By MADELINE DALY
FREE CHIPOTLE, tonight at 7 p.m. in 129 DeBartolo Hall.
Now that I have your attention and your stomach is growling awaiting that delicious and free burrito, I hope that you will seriously consider attending this event, and not just because of the food. The Office of Sustainability, with the help of Chipotle Mexican Grill, is hosting a screening of the 2013 documentary "American Meat" to raise awareness about sustainable farming in the U.S.
This film features several workers from the U.S. farming industry and highlights those positive practices that Chipotle advocates. If you have ever been in the endless Eddy Street line staring at the menu detailing "sustainably-raised food," "organic and local produce," "no synthetic hormones" and "raised without antibiotics," I recommend attending this event to learn about what these descriptions really mean so that you know what you just devoured in that overflowing burrito bowl.
Junior Chris Grant is the campus representative for Chipotle and is organizing the event with Myles Robertson from the Office of Sustainability. His job as campus representative includes advertising Chipotle (something he must be doing right due to the constant out-the-door line at the Eddy Street location) while promoting the restaurant's main ideas pertaining to health and sustainability.
"One of my assignments is to partner with an on-campus organization and host a screening of this documentary," Grant said. "Chipotle's core message is 'food with integrity,' and this film embodies that philosophy."
Whether or not their customers know it, Chipotle offers delicious and authentic Mexican food made with chemical-free, "green" ingredients produced at respectful and earth-friendly farms, something that not many fast-food chains can say. If that's not enough motivation to get double meat, three kinds of salsa and extra guacamole in your next burrito bowl, I don't know what is.
Grant said the film looks into the present state of the American farming industry, specifically in regards to the challenges that farmers have faced due to the changing economic landscape. Even though more expensive than "normal" farming techniques, sustainable farming is important enough to these farmers that they have made the sacrifice of entering the industry with help from companies like Chipotle.
"[The film] highlights the efforts of some really amazing farmers who have started to fight back and have committed themselves to sustainable farming practices," Grant said. "[These practices] ensure that the animals involved in the meat industry are treated in a humane fashion."
For all animal-lovers out there, especially vegetarians like me, this film will provide reassurance that not all farms are so greed-driven as to subject their animals to cruel and unhealthy lives followed by torturous and unthinkable deaths.
In order to convince skeptical viewers even further after watching the film, Grant and the Office of Sustainability have managed to bring in a local farmer, a market manager and a chef to partake in a post-viewing discussion.
"In the hopes of framing the issue in a local context," Grant said, "the Office of Sustainability has reached out to a local farmer, a farm-to-table chef and the manager of the Purple Porch Co-op. They have all agreed to participate in a panel discussion at the conclusion of the screening."
Students who attend will receive a Chipotle give-away of some kind, ranging from free burrito cards to buy-one-get-one cards to Chipotle t-shirts. When redeeming these cards, make sure to enjoy that bulging burrito completely guilt-free.
Well, unless you eat it all in one sitting, then you will probably feel like exploding and claim you will never eat again in your life ... until you go to Chipotle again next week.
Contact Madeline Daly at