Chipotle Scarecrow Parody Strikes A Nerve

gwyneth-made-me-do-it-logochipotleparodyIn a world where no good deed goes unpunished — and without a YouTube parody and late night TV jokes — it comes as no surprise that the Chipotle video continues to grate on people’s nerves. Funny Or Die released the Honest Scarecrow parody just 3 days ago and it’s already racked up almost 300k hits, leading me to believe that not everyone is buying the burrito that Chipotle is selling. It doesn’t surprise me considering many of the comments on the original YouTube video, as well as my own article on the film which appeared on Yahoo, included comments ranging from “Chipotle’s burritos make me gag!” and “My eyes glazed over trying to understand the point of the film.”

Many people, it appears, don’t care to hear the message that Chipotle is trying to deliver. And even more detrimental is the general cynicism that we have towards large corporations, which leads to automatic trust issues. It’s this combination of apathy and cynicism that can be a hard hurdle for large corporations like Chipotle to overcome. Especially when the message comes between the consumers and their cheeseburgers. One commenter on their video typed in all caps, “McDonald’s FOREVER!!!!”

The fact is, Chipotle is trying to do their part to promote healthy agriculture practices by sourcing GMO-free produce, buying animal products free of antibiotics, and which were raised in a humane way. They continue to try to promote small family farms who raise produce and animals in a sustainable way, and who are in desperate need of the country’s support to not only stay afloat, but to continue to exist as they do. Sounds pretty noble, right, considering they try to do all this while still keeping their burritos under the $7 price range?

The fact of the matter is, they don’t source their produce and animal products as they wish 100% of the time, because they simply can’t. There simply aren’t enough pastured pigs available, or truly free-range chickens in existence, or there’s not enough GMO-free corn grown on a regular basis, to supply every single Chipotle restaurant across the country on any given day. In the land of plenty, we simply do not have enough free, happy chickens, or non genetically-altered corn raised, to supply 1 single chain with just 900 small restaurants. This is the fact we should be getting stuck on. This is the thing we should be angry about, and raising our hands in question, asking why?!?

Instead, we attack the one restaurant chain who’s trying to do their part, and criticize them for not doing it perfectly… because it’s impossible.

You love Chipotle or you hate them. You think their burritos are disgusting and are a McD’s fan for life, fine. But let’s all realize that as consumers of a product we put into our body at least 3 times a day, we need to be better informed. With information comes power, and when we can make informed decisions, we will all benefit. Us, our families, farmers, animals, our planet. This plays out both ways. It’s just as frightening to play the drone and buy everything a corporation is selling, but when we are informed, we can harness that information and more easily recognize when we’re being coerced with slick marketing, or if a company’s intentions seem legitimate. In the end whatever your views are on this issue, it’s hard to argue that we wouldn’t benefit from knowing more about the food we eat, and the type of companies we support when we spend our food dollars.

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