No lie, folks. Turns out, when beef cattle numbers are at a 60-year low the niche markets that Chipotle buys from suffer too.
News hit Tuesday that Chipotle can't find enough natural beef to meet the demand for their customer base and headlines screamed that the Denver-based chain would have to use beef that has been treated with antibiotics (surprised?).
Quote from the New Jersery Star-Ledger:
For years, the eatery with nearly 120 locations in New Jersey has touted its meat as “naturally raised” and not fattened with antibiotics. But because beef production is expected to hit a 21-year low next year, about 15 percent to 20 percent of its inventory will have been treated with antibiotics to prevent illness – but not proactively to add bulk.
Allowing sick animals treated with antibiotics to remain in Chipotle’s supply chain will increase the amount of beef available to the company.
On its website, the company says “Once in awhile we do experience a shortage in certain areas of the country and we’ll let you know at the restaurants if that happens.”Well, that last paragraph is true - Chipotle has been sourcing conventional beef for months.
HOWEVER, apparently there was some miscommunication in burrito land because yesterday Chris Arnold, Chipotle spokesman, told NPR that the chain is considering sourcing beef raised with responsible antibiotic use but has not yet fully committed. Guess they'll just have to stick to sourcing conventional beef behind-the-scenes.
Glass half-full perspective - They have the opportunity to no longer be hypocritical.
Glass half-empty - They are still masters of the craft of misinforming consumers to make a buck.
Whether you're a Chipotle fan or not, we can all be confident that ALL American beef -- natural, organic or conventional -- is safe for consumption and is antibiotic-residue free. If you want more facts, check out this resource.
I'm still not eating there - I don't understand what the big deal is, it's just a burrito joint.
Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~
p.s. clearly, the photo above is not from Chipotle but it goes to show that a fresh, tasty burrito/taco can come from anywhere. Pork sausage tacos and garden fresh veggies at the Frobuzz ranchero. Easy peasy.