Posts Tagged ‘SEC

Chipotle on the Hotseat

» May 23rd, 2012

 

Check out the “Of Interest” section of my website and you’ll learn that Chipotle is in a bit of trouble with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The issue involves “immigration compliance.” The company, which is still coming down from its much ballyhooed “Food with Integrity” campaign, will now have to prove that they hire with integrity as well.  Forget fines, criminal charges look to in the company’s future.

I’m not a fan of Chipotle. The company shamelessly greenwashes its image through clever advertising campaigns and symbolic support for local farmers. Gullible consumers choose Chipotle because they buy the hype. They think the company has opted out of the industrial food system. One of its more insidious advertisements mentions how its burritos are “food culture changing.”

The fact is, though, that Chipotle would not, could not exist without industrial agriculture. A company cannot serve tens of thousands of customers tortillas stuffed with pork, beef, goat, chicken, cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise without being deeply involved in industrial production, distribution, and supply. So what if the company gets all its pork from Niman Ranch?  Niman has had to grow, consolidate, and compromise in order to fulfill Chipotle’s demand.  It’s a damn hoax, punctuated by the fact that a typical burrito has twice the calories of a Big Mac and more sodium than the overall RDA measure. Integrity.

I’d be perfectly happy if the company was busted for labor violations. If nothing else, it might be the beginning of the grand unmasking of America’s shiftiest fast food joint.