Chipotle Mexican Grill has announced that it is the first national restaurant company to serve exclusively naturally raised chicken. The burrito restaurant says it has reached that milestone by adding naturally raised chicken to all its restaurants in California, Oregon, and Washington.
Chipotle began serving naturally raised chicken (such as in the salad, below) at its restaurants in Washington, DC, in 2002 and has since been working with its suppliers and identifying other like-minded farms to constantly add to its supply until completing the goal of serving 100 percent naturally raised chicken.
Chipotle also serves naturally raised pork at all of its locations, and serves naturally raised beef at nearly 60 percent of its restaurants. The company says it plans to serve more than 52 million pounds of naturally raised meat this year.
“We are changing the way the world thinks about and eats fast food,” said Steve Ells, Chipotle founder, chairman and CEO. “By making our food with great quality ingredients, including naturally raised meat, we are not only satisfying our customers with great tasting food, but raising the bar for an entire industry.”
In addition to its commitment to serving naturally raised meat, Chipotle also lays claim to being the first national restaurant company to serve only dairy products (cheese and sour cream) made with milk from cows that are not treated with the synthetic hormone rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone). And this year, 30 percent of all of the beans it serves will come from organic farms. It’s all part of a vision Ells calls “Food With Integrity.”
“Food With Integrity is about finding the best ingredients we can for the food we serve,” said Ells. “We are making food from ingredients that have traditional been used by the most discerning chefs in the best restaurants. But Chipotle is doing it in a way that is available and affordable so everyone can eat better.”