Grazing the Net
Greg Henderson and Friends
Our editors spend some time roaming the web looking for stuff cattle people and others in agriculture might find useful or entertaining.
Jun 04, 2014
Remember the name Chris Arnold. After you've become sufficiently outraged by this story, Chris Arnold needs to hear from you. He's the
propaganda communications director and "official spokesman" at Chipotle Mexican Grill. Chris bows reports to Steve Ells, the founder and CEO of the overhyped, overpriced burrito chain that sold more than $3 billion worth of beans, beef and pork wrapped in tortillas last year. In the 20-plus years since Ells launched Chipotle, the business has grown to more than 1,600 stores with 45,000 employees. Along the way he's managed to piss-off slander most of mainstream agriculture and brainwash indoctrinate a generation of America's youth with Chipotle's version of Kool-Aid. Chipotle's two videos – Scarecrow and Farmed and Dangerous – are pure snake oil.
To be blunt, Chipotle's advertising is
damned lies deceitful. They've touted "Food With Integrity" for years, all while implying the beef, pork and crops you raise are somehow poison unfit for human consumption. Customers are encouraged to believe that the cows and pigs on Chipotle's menu spend their lives frolicking in pristine, sun-coated pastures before they happily give their lives to become banquet burritos. Wait...there's more. Ells has just bloviated announced that he can't find enough American beef that is "responsibly raised," so he's turning to Australia.
Ells says using Australian-sourced beef "is an important step in our never-ending journey to help build a food system based on what we call Food With Integrity."
It's a new low for Ells and Chipotle, and you need to call him out. Do so by telling Chris Arnold via Twitter @ChipotleMedia and use hashtag #ChipotleLies.
Cowboys Respond to Chipotle
Want "responsibly raised beef?" Call us, say two California ranchers. Darrell Wood is a cow/calf producer in Vina, Calif., and president of Panorama Meats, a supplier of certified organic, 100% grass-finished beef to retailers in the Western United States. Darrel Sweet is a cow/calf producer in Livermore, Calif., who raises cattle on grass then sells them to a feedyard in California that finishes the cattle on a combination grass and grain. The two Darrel(l)s provided their perspectives on the announcement that Chipotle will now source grass-fed beef from Australia.
Is Grass-Fed Beef Bullsh!t?
While you're waiting for your blood pressure to simmer down after reading about Chipotle and their search for more grass-fed beef, Josh Ozersky writes in Esquire that grass-fed beef is a "scam."
He says it's like bragging about "soil-grown potatoes." Writing for Chicagoist.com, Melissa McEwen expands on Ozersky's description, claiming that grass-fed is "now a meaningless platitude used to market sub-standard products to gullible consumers."
Yeah, don't high-five Melissa, though. In the rest of the article she tries to convince us she's a knowledgeable foodie with dirty-boots experience raising cattle. She gives herself away as just another food charlatan with a keyboard when she writes, "I'd rather my beef eat some hay with some occasional high-quality corn than a diet of chopped rotting GMO corn stalks that technically count as 'grass.'" Yeah. Then there's this: "America would be a better place if the most miserable feedlots were regulated out of existence and consumers didn't have to scrutinize menus to avoid junk." No, Melissa, America would be a better place if people didn't pass themselves off as experts about subjects they know little about. Then we wouldn't have to scrutinize websites to "avoid junk."
The Little Things Count
It's the little things — like bees and microbes — that help feed the world. According to Becky Timmons, global director of applications research and quality assurance at Alltech, these two naturally occurring organisms will play a crucial role in feeding the world's growing population. In order to feed 9 billion people by 2050 agricultural yields need to increase 75% to 100%, Timmons said, during the closing session of the 30th Alltech Symposium in Lexington, Ky., last month. "Without microbes there would be no plants or animals."