We're not easily shocked, but the latest "news" to break about Chipotle left us positively drowsy in spite of the cold brew by our side. This morning, a consumer watchdog organization launched a website and full-page ad in protest of the fast-casual restaurant's menu and its supposed health benefits. This is where we started drifting off — of course Chipotle isn't "healthy" if your translation of "healthy" is that eating it will lead to weight loss. As the Dothraki would say, that is known.
The site, titled Chubby Chipotle, is essentially a single, scrollable, page of shade. In the same vein as the lawsuit filed last week, it challenges Chipotle's use of the term "GMO-free" as well as its "Food with Integrity" campaign. Instead, the site suggests that motto should be changed to "Food with Hypocrisy," and that the chain should come clean about its "highly unscientific" marketing. One could argue that, compared to other fast food chains, Chipotle's attempts at transparency are relatively commendable, and that the nutrition calculator on its very own site tells you exactly how many calories you're committing to when you add extra guac.
The group behind Chubby Chipotle is a nonprofit called the Center for Consumer Freedom, and what you need to know about this group is that it's very difficult to understand, and, most likely, just very bad at directing its frustration with the world. A quick scan of the group's most recent blog posts will tell you that, next to Chipotle, its major beef is with PETA.
Going a little deeper into the site reveals the Center's murky mission: "We aren’t afraid to take on groups that have built 'good' images through slick public relations campaigns," its "About Us" page reads. "Just because [companies] claim to be 'ethical' or 'responsible' or 'in the public interest' doesn’t mean they are. Just because they claim to be 'scientific' doesn’t mean it’s true." True, it's not a bad idea to go through life with a bit of skepticism, but do we need an organization taking out full-page ads in the New York Post to remind us of that?
We wonder how many burrito-bowl devotees this campaign will convert, if any. But until we know, just remember: The Chipotle lifestyle isn't one that necessarily leads to "health." However, it definitely leads to deliciousness.