integrity,” and the company buys its meat from humanely raised sources and its produce from organic and local farms “when practical.”
(One cloud over this integrity halo has been Chipotle’s refusal to sign an agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers for fairer tomato prices, but that stalemate finally ended. Nov. 2 update: As you can read in more detail in the comments below from Grist contributor Sean Sellers, whose Dec. 2009 and Sept 2010 posts I should have consulted more closely, Chipotle made its own deal with its tomato suppliers, bypassing the CIW and issuing press releases trumpeting that the labor problem was solved, which many news outlets picked up. As author Eric Schlosser has put it, claiming you support farm-worker rights but refuse to work with CIW is like someone in the ’60s saying they support civil rights but they won’t work with Martin Luther King, Jr. or the NAACP.
And now, back to our regularly scheduled light and fluffy programming!)
This Halloween, Chipotle is inviting you to scare them — for a very good cause. CEO and founder Steve Ells has partnered with British chef and healthy-food activist Jamie Oliver for a Boorito special. Visit a Chipotle outlet after 6 p.m. on Oct. 31 dressed as any of the countless terrifying processed food products out there, and you’ll get one of Chipotle’s burritos or other entrees for only $2. (They’re normally around $6.) Chipotle will donate the sales, up to $1 million, to Oliver’s Food Revolution, a campaign to improve the food in America’s schools.
Seems like a frighteningly good idea to me.