Are avocados going the way of the dinosaurs? Probably not. But guacamole (which is the number one reason most of us eat avocados) may soon be nothing more than a memory, at least for fans of Chipotle Mexican Grill fans. According to recent speculation on CNN, global climate change and California’s current drought may make it impossible for the chain’s to serve up that delicious (and healthy!) green goo.
Here’s what’s happening:
- In its annual report, Chipotle cited global climate change—and its impact on produce pricing—as a potential snag in its current business model. If prices on avocados and other key ingredients go up, the chain has said it might have to “temporarily suspend” its offering of guacamole and some salsas. (more…)
“Shift Happens.” That’s the message Leah Segedie wants to get across with the ShiftCon Eco Wellness Social Media Conference. Thanks to her and some of the other ShiftCon bloggers, shift is already happening.
The past year has already seen brands announce they are reformulating their products to go GMO free. They include:
Cheerios and Chipotle have made their shifts to GMO-free products fairly well-known, but other brands are doing it a little more quietly. Segedie added ShiftCon bloggers are looking at big brands including Kellogg’s, General Mills, PepsiCo, as well as specific products within certain company’s line.
Cinco de Mayo is this Saturday, which means we’ll all be digging into Mexican food – and margaritas – galore.
If you’re planning on dining at home, check out this spicy Cinco de Mayo-inspired recipe round up that includes Eva Longoria’s spicy serrano guacamole and spicy Mayan truffles for dessert. You’ll be able to make all of your favorite kicked up Mexican dishes in the comfort of your own home while impressing your family and friends.
But, if you’re the restaurant type, we’ve got you covered there, too. Consider this your quick guide on how to eat healthy at your favorite Mexican restaurants. We’re comparing classic Mexican dishes like tacos, burritos, and quesadillas, as well as each restaurant’s most popular desserts. We’re warning you now, it’s not pretty. But armed with the knowledge of what’s in your food, you’ll be able to better navigate the tempting Mexican food-scape this holiday weekend. (more…)
Chipotle, the fast casual restaurant known for using local and fresh ingredients got in on the lime light during Sunday’s Grammy Awards too. The Mexican chain aired a two minute commercial depicting the harsh realities of food production and food distribution in the United States. Animated scenes illustrated how the once healthy family farm has turned into a manufacturing plant with bloated unhealthy animals processed more like car parts than food.
The commercial is set to the tune of Willie Nelson covering Coldplay’s song, The Scientist. The chorus lyrics state, “I’m going back to the start.” This also narrates the scene when the farmer is fed up with modern practices and begins to return his farm into what it once was; open fields, not cages, with healthy animals, not medicated overgrown products.
While the message is stark, the ad itself isn’t off putting. The soft song mixed with cute, little, animated animals makes you stop and think without grossing you out or scaring you into vegetarianism. Chipotle has always taken a positive stance with their food. The company’s motto is even “food with integrity.” Chipotle’s sales for 2011 were up 11.2% and net income was up 20%.
Other recent ad campaigns regarding health have recently come under fire for scaring and bullying people into eating healthier. A New York Department of Health ad campaign linking large portions to type 2 diabetes and amputation really got people talking (us included.) Another health campaign by Strong4Life in Georgia started major backlash on Twitter. The obesity ads depicted overweight children with slogans like, “WARNING: It’s hard to be a little girl, if you’re not.” These ads were meant to motivate with fear and even a little sadness.
If you’re a fan of the customizable burritos, tacos and salad bowls from Chipotle Mexican Grill, then you’ll be especially thrilled with ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, Chipotle’s much-hyped Asian spin-off.
Chipotle Chief Executive Officer Steve Ells says that the ShopHouse concept was born during a two-week eating spree in Thailand and Singapore last year.
“I was very inspired by Southeast Asian food and the fact that it would lend itself to the Chipotle format,” Ells, 46, told Bloomberg News in an interview this week.
At ShopHouse, you won’t be offered burritos or tacos, but instead customers choose between rice and noodles topped with ingredients such as grilled chicken satay, organic tofu, pork meatballs, Chinese broccoli and eggplant. According to Bloomberg News, the bowls go for $6.50 to $7.50, compared with $7 to $8 for a Chipotle burrito.
While we haven’t sampled any of the menu items for ourselves, a preview to Fortune reporters included grilled steak with chili-jam marmalade, roast corn with scallions, Chinese broccoli, pickled vegetables — all served over brown rice, plus green papaya salad on the side.
Restaurant menus are getting better and better all the time. More and more establishments are including ingredients and nutrition information for their consumers. One chain that has appealed to the health conscience and the fast food addicts alike is Chipotle. Chipotle has always offered fresh, high quality ingredients and allowed the customer to make their meal tailored to their desires. They have also been very forthcoming in their products, helping the health-conscience make informed decisions. However, a recent food faux pas has required the CEO to make some necessary menu changes.
Chipotle’s pinto beans have always been prepared with a small amount of bacon. This is not advertised clearly on any menu. However the staff has always been instructed to inform customers of this fact if they aren’t ordering any type of meat, just to insure the assumed vegetarian isn’t consuming meat. The web site always advises vegetarians and vegans to choose the black beans over pinto as they are vegan. Recently a flaw in this plan was exposed.
Lately there’s been a lot of buzz about the new show America’s Next Great Restaurant, and if there’s anything I’ve learned about the food industry in my years working as a fitness trainer and weight-loss coach, it’s that the majority of the food industry isn’t in business to get people healthy. They want to turn food into a crave-worthy experience and make money.
Now, I have no insider knowledge on what restaurant concepts will be pitched on this reality television series that premieres on Sunday, March 6 at 8/7 PM central, but based off of my research on what some of the country’s most successful food chains — like McDonald’s, Subway and Pizza Hut — serve, it may not have our waistlines in mind.
Restaurants are notorious for offering foods in enormous portions that are high in sugar, salt and fat. Not only do we find these foods delicious, but these foods actually have physically addictive properties for some. So it’s no wonder that restaurant entrepreneurs keep looking to create the next worst-for-you burger or sandwich. They want you to come back for more!
UPDATE [11/2/10]: Scroll to the bottom of the post to see some of the scary processed foods that turned up at Chipotle on Halloween!
Maybe I am out of the loop, but I did not realize that Chipotle Mexican Grill serves only freshly prepared and unprocessed food. Not only that, but they are turning their annual “Boo-rito” Halloween event into a fundraiser for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution with a goal to raise $1,000,000!
In years past, those who came to a Chipotle Mexican Grill dressed as a burrito, taco, or taco salad would be treated with a free burrito. In honor of the Food Revolution, they are changing the deal just a little. The challenge this year is to dress as a “horrifying processed food product” and boo-ritos, bowls, salads, and tacos are just $2 to raise funds for the Food Revolution. There is also a costume contest with prizes up to $2,500! (more…)
Monsanto, the company behind the development of the growth hormone rBGH (more commonly known as Bovine Growth Hormone) is in the news again. The company has been referred to as the most hated corporation for unfair business practices and is currently the focus of a U.S. District Court Judge. A recent ruling directed that the USDA has to begin regulating the company’s genetically engineered sugar beets.
Monsanto originally developed rBGH and marketed it for years before selling it in 2008. They have insisted that the use of the hormone is perfectly safe. This, despite the reality that Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Australia and all 27 nations of the European Union have outlawed its use due to studies that have shown that the use of rBGH has caused elevated markers of IGF-1 in milk. The burning questions is, are elevated levels of IGF-1 in milk unsafe? (more…)