Chipotle, how do I love thee? Let me keep counting the ways! This place keeps getting better and better. Chipotle just announced that effective this June, 100 percent of their stores’ sour cream and 65 percent of their restaurants’ cheese will be made from pasture-raised cows.
A pasture-raised cow is one that has daily access to outdoor pastures. Additionally, the animals are never fed hormones, only a vegetarian diet. The leading Mexican grill chain has made some bold and progressive moves in the last year, challenging the existing quality found in typical fast-food. Chipotle has already made a commitment to serve only naturally raised meats that contain no hormones or antibiotics. As a further commitment to health and sustainability, Chipotle buys its produce from farms located within 250 miles of each location. They also support family farms with The Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, which helps farms with sustainable practices and promotes healthy eating for kids.
For the sake of getting real, it’s important to know why pasture-raised dairy is worth getting excited about. It’s not a showy title that makes people assume it’s healthier, it is healthier. Overall, all pasture-raised foods are found to be healthier for consumers. Because the animals get exercise, the foods tend to be lower in calories and total fat. These foods are found to have higher levels of vitamins, omega-3 fats and omega-6 fats versus their conventional cage-raised counterparts.
When it comes to the pasture-raised dairy, the milk is higher in CLA, or more simply put, the good kind of fatty acid. And just like you’ll find in the Chipotle meat, there’s no added hormones or antibiotics to contend with. This is dairy you can feel good about, especially if you’re feeding it to your kids.
Chipotle founder Steve Ells has worked hard to change the way fast-food is presented. Here’s to hoping other big names will take a hint. You can still make money and serve responsible food. Until then, Chipotle owns my heart.