Well, Chipotle is at it again. They announced they are experiencing a pork shortage because one of their suppliers violated their housing agreement for pigs. The company demands its suppliers raise pigs in “humane conditions with access to the outdoors, rather than in cramped pens.” With that producer’s violation, Chipotle is now refusing to buy their pork, which means no carnitas for customers at more than 1700 locations across the country, including restaurants in Nebraska. But guess what?! THERE IS NO PORK SHORTAGE!
Thousands upon thousands of perfectly healthy and happy pigs are being raised right here in Nebraska in barns like this.
Plenty of room here!
Now of course Chipotle wants you to believe pigs are better off outside, but that simply doesn’t mean a better pork product. That’s why farms utilize nutrition, health care, genetics and just plain proper management. Winter is cruel to any animal, especially pigs. Frostbitten ears and noses, pneumonia, frozen water source, the list goes on and on. The indoor facilities not only provide more than enough space, but they use the latest technology to control temperature, humility and air quality. And the pigs are automatically feed and receive plenty of water. While we brave the 20 below winter, the pigs are sitting pretty at 70 degree every day.
You ask why would Chipotle insist free-range is better? It’s all about marketing. The public is so far removed from agriculture they still picture the farmer of the 40’s.
But guess what?! Farming has come a long way and to keep up with demand, farmers have to adapt, use new technologies and embrace a better way of doing things.
In the end it comes down to choice. Chipotle is choosing not to serve “conventionally raised” pork and you and I can choose to get our burrito somewhere else.