It would be a bit of a tossup to decide which scene in Food Inc. was the most stomach churning. Would it be the one where steroid-pumped chickens kept falling over and dying because they couldn't support their artificially enhanced weight? Or the one that showed a cow with a giant bloody hole in its side being examined for signs of salmonella? And don't even get me started on the hidden camera video—unappetizing to say the least. Which makes it so surprising that any food marketer would partner with the documentary, an important yet grueling piece of work that's screening now on the independent circuit from director/producer Robert Kenner and co-producer Eric Schlosser (author of Fast Food Nation). (Not at all shocking: The fact that none of the giant agribusinesses skewered in the movie wanted to participate in any way). Turns out Chipotle Mexican Grill has stepped up, sponsoring free screenings of the film and promoting it in 860 restaurants. While a deal with any fast feeder may seem counterintuitive—burger joints get especially pummeled in the doc —Chipotle execs said it's a way for them to showcase their "food with integrity" philosophy and point out its organically grown, naturally raised products. "I hope that all our customers see this film,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. "The more they know about where their food comes from, the more they will appreciate what we do." Just might want to suggest they grab that burrito before the flick.
—Posted by T.L. Stanley