CHOPOTLE-A Leader in Sustainable Food


Chipotle is a fast food chain with 1000 restaurants nationwide growing at a rate of 120    restaurants per year. Their philosophy is to source all their food from local family farmers who are committed to sustainability, raising antibiotic hormone free meats, and organic vegetables. It means going beyond normal distributors and purchasing products from farmers with sensitivity to the animals they raise, sensitivity to the land they farm and sensitivity to the health of their customers. Currently 35% of their dairy and 85% of their beef cattle are pasture raised. All their pigs are raised outside or in deeply bedded winter pens. They do not state the source of their chicken but it is antibiotic and hormone free which means it is probably like the lower density range chickens popular in California.

We went to the restaurant at 19th and M street in Washington DC during business hours on an extremely hot day last week. The service line was out in the street. The cliental ranged from lawyer types with ties to dress down office workers. Most were under 50 years of age. We went to the Store in Annapolis Mall next to Borders at the 11am opening on Sunday. Again the restaurant was overfull. Most people were under 30.

Chipotle is a leader in the way people think about fast food but it is also far ahead of most high end restaurants and chefs who currently point to a few high quality items while the bulk of their food comes through the distribution chain and is for the most part chemically raised and unsustainably produced. Did any viewer anticipate that people would be flocking to a fast food chain because the food is of much higher quality? How positive for the future of our water, our soil, and our health?


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