Chipotle Farm Team, A Changing Landscape

Three weeks have passed since I started my Farm Team journey, and now Chapter 2 is finally available!  Before I discuss chapter 2, here are a few facts they shared with me during part 3 of chapter 1:

  1. Local, small-scale pig farms not only affect the environment, but also local economies.  “Studies show that small pig farms spend almost 50% more at local businesses than large farms, who typically buy supplies outside of the local community.”
  2. “On average, lettuce will travel over 1,500 miles to reach a US dinner table.”
  3. It’s confirmed:  I suck at answering questions.  I’m currently 2 out of 4.  :)

Chapter 2:  A Step in the Right Direction

A new landscape emergesIt’s time to dance down some slightly greener corridors!  The journey takes a turn for the emerald.  Some more facts:

  • The European Union barred the use of most non-medical-treatment antibiotics in 2006, and apparently their farmers have adapted without incurring major costs.
  • What are the hidden costs of industrial farms?  Though factory food may be cheaper in the short term, it is feared that future generations will have to pay a huge amount in taxes to repair problems created today by industrial farming practices.

I just learned a bit more about Paul Willis, who is one of the founders of Niman Ranch (which was mentioned in the previous Farm Team post).

There is also a new game called Pig Slide.  I’m supposed to slide left to right, staying in the mud and picking up corn to go faster and faster.  But I need to watch out for antibiotics, concrete, and other obstacles or else I’ll stop sliding (as the pig ingests antibiotics, it grows plumper, until it can’t slide any more).  I went 1,137 feet my first try, which they thought was “not so bad.”  I, having no basis for comparison, was content.

To top it off, they asked me what the “best” burrito ingredient was.  Unfortunately, of the four options, none were my favorite (two of the four options being meat automatically reduced my choice to 2).  I selected “sour cream,” which is only partially true.  I really enjoy their guacamole most, with their black beans coming in at a close second.

That’s all for now!

Well, that’s part 1 of Chapter 2!  I don’t think I mentioned that they gave me an additional two burritos just as a welcome gift.  Chipotle makes me happy; it’s especially wonderful during this transitional time in our lives.

May you eat well!


  • Chandler

    Ryan; I am going to make a request of our local manager to help me get involved in the Master Burrito Ambassador Program, as well as hoping to get invited to the farm program, did you do anything extraordinary or special to get your invite?

    • Ryan

      Hey Chandler,

      Here’s how I did it (though there wasn’t a whole lot of conscious effort – I honestly didn’t even know this program existed until they extended the invitation): I ate there probably about 1 – 3 times per week. I expressed interest in their business model, especially the “Food with Integrity” aspect, and told them repeatedly and sincerely that it was one of the primary reasons I visited frequently. I was friendly and conversant with many of their staff members (not highly talkative, just smiley and kind).

      Honestly, that’s about all I did. I guess one of their managers took notice of my interest and hooked me up. I was one of the last people to whom they gave an invitation – I think I received the second to last or so.

      I hope that’s helpful, Chandler!