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A world of pure imagination

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By Holly Martin

Sometimes I feel like I could write the same column, change a few words and voila, it would be new again. Such is the case with another column about another false marketing campaign from Chipotle.

Remember in February when I wrote about a Chipotle ad during the Grammys? It was an animated video showing a farm family raising pigs going from a pasture-based system to a housed system and then back again. It villainized “factory” farmers and talked about going “Back to the Start.”

And then the company decided to label their food so customers could identify non-GMO food. But guess what? On their website, Chipotle says, “While we are striving to eliminate GMOs from our supply chain, there is not a viable supply of responsibly raised meats and dairy from animals raised without GMO feed.” So in other words, we have this belief-system but only when it doesn’t cut into our profits. Can you say “hypocrite?”

Newsflash, Chipotle: The reason that farmers across the United States use genetically modified seed is because it is the responsible, “sustainable” thing to do. Farmers are able to grow more with less stress on the environment. Oh, and it has been proven time and time again to be completely safe in the food supply.

The new Chipotle video is called, “A world of pure imagination” and that’s truly what it is. Chipotle and its high budget animators have created a scarecrow who heads to work in a food factory, churning out boxes of “100 percent beef-ish.” The despondent scarecrow goes home to his small little farm that’s like an oasis in the desert. He picks his vegetables and decides to sell burritos—minus the meat—from his own produce under a banner that reads “Cultivate a better world.”

Let’s call this campaign what it really is: propaganda. Chipotle is working very hard to create an image of farming that isn’t true. Why? To improve the world? I don’t think so. To sell burritos.

We see through you, Chipotle. And judging by the reaction to the new video, we’re not alone. A parody of the video, called “A world of pure manipulation” is now making the rounds on social media. It calls into question a giant corporation showing “pure manipulation.”

And the parody wasn’t done by an ag group—which makes it all the more satisfying.

Hopefully, these kind of out-and-out lies about agriculture are starting to be questioned by someone else besides you and me.

We want someone else to know: Today’s modern agriculture isn’t some animated fairy tale. It’s a real business, with real people, really working and producing really safe, healthy and affordable food, in a really sustainable way.

We live in the real world Chipotle, not in a world of imagination.

Holly Martin can be reached by phone at 1-800-452-7171 ext. 1806, or by email at hmartin@hpj.com.

Date: 9/30/2013



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