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Friday, August 31, 2012

10 Reasons I Love Chipotle Mexican Grill

Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good Chipotle burrito. They know about my daily cravings for a tortilla wrapped piece of heaven. Quite honestly, I can't get enough.

So I thought I would share the Top 10 reasons I love Chipotle...and why you might too.

  1. Their advertising - never lame. Always clever. Always cool.                              
  2. It tastes awesome. It is quite literally a gourmet burrito - for less than $7!
  3. Chipotle supports sustainable agriculture and purchases much of its food from local, family farms who use sustainable methods in raising animals and crops - I went and visited one actually. Back when I managed the Chipotle in Coon Rapids we all had to take a field trip to Iowa to see one of our largest providers of pork, Nyman Ranch. They had free range pigs, they rotated their crops each year, and they were involved in a project to restore native prairie land (I went and saw it!). Chipotle intentionally chose to purchase food from them because of these practices. (Did you know that you can actually ask your local Chipotle manager which farm your meat came from? It's written on the box that the meat came in. Although you may want to wait a few weeks to go into the Elk River Chipotle and ask...they're getting real sick of me.)
  4. Free Range Chicken and Pork - this is both a health and humanitarian plus. The chickens and pigs that Chipotle uses are not couped up in pens like on industrial farms (which is not only cruel, but also leads to a less healthy meat). They roam chickens and pigs are meant to. This actually makes the meat tast better, too! (Yes, I realize the irony of raising the animals humanely only to later kill them for food. This is something that still causes dissonance for me.)
  5. No growth hormones or antibiotics - The meat from Chipotle is chemical free! This is more natural for the animals (some cases of growth hormones being pumped into chickens actually make the chickens too large to simply walk around on their own. It's weird. It produces a bigger pay day for the farmers, but is awful for the chickens. And don't forget, whatever the chicken ingests, so do you if you eat that chicken meat.) So eat up professional athletes (not that you care about ingesting chemicals, anyhow...)! Too soon?
  6. I can see the kitchen that my food is being prepared in! I can watch what the chefs are doing and how they are preparing the food. No tricks. No dubious additives being mixed in behind closed doors. No dudes walking around with their feet in my lettuce...ahem...Burger King. 
  7. No microwaves - no microwaves means that nothing is being re-heated. It's all cooked fresh and ready to eat. And none of those weird red heating lamps, either. 
  8. No can openers - their veggies don't come in cans, they come from the fields directly to the store. 
  9. Their brown napkins - the napkins are brown because they are not dyed white (and they are made from recycled material). I'm cool with that. Thanks, Chipotle for not making me wipe my grill with dye. 
  10. White cheese - do you know what makes cheese orange? Not milk. Milk is white. What makes cheese orange is more dye. I'll take the naturally white cheese please. 
  11. BONUS: Did you know that because of Chipotle's large demand for Daisy Sour Cream, Daisy now makes sour cream without RBGH (growth hormone often used in cows that ends up in milk and then in the sour cream that you ingest)? Chipotle has become quite a power player in the industry and continues to demand that food is done right. Daisy listened. As Chipotle continues to grow, the need for healthier farming and food production will also increase. When Chipotle first started, they couldn't find enough cattle ranchers who met their naturally raised standards - but since Chipotle's demand has increased, they now source 100% of their beef from ranchers who meet the standard! Remember, for years restaurants like McD's and Burger King (and others) largely dictated how ranchers would raise cattle. Chipotle has spawned a revolution! And farmers have begun to change their ways. Viva la revolution!
An Actual Chipotle Cow

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