The Ecology of Food

Eco Eating:  Chipotle has never been unambiguous about their “green” views of agriculture or their commitment to humane treatment of animals.  As they state on their website, “food with integrity is our commitment to finding the very best ingredients raised with respect for the animals, the environment and the farmers.”

They have developed some clever marketing campaigns that clearly play to their demographics.  But does their most recent video cross this line and do they risk backlash, or is it just another well developed ad campaign that will play very well to their audience?  The video and, of course, the application for your handheld device or notebook is called “The Scarecrow.”  This short animation, which includes an almost macabre version of “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka, cynically portrays large farming as dark and foreboding.  Here is link to the video, which has had more than 5,000,000 hits.

Food Wastage:  Eco-friendly restaurants such as Chipotle and, in fact, all consumers of food (i.e., everyone) may be interested in a September 11, 2013, report from the United Nations Environmental Programme/Food and Agriculture Organization, “Food Wastage Footprint: Impacts on Natural Resources.”  This report on food wastage (“food loss” and “food waste”) states, “The waste of a staggering 1.3 billion tonnes of food per year is not only causing major economic losses, but also wreaking significant harm on the natural resources that humanity relies upon to feed itself.”  This report points to wastage hot spots in Asia, Europe, and Latin America.  It also points to consumers as key contributors to food waste.  As I pointed out in an article in our local newspaper, the producers of food have made impressive gains in productivity and reducing their environmental footprint; consumers need to do their part too.

As always, if you need assistance on an environmental issue, negotiating a permit, technical support on litigation, or you are at odds with overly “enthusiastic” environmental activists, we can help.  For more information, contact our senior environmental scientist, Jeffrey Bolin at 248-932-0228.


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