Chipotle is a role model

File this under: if one fast food chain can do it, why can’t others? Chipotle is going to double its use of local produce in one year – from 5 million pounds in 2010 to 10 million in 2011. Full story here. Imagine if McDonald’s or KFC did this. I wonder if the supply could keep up with the demand. But that would be a good problem to have! Big corporations creating a bigger market for locally grown produce. And what if they made a commitment to organic ingredients? Or to grass-fed and humanely raised animals? Holy cow, indeed! Our whole food system (and subsequently food politics) would shift to keep up with the demand for more wholesome foods. And what about the positive impact on the environment and on human health if big corporations shifted their priorities. That’s a shift in values – from cheap costs of goods in order to maximize profits to a more enlightened perspective of what’s best for the well-being of humans beings. Sustainable thinking for sure!

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2 Responses to Chipotle is a role model

  1. Tim says:

    From a sustainability standpoint, though, it’s important to make sure that the local produce is workable in the regional climate. It seems to be defeating the purpose if we drive local producers to adopt unnecessarily resource-intensive methods to grow produce that’s unsuitable otherwise. Like everything, there’s a balance to be found, but if done right (and this includes shifting consumer attitudes toward a menu that is more workable in the local context; kind of goes against the overall standardization model of most chains) it will be beneficial to all.

    • andrew says:

      Good point. There is already a kind of regionalism in some fast food chains. An extreme example is the non-cow options offered in India vs. the United States. Maybe that means consumers would be okay with some variance in menu options if they knew were getting the tastiest, freshest ingredients.

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