In a recent BusinessWeek article, Steve Ells, the founder of Chipotle describes what he means by “food with integrity”. “Ells would like Chipotle, and every restaurant for that matter, to be using only natural ingredients. Ideally, each kitchen would prepare sauces from scratch with pesticide-free vegetables and spices, for instance, rather than buy ready-made sauces that come with preservatives and artificial flavors and colors.”
While Ells has his ideals, he is open about Chipotle’s current situation and plans for future improvement. They have a foundation of natural ingredients, but have yet to really incorporate organic produce. 100% of Chipotle’s pork is all-natural, compared with 60% of its chicken and 40% of its beef. 30% of the beans are organic, but not much else is organic. They don’t have organic sour cream right now, but it is 100% rBGH hormone free.
Chipotle’s menu can be very high calorie (see our past post about this). And Ells admits “You certainly could argue that Chipotle doesn’t have as much leafy greens in it as it probably needs to.”
I admire how Ells is forthcoming about what Chipotle is doing, doesn’t overly promote or advertise the “greenness” or goodness of its menu, and has a vision for the future of how the menu will continue to be better for people and the world.