Remember that popular Chipotle ad, with the animated farmer and cute pill-shaped pigs?
Set to the tune of Willie Nelson singing Coldplay’s “The Scientist,” the clip depicts a family farmer switching to factory farming, pumping out cubes of pork and contributing to environmental damage. The “aw”-inducing clip ends with this farmer switching back to a more sustainable, animal-friendly form of farming. It’s a rather moving advert pushing for positive change in our country’s food system, even stealing the show during the 2012 Grammy Awards.
But plenty of food activists have called into question whether Chipotle is really doing the right thing. In this parody, singer Liz Fitzgerald takes to the streets of San Francisco, protesting Chipotle’s treatment of Florida farmworkers—who are often in “sweatshop conditions”—with an altered version of Coldplay’s lyrics.
“For six years, Chipotle has refused to come to the table with farmworkers to sign a Fair Food Agreement, securing increased wages and labor protections for tomato pickers in Florida’s fields,” she writes in the video description.
While the food chain markets the slogan “Food with Integrity,” it has not committed to farmworker rights, she explains. In contrast, other big corporations like McDonald’s and Trader Joe’s have signed agreements with the farmworker organization Coalition of Immokalee Workers, promising a penny more per pound of tomatoes for worker wages and rules for better working conditions. And as the Coalition of Immokalee Workers points out on its blog, where are all the workers in Chipotle’s cartoon ad?
“Food without dignity tastes bad, so season your salsa with some justice,” Fitzgerald sings. “Chipotle, do the right thing!”
Do you think Chipotle should pay tomato farmworkers more, or are they already doing enough for the environment? Let us know in the comments.