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Chipotle releases 4-part series about ag practices
Chipotle Mexican Grill on Monday debuted an original series entitled “Farmed and Dangerous” on Hulu and Hulu Plus. The company says the four-episode series is a satirical look at how the agriculture industry manages perceptions about its practices.
“Our goal in making the show was to engage people through entertainment and make them more curious about their food and where it comes from,” said Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing and development officer at Chipotle and an executive producer of the show.
“It’s not a show about Chipotle, but rather integrates the values that are at the heart of our business. The more people know about how food is raised, the more likely they will be to choose food made from better ingredients — like the food we serve at Chipotle.”
The series will likely upset some people but it won’t be the first time Chipotle has done that. Many farmers and food producers were maddened last summer by the company’s commercial “The Scarecrow.”
This summer, agriculture seemed to take blow after blow on the antibiotic-free issue from restaurants and retailers. First, Panera Bread Company came out with its “EZ Chicken” campaign, which featured caricatures of pill chickens and implied that farmers who use antibiotics are taking the “easy” way out.
Antibiotic-free restaurants Then in late August, Chipotle Mexican Grill released its new animated short that depicted the “virtual” (or so Chipotle called it) reality of a sad Scarecrow broken by industrial agriculture. Mr. Scarecrow witnesses chickens being injected with neon green goo, cows in metal boxes and mystery meat labeled “beef-ish” rolling down large conveyor belts into animated grocery shoppers’ carts.
After both campaigns were released farmers and ranchers took to the blogosphere to shout their disappointment, disdain and desire to boycott from the rooftops.
Chipotle isn’t alone in pledging to support sustainable methods and using ingredients free of antibiotics and/or genetic modification.
Chick-fil-A announced last week it plans to serve only chicken raised without antibiotics within five years at its nearly 1,000 restaurants. It’s giving itself five years in order to line up suppliers. The switch probably will mean higher menu prices.
Supply issues have forced Chipotle chain to use conventionally raised meat at times, most notably for beef. For chicken, Chipotle says less than 1 percent of its meat was conventionally raised last year.