December 23, 2015

Chipotlefreude, Vol. XIX


Founder Steve Ells vowed on a global groveling tour that Chipotle will ramp up safety measures at the company's nearly 2,000 locations. The company will likely rely less on local suppliers, many of whom can't comply with sophisticated testing. The company will also chop, prepare and hermetically seal ingredients such as cilantro and lettuce in a central kitchen before shipping it to local restaurants.

In other words, Mr. Ells promises to bring his restaurants into the 20th century. -- WSJ Ed Page

Modernity. What a concept. As I said, I wish the Denver-based chain luck in pulling itself out of its market cap swoon. But it remains an important lesson and I am all about lessons.

The junk-science-back-to-the-cave loonies I work with in Boulder assume that all the benefits of modern processing and packaging just fall from the sky. They freak about BPA to the point where when we give away company-logo themed water bottles, they must be certified BPA free.

The science is unclear whether BPA poses a 0.0000000000001% cancer risk or a 0000000000.0% cancer risk. We're awaiting further studies. But botulism deaths have plummeted to one, and millions of tons of food that would have been discarded in pre-BPA cans has been saved. (I was taught to throw away a dented can, now one collects a discount.)

I'm glad that we're so affluent and that our young people are so separated from many forms of grisly death. And every casualty of Chipotle's institutionalized smugness is a tragedy. But do not let the reminder pass: modernity rules!

Junk Science Posted by John Kranz at December 23, 2015 12:49 PM
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