While Chipotle may hit the spot when you’re craving a big burrito, Chipotle’s marketing team serves up some slimy deceptions that aren’t nearly as tasty. Overall, Chipotle loves to push a fairytale narrative to consumers that the company’s food is healthier and that the company’s practices are more ethical. Here’s five things you didn’t know about Chipotle:
- Chipotle loves to promote a local farm profile and is critical of big processing food suppliers (remember the Scarecrow commercials?) The deception is that much of its food is processed in large factories and the company shares a distribution chain with McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Chick-fil-A.
- Chipotle misleadingly advertises its beef as free of added hormones. What it doesn’t mention that all beef is low in hormones—and Chipotle’spinto beans and tofu have significantly higher levels of estrogen.
- Chipotle recently announced with much fanfare that its food is now free of genetically modified ingredients. Yet that’s not true of Chipotle’s soda, and livestock used for Chipotle meat can be fed genetically modified corn and grains up until the day they are processed for food. It’s also a deceptive health halo, as research consistently shows genetically improved foods are no different than conventional foods.Outlets such as the Washington Post and National Public Radio criticized Chipotle’s move as a meaningless marketing stunt.
- Chipotle used to claim its meat didn’t come from animals that had been given antibiotics. RecentlyChipotle quietly changed its standard on treating sick animals because they are getting meat from Europe. You won’t see that switch prominently advertised. Additionally, all meat is “antibiotic-free” since the FDA requires that all animals must eliminate medicine before entering the food supply—something you won’t see in Chipotle ads.
- And finally—all of Chipotle’s pretty project shots of colorful vegetables come with the impression that Chipotle’s burritos are healthy and wholesome. But one of their burritos can pack up to 1,500 calories—that’s more calories than four McDonald’s cheeseburgers! So enjoy that burrito, but also enjoy the 10-mile run you should probably complete after eating one.