What Chipotle’s New Ad Actually Says About the Brand’s Plans for GMOs
Is Chipotle on its way to becoming America’s first GMO-free fast food joint? While the company hasn’t made any promises, the Mexican fast food chain’s latest not-an-ad ad has left many to wonder.
In March of this year, Chipotle became the first U.S. fast food chain to offer consumers a bit of transparency by voluntarily labeling GMO ingredients on its menu. While this excited many GMO labeling activist, it also drew a wave of criticism. Many wondered if the chain, once majority owned by McDonald’s, was simply trying to woo skeptical organic consumers.
While the brand initially stayed mum about going GMO free, they’ve done a few things as of late that are speaking loud and clear. For example, they switched from using soybean oil to using sunflower oil. And the corn? You can count on that being local and GMO-free, as well (in most locations). In fact, in a statement on their website they say, “Our goal is to eliminate GMOs from Chipotle’s ingredients, and we’re working hard to meet that challenge.”
It seems the chain may be prepped to put their influence to work, as well. Just yesterday they spoke out on the issue and endorsed Washington State’s Proposed GMO Labeling Law, I-522, making the Mexican chain the first restaurant to encourage a community of consumers to vote for agricultural change with their forks.
And in what is perhaps the chain’s most powerful message yet, they released a potent video slamming the factory farm industry and Big Agra. Crystallizing the brand’s position on this polarizing issue, the animation depicts a dystopian fantasy world where all food production is controlled by fictional industrial giant Crow Foods.
The video (below), which is actually an ad for a game, is full of heart-wrenching subtlety and eye-opening honesty, tugging on your heart strings with scenes of chickens and cows getting ‘factory farm treatment.’
The now-viral video tells the story of a scarecrow who is stuck in a position as a factory-farm worker at Crow Foods. Plagued by the fact he’s become slave to a system he once passionately protected (after all, it shouldn’t be overlooked that the fictional character is best known for protecting corn, one of the most genetically modified and abused crops in America), he dreams of a world in which sustainable, honest and transparent farming is once again commonplace—so he takes the first step.
No doubt the Mexican fast food giant, which parted ways with McDonald’s in 2006, has hope that this campaign will cement its “food with integrity” message, but it certainly dangles a bit of hope before us food purists, as well. Here’s hoping Chipotle is up to the challenge, as it’s certainly positioned to become a pioneer in its field once again.
Here are a few moments from the video that might indicate Chipotle has had it up to here with the unsustainable, dangerous and toxic practices of its competitors.
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Article updated on: September 20th, 2013