Chipotle, Meet Texas
Jun 26, 2014
Call it the "Responsible Summit." That would be the conversation between Texas Ag Commissioner Todd Staples and Chipotle Mexican Grill CEO Steve Ells. Ells made headlines earlier this month when he announced Chipotle would begin importing Australian beef for their burritos because they could not find enough "responsibly raised" beef in the U.S.
Understandably, American beef producers cried foul, and last week Staples sent a letter to Ells requesting a sit-down to review some facts. Today we learned Ells has agreed to meet with Staples.
Tomorrow Staples will appear on AgriTalk, Farm Journal’s live, one-hour syndicated talk radio program broadcast on 70 affiliate stations in the Midwest. AgriTalk can be heard live at 10:06 a.m. (Central Time), or listen to the podcast at http://www.agweb.com/multimedia/agritalk.aspx
Burritos Make Strange Bedfellows
We aren't the only ones disappointed in Chipotle. In fact, BuzzFeed lists "9 Disappointing Facts About Chipotle."
Chipolte touts much of its food as "sourced locally," yet BuzzFeed reports a large share of Chipotle ingredients are routed through Chicago-based processors – regardless of where they are produced. That makes for a well-traveled burrito. BuzzFeed also condemns Chipotle's advertising campaigns, saying, "several of the messages these commercials convey are just not true." Finally, BuzzFeed notes that Chipotle's joint CEOs, Steve Ells and Montgomery Moran, were paid a combined $49.5 million in 2013. That brought criticism from Eric Schlosser, writer and producer of Fast Food Nation (2001, 2006), the book and movie that blamed Big Ag and America's fast food industry for just about every human affliction from Global Warming to flat feet. Yet here was Schlosser criticizing Chipotle: "Given the amount of money that Chipotle's paying its executives, I think it can do a better job of paying its workers and American ranchers, without having to go to Australia."
Yes, burritos can make for some strange bedfellows.
We miss Jay Leno. Yeah, Jimmy Fallon is okay as the new Tonight Show host. But we really miss Jay's regular weekly segment "Headlines." Viewers sent Jay copies of actual newspaper and magazine headlines that were... well, ill-conceived. One example: "Cop Makes Arrest In Bathroom After Smelling Crack."
We're sure Jay would get a laugh out of the, ummm... ill-conceived headline Kristinashouse.com used a while back. Kristina writes about homemaking, gardening, travel, entertainment and such. You can find recipes there, which is how the trouble began. Kristina's cousin and his wife are nurses. They're also into competitive barbeque, under the name "Naughty Nurses BBQ." After posting a blog about barbeque under the headline "Naughty Nurses BBQ," Kristina got a lot of traffic from folks seeking recipes for things other than pork ribs and brisket. Jay would be proud.
Judge To Decide Ag-Gag Soon
Idaho's law punishing those who secretly film agricultural operations doesn't limit free speech because the First Amendment right does not exempt trespassing on private property, state attorneys argued. They made the argument in front of U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill during a Wednesday hearing. Attorneys representing a coalition of free speech, environmental and animal right activists countered that deception is protected speech as long as it doesn't directly cause harm.