Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Food With Integrity

A lot of people visiting my blog are unaware of my personal slogan which I use when communicating with my copywriting clients: "Conversions With Integrity"

It's more than a slogan -- it's a philosophy I use in all my direct sales copy work. It means a lot to me. In fact, I've turned down more writing jobs than I've accepted because of this very same philosophy. It's an ethical decision that ties directly into my own personal values.

If I don't believe in the product -- or feel the offer is unethical -- I won't accept the job.

Sure... staying true to my personal values has cost me a bit of money. One contract I turned away would have paid me $35,000 for less than 5 weeks worth of work (research included). Plus, there was a "royalty" attached to the job which would have added several thousand per month to my residual revenue stream.

But I don't regret that decision, nor any other similar decisions, one bit.

That's why, when a friend told me about a billboard he saw during his commute home last week with the slogan "Food with integrity" ...I was naturally curious.

I followed the link to the restaurant's website (Chipotle's Mexican Grill) and was pleasantly surprised.

On their website, they write,
Food With Integrity means working back along the food chain. It means going beyond distributors to discover how the vegetables are grown, how the pigs, cows and chickens are raised, where the best spices come from. We learn how these factors affect the flavor of the finished product. And what we can do to improve it.

Take our carnitas, for example. In pursuing new sources of pork, we discovered naturally raised pigs from a select group of farmers. These animals are not confined in stressful factories. They live outdoors or in deeply bedded pens, so they are free to run, roam, root and socialize. They are not given antibiotics.

Consequently the pork they produce has a natural, moist, delicious flavor. We think it tastes better and is better for you. Our customers love it. And because they do, we buy all we can. By creating a market for meats raised in a healthier environment, we make it worthwhile for these farmers to raise even more. That's how Food With Integrity works for everyone.
You really want to read Steve's Vision, where he writes about reading acclaimed food writer Ed Behr's newsletter, "The Art of Eating" and learn more about the impact that article has had on the shaping of their restaurant chain. Here's just a brief quote,
In it he wrote about Niman Ranch and Paul Willis, a farmer in Thornton, Iowa who ran his hog farming program and raised pigs the old-fashioned way. The way it was done for many years before factory farms grew prominent in the 1960s and 70s.

The pigs Behr wrote about got to frolic in open pasture or root in deeply bedded barns. They weren't given antibiotics. The farmers who raised them truly cared about the welfare - and well-being - of the animals in their care.

In short, these farmers relied on care rather than chemicals, and practiced animal husbandry the way their parents and grandparents had, and their parents and grandparents before that.
Read further and you'll discover Steve's personal opinion regarding CAFOs ...and why he avoids factory farmed meats for his restaurants.

There's more on their website. It's worth a visit. And the next time you're feeling hungry, look for a Chipotle's in your area.

Disclaimer: No, I'm not being paid to write this post. In fact, we unfortunately don't have a Chipotle's anywhere near our house... but I'm really looking forward to tasting their food on our next trip.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Niman ranch bacon is $9.30/pound. Is that sustainable? I am for animal welfare but can America afford to pay that? Just asking the question.