Do you fancy big, stuffed burritos filled with rice, veggies, salsa and guacamole? What if you knew that the tomatoes in your salsa were picked by workers earning sub-poverty wages? Chipotle, a nationwide Mexican food chain known for its gourmet burritos and tacos has recently been criticized for hypocrisy. The restaurant is the only food-related sponsor of this summer's revealing film about the food industry. Food, Inc. emphasizes the philosophy of "Food with Integrity," showing viewers how vegetables are grown and animals are raised. Food with integrity is "a philosophy solidly based on a foundation of not exploiting animals, the environment, or people."
Chipotle CEO Steve Ells said, "I hope that all our customers see this film. The more they know about where their food comes from, the more they appreciate what we do."
However, Chipotle has yet to join the bandwagon on the fight for fair food. Unlike Taco Bell, Wendy's and Whole Foods (to name a few), Chipotle has refused to join the agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, to build better working conditions for Florida workers facing exploitation and poor wages.
Chipotle isn't living up to its claim of supporting the Food with Integrity philosophy. The Coalition has rounded up roughly 15,000 supporters to fight back and stand up against the Mexican grill. Activists have been encouraged to call Chipotle's headquarters toll-free, and emphasize that the company is not living up to its "food with integrity" standard.
I made the call myself and reached the voicemail box of Chris Arnold, Communications Director of Chipotle. I spoke my piece, exclaiming that it's time for Chipotle to live up to its "food with integrity" standard. If enough people call in (1-888-899-0017), we can solve this problem.
I love a good Chipotle burrito, but I'd relish every bite if I knew that the company was truthful in its integrity policy and supported the tomato pickers contributing to the tasty salsa.