The Problem With Chipotle’s New Ad

Last week, Chipotle released a film, titled “The Scarecrow,” via YouTube. If you haven’t already seen the ad, you can take a look below. To date, the short film has collected a whopping 5.9 million views, garnering attention as “the most beautiful, haunting infomercial you’ll ever see.”

On the surface, the video sends a poignant message. Decidedly anti-factory farming, it paints a grave portrayal of the direction that food production is taking in the modern era. Chickens and cows are pumped with “nutrients” from the depths of dark warehouses; meat and poultry products are squeezed out of mechanical apparatuses as they move rapidly along the industry line. The grim truth of the products are hidden beneath vibrant ads featuring smiling farmers and lush fields.

And then comes the solution – and this is where an “infomercial” turns into an “ad.” The video’s resident change agent, an unhappy scarecrow who is determined to break the status quo, begins growing his own food. Sounds good, right? And so it is…. Until that food turns into Chipotle burritos.


When compared to other fast food restaurants, Chipotle does stand true to their motto. They do produce “Food With Integrity,” and they are committed to using “the very best ingredients, all raised with respect for the animals, the environment, and the farmers.” An added bonus? They make some mean Mexican on-the-go dishes.

But our food crisis cannot be solved by eating more fast food. In order to really establish change, we need to engage in the local movement. Join a Community Supported Garden; visit the farm stand, or stop by a farmer’s market. When we get down to the nitty-gritty, Chipotle is just another corporation (as was pointed out by the hilarious Funny or Die parody, which you can view here).

The video is worth watching because it does illuminate the truth about where the mainstream food industry is headed. And, with Fiona Apple’s mournful voice providing a soundtrack, the message is far from uplifting. But there are solutions to stop this change. They just don’t start with Chipotle.

Enjoy a now-and-then burrito? Go for it. But we can’t save our planet by turning to fast food as our prime source of sustenance and nutrition.

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