16 questions we bet Chipotle won’t answer

I think we need to continue to call out outfits like Chipotle on its hypocrisy and the fear mongering it uses to sell its products.

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual“Hyprocrisy” and “fear mongering” border on fraud. Fraud is a “real crime” because, unlike the victimless crimes (drugs, gambling, prostitution, etc), there is a victim. Fraud is aggression against another person’s property and therefore a crime. — jtl, 419 

By  Amanda Radke in BEEF Daily

A Handbook for Ranch ManagersChipotle recently halted sales of pork to one-third of its restaurants due to a farmer failing an audit. Kevin Murphy, owner and founder of Food-Chain Communications, LLC, asks some pointed questions of the burrito chain that address the contradictions Chipotle has between what it promises consumers and what the company actually delivers.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewRecently, word spread about Chipotle’s decision to halt the sale of pork to one-third of its restaurants. The burrito chain says it took the action after discovering that one of its pork suppliers was raising hogs without providing access to the outdoors or deeply bedded barns. Chipotle says that conflicts with its pledge to customers to provide “food with integrity.”

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3) The supplier (also known as a farmer) wasn’t named; however, major news sources across the country, including the Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Fortune, CNN, and Denver Post, reported with gusto about how this farmer failed his audit. This story resulted in further conversations about how conventional agriculture is abusive to animals, and that American consumers should support only “small” farmers, who raise animals in a “natural” setting.

The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits    Combat Shooter's HandbookIn fact, a representative from Chipotle — who also wasn’t named — was quoted in many of these articles spurring this negative misconception about conventional vs. alternative methods of raising meat. This individual said, “The differences in animal welfare between pigs raised this way and pigs that are conventionally raised [are] stark, and we simply won’t compromise our standards this way.”

Kevin Murphy, owner and founder of Food-Chain Communications, LLC, addressed the many contradictions of Chipotle’s promise to consumers vs. where the chain procures the meat for its burritos. In his blog entitled, “Chipot-lies. How the recent pork stoppage reveals your justified burrito is a hoax,” Murphy asks 16 pointed questions to the burrito chain — many of which I doubt the company would be willing to answer.

He addresses issues he has with both pork and beef served at Chipotle. Here are just a few of his questions:

  1. Why is the pork farmer not named? If Chipotle is trying to change farming behavior, then release the farmer’s name and location.
  2. If large-scale operations are bad, as Chipotleclaims, why does a single supplier (aka a farmer) impact over 594 restaurants?
  3. How can a pork farmer who’s never failed an audit before suddenly fail to give his animals access to the outdoors and deeply bedded barns? What was the farmer’s motivation to do this?
  4. How quickly can this situation be rectified so that consumers don’t have to suffer from not eating Chipotlecarnitas raised “naturally?”
  5. How is this pork-industry offense more egregious than when Chipotle serves conventionally raised beef when it can’t access enough “naturally raised” beef?
  6. What would motivate Chipotle, a publicly held company, to alert the media to a supply shortage knowing it could have negative economic repercussions? Read his entire blog and the remaining 10 questions Murphy asks here.

Murphy goes on to mention a few other businesses and organizations that share the same mindset as Chipotle, including: Hyatt Regency, Panera, Noodles & Co, Carl’s Jr. and Perdue. He also lists McDonald’s, which is a major buyer of U.S. beef but has also recently made statements about purchasing “sustainable” beef. We aren’t quite sure what their definition of sustainable beef will be, but the final decision could significantly impact the way U.S. ranchers do business and raise beef in the future.

As Murphy suggests, I think we need to continue to call out outfits like Chipotle on its hypocrisy and the fear mongering it uses to sell its products. How do you think the industry should respond? What did you think of Murphy’s questions? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of Beefmagazine.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.

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Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualPlanned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual. This is the ideal squeal to A Handbook for Ranch Managers.  Although the ecological principles remain the same, what was originally known as “The Savory Grazing Method” now answers to a multitude of different names: ranching for profit, holistic management, managed grazing, mob grazing, management intensive grazing, etc. Land & Livestock International, Inc. uses “Restoration Grazing” under its “Managing the Ranch as a Business” program.” No mater what you call it, this summary and synopsis will guide you step by step through the process and teach you how to use it as it was originally intended. No more excuses for failing to complete your grazing plans.

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About Land & Livestock Interntional, Inc.

Land and Livestock International, Inc. is a leading agribusiness management firm providing a complete line of services to the range livestock industry. We believe that private property is the foundation of America. Private property and free markets go hand in hand—without property there is no freedom. We also believe that free markets, not government intervention, hold the key to natural resource conservation and environmental preservation. No government bureaucrat can (or will) understand and treat the land with as much respect as its owner. The bureaucrat simply does not have the same motives as does the owner of a capital interest in the property. Our specialty is the working livestock ranch simply because there are so many very good reasons for owning such a property. We provide educational, management and consulting services with a focus on ecologically and financially sustainable land management that will enhance natural processes (water and mineral cycles, energy flow and community dynamics) while enhancing profits and steadily building wealth.
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