This is a bad day for pork fans. Today Chipotle announced that it has stopped serving pork at hundreds of its restaurants. It’s suspending a supplier that violated its sustainable farming/food standards. This is a first in the history of Chipotle. Here’s the AP report:
Chris Arnold, a spokesman for the Mexican food chain, told The Associated Press it’s the first time the company stopped serving a topping for its burritos and bowls. He said Chipotle learned of the violation by the supplier on Friday through a routine audit, and did not have a timeline for when carnitas would return to affected stores, about a third of its total base.
“It’s hard to say how long it will last,” he said.
In New York City on Tuesday, a sign on the door of a Chipotle location stated, “SORRY, NO CARNITAS.”
Arnold said most of the issues related to the violations concerned the housing for the pigs. Chipotle demands that its suppliers raise pigs in humane conditions with access to the outdoors, rather than in cramped pens.
On other occasions, Chipotle customers may have noticed signs saying a restaurant is serving meat that doesn’t meet the company’s “responsibly raised” standards. That’s typically because Chipotle has trouble securing supplies of beef raised without antibiotics or hormones, Arnold said. The company then serves beef that was “conventionally raised.”
That is not happening with the carnitas, however.
“In this case, we won’t make that kind of substitution,” Arnold said in an email.
I’ll be the first to say that this sucks. My go to is chicken or steak, but Chipotle’s carnitas are DELICIOUS. And honestly? Fucking bravo to Chipotle for having standards about the quality of the food they serve. It says A LOT about Chipotle as a company that they’re putting quality of their product over short-term profits. Here’s an explanation for why, via the AP:
Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection for The Humane Society of the United States, said that most breeding pigs in the country are kept in gestation crates with concrete floors. Pigs that are raised with access to the outdoors or bedding represent a “very small portion of the pork industry,” he said.
Even among farms where pigs have better conditions, Shapiro said access to the outdoors can vary.
“It doesn’t mean these animals are living in ideal conditions on Old MacDonald’s farm,” he said.
As for Chipotle, Arnold said the company is looking at a variety of ways to remedy its carnitas shortage, including the use of different cuts of pork or increasing orders from other suppliers. He said he hopes the supplier in question will fix its issues and eventually come “back on board.”
In otherwords, a healthy, happy pig is a delicious pig. That’s not stoping pork-lovers, meanwhile, from freaking out about not being able to get their fix. I feel their pain. Pork is amazing: