Let's thank Chipotle restaurant for “pulling" pulled pork from 600 Locations

(Eat Local Grown) The Mercury News reported today that Chipotle Mexican Grill stopped serving pork at hundreds of its restaurants after suspending a supplier that violated its standards.

Chris Arnold, a spokesman for the Mexican food chain, told the Associated Press it's the first time the company stopped serving a topping for its burritos and bowls. He said Chipotle learned of the violation by the supplier on Friday through a routine audit, and did not have a timeline for when carnitas would return to affected stores, about a third of its total base.

"It's hard to say how long it will last," he said.

In New York City on Tuesday, a sign on the door of a Chipotle location stated, "SORRY, NO CARNITAS."

After an audit showed a supplier was not complying with the chain's standards concerning animal welfare, the fast-casual burrito specialist has stopped selling carnitas at one-third of its locations.

Chipotle's Success Based On Sustainability Standards

Time reports that one reason Chipotle has been at the forefront of the red-hot fast-casual restaurant movement is the company’s stances on sustainability and animal welfare. In the case of pork—used in its braised carnitas, one of the key ingredients in burritos, bowls, and salads—Chipotle insists on doing business only with “farmers whose pigs are raised outside or in deeply bedded pens, are never given antibiotics and are fed a vegetarian diet.”

“We could fill that shortfall with conventionally raised pork, but the animal welfare standards fall well short of our requirements, and (we) simply aren’t willing to make that compromise,” Chipotle communications director Chris Arnold explained, according to Reuters.

Pig Crates Are A Horrible Way To Live

The Humane Society reports that pigs are one of the smartest animals on Earth. Highly social, intelligent, and curious, they engage in complex tasks, form elaborate, cooperative social groups and feel fear, pain, and stress. Studies show that they are more intelligent than dogs and even some primates, and scientists have demonstrated that pigs are capable of playing simple video games, learning from each other, and even learning names.

Most breeding pigs in the U.S. are confined in "gestation crates" for virtually their entire lives. For several years, they're confined to crates that nearly immobilize them, enduring a cycle of repeated impregnation. These individual cages are approximately 2 feet wide—so small the animals can't even turn around or take more than a step forward or backward.

It's difficult to imagine an existence worse than lifelong confinement in a space so small you can't even turn around.

Chipotle, Whole Foods, Wolfgang Puck, and others only use gestation crate-free pork.

Public Opinion Counts

An American Farm Bureau poll found that 95 percent of Americans believe farm animals should be well-cared for. The same poll found that most Americans don't consider gestation crate confinement to be humane.

And a Michigan State University study found that 60 percent or more of respondents in every state would support outlawing gestation crates.

Additionally, every time people have been asked to vote on legislation that would outlaw gestation crates, they've overwhelmingly voted to ban them, including in Florida, Arizona, and California.

Sources: humanesociety.org, mercurynews.com, time.com

Original article published at Eat Local Grown.

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1 comment:

  1. I rarely eat a fast food chains, do not trust the bread which in some cases is loaded with yoga mat ingredient that makes the bread fluffy just like the yoga mats, the pesticides in the veggies, and meat fed with GMO corn. Yes I have several places where I can buy organic veggies, chickens fed with grains of wheat instead of corn and grass fed beef.