Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Farmed & Dangerous

Big Ag. and intense farming practices are well skewered and roasted in Chipotles Mexican Grill Restaurants' comedy-satire Farmed and Dangerous.

Chipotles was started by Steve Ells in 1993.

Chipotles started innocent and well intentioned, with "Abandoned" as the debut for the Farm Relief cause:

Karen O. - Abandoned from David Altobelli on Vimeo.

After growing to 8 restaurants, Steve's continuing search for differentiation from Chipotles' competitors through fresher,  more nutritious, and better tasting ingredients led to his awareness about Big Ag's intensive methods of raising the pork that his restaurants used.  Steve was convinced there had to be a better way.

Since 1993, Steve Ells and Chipotles haven't looked back.  They re-invented themselves to rely upon and become symbiotic with low intensity, sustainable farming practices.  Not satisfied with living the good life for themselves and their customers, Steve led Chipotles with a missionary zeal to communicate the difference between Big Ag and sustainable ag. to all the world, hoping and helping everybody chooses the latter.

That Mission within a Mission led to Chipotles sponsoring the short video The Scarecrow

Chipotle describes The Scarecrow video short as follows:
"In a dystopian fantasy world, all food production is controlled by fictional industrial giant Crow Foods. Scarecrows have been displaced from their traditional role of protecting food, and are now servants to the crows and their evil plans to dominate the food system. Dreaming of something better, a lone scarecrow sets out to provide an alternative to the unsustainable processed food from the factory."
Watch, enjoy, and learn your lessons:

I found that short to say very little directly, but stirred strong, deep emotions within me.  Big Ag was quite upset by this video; quite understandable as it exposes them and their questionable practices.  The New Yorker magazine had a good review of the video, Chipotle, and their values portrayed.

Still not satisfied with the rate of change for the better, Chipotle commissioned a sequel to The Scarecrow, rolling out Farmed and Dangerous.  Chipotle describes it as:
"A Chipotle original comedy series that explores the outrageously twisted and utterly unsustainable world of industrial agriculture."

The 4 episodes are available on-line from Hulu, but are not easily watched outside of the USA.  You can watch clips on Youtube, or Huffington Post, or download all 4 episodes using Bit Torrent 

Here is a Farmed & Dangerous trailer:

I found Farmed and Dangerous to be a funny parody, as it is too close to the truth.  I can see one or more Big Ag. person being disappointed because they didn't think of "PetroPellet" first.  In other words, they can't see this as a parody, as it makes total sense to them that Big Ag. would do something so ridiculous.

The CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) owners all over the world are not amused.  A number of them and their Big Ag. friends don't appreciate being the but of the joke.  Perhaps they are considering legal action for libel, slander, and defamation of character, and similar charges.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel voices the complaints of the various Big Ag. farm groups, as does Peterson Bros. Farm Blog, given voice at Huffington Post, and many others in the meat industry.

It's scary that this is how far we've come.

Chipotles recommended reading list:
  • The Omnivores Dilemma
  • In Defense of Food
  • Righteous Pork Chop

It's time to re-trace our steps and get back on the righteous path to our proper destiny.

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