(Photo by Kathy Dixon, Virginia Farm Bureau)
If you were watching the Grammys last Sunday or if you read the news last week, you might have heard about restaurant chain Chipotle’s advertisement titled “Back to the Start.” While some viewers saw it for the first time during the Grammys, it has been on the Internet since August 2011. The video has had more than 5.34 million views since it was uploaded to the Chipotle YouTube channel.
Since the commercial aired I have read several blog posts about the it, some from farmers. One in particular that drew me in was by
on her blog Crystal Cattle. Crystal
The purpose of
blog is to “tell agriculture’s story, encourage consumers to ask where their
food comes from and give farmers and ranchers a tool kit to be agvocates for
She grew up on her family’s Simmental cattle farm in
“learned how to care for my animals, the land and the importance of producing
safe, nutritious food for the world.” She went to school in the Canada Midwest and loved it so much that she never left. She has
beef cattle of her own and works in the industry.
“For too long we’ve let others tell our story,” she writes, “and they haven’t told it very truthfully.”
In her post,
dissected the commercial, explaining what is wrong with the Chipotle picture.
She notes that pigs stay indoors because it gets cold in the winter. She also
discusses dairy cows and the beef cattle on her own farm, and she tackles the
issue of hormone use in livestock. Crystal
“These hormones are already naturally occurring in livestock,”
“There are actually more hormones in a head of cabbage than a steak, by a lot.” Crystal
Crystal makes a lot of good points in her post, as does Daren Williams of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association on this blog post, where he quotes Chipotle’s annual report to offer some insight. He also said he isn’t asking for consumers to boycott Chipotle, but instead to let their voices be heard about their marketing practices.
I worried that when the commercial came out to the masses that people would blindly support Chipotle and the message of its commercial. It made me happy when I saw that many consumers—along with agriculturalists—are speaking out and telling their side of the story. This needs to happen more often.
Other blogs that share agricultural insights on the Chipotle ad include these: