Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Chipotle Warns Climate Change Could Cut Guacamole From Its Menu

Food

Chipotle has issued the following warning to investors: Extreme weather events “associated with global climate change” might eventually affect the availability of some ingredients that go into burrito toppings, like its signature guacamole.

Since Chipotle has a commitment to using local produce grown on farms within 350 miles of a given restaurant, it's likely that California locations are the ones at highest risk of experiencing climate change drought effects.

“In the event of cost increases with respect to one or more of our raw ingredients, we may choose to temporarily suspend serving menu items, such as guacamole or one or more of our salsas, rather than paying the increased cost for the ingredients,” the popular chain said in its annual report released last month. 

Chipotle continued saying it recognizes the impact its restaurants and its customers would experience if it decided to increase the price of or suspend a menu item, but the factors leading to such decisions are sometimes out of the company's control: 

"Our profitability depends in part on our ability to anticipate and react to changes in food and supply costs. Like all restaurant companies, we are susceptible to increases in food costs as a result of factors beyond our control ... The cost of many basic foods for humans and animals, including corn, wheat, rice and cooking oils, has increased markedly in some years, resulting in upward pricing pressures on almost all of our raw ingredients including chicken, beef, tortillas and rice, increasing our food costs. Food prices for a number of our key ingredients escalated markedly at various points during 2013 and we expect that there will be additional pricing pressures on some of those ingredients, including avocados, beef, dairy and chicken during 2014."

To put things in perspective, the avocado operation at Chipotle, for instance, is gargantuan.

On average, the company mashes up 97,000 pounds of avocado every day to make its "guac"—which adds up to nearly 40 million pounds of avocados on an annual basis, according to the company's website

While the avocado industry is relatively stable for the time being, scientists anticipating drier conditions due to climate change predict California's crops will be severely impacted.

Chipotle cited a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory study, for instance, that predicts hotter temps will cause a 40 percent drop in the Golden State's avocado output over the next 32 years.

Since Chipotle has a commitment to using local produce grown on farms within 350 miles of a given restaurant, it's likely that California locations are the ones at highest risk of experiencing climate change drought effects.

Moreover, Chipotle, along with companies that share its vision of selecting ingredients best fit for patrons, the environment and farmers, could see their ethical business model collapse under the weight of climate change. 

Visit EcoWatch’s FOOD page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Moroccan patients who recovered from the novel coronavirus disease celebrate with medical staff as they leave the hospital in Sale, Morocco, on April 3, 2020. AFP / Getty Images

By Tom Duszynski

The coronavirus is certainly scary, but despite the constant reporting on total cases and a climbing death toll, the reality is that the vast majority of people who come down with COVID-19 survive it. Just as the number of cases grows, so does another number: those who have recovered.

In mid-March, the number of patients in the U.S. who had officially recovered from the virus was close to zero. That number is now in the tens of thousands and is climbing every day. But recovering from COVID-19 is more complicated than simply feeling better. Recovery involves biology, epidemiology and a little bit of bureaucracy too.

Read More Show Less
Reef scene with crinoid and fish in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Reinhard Dirscherl / ullstein bild / Getty Images

By Elizabeth Claire Alberts

The future for the world's oceans often looks grim. Fisheries are set to collapse by 2048, according to one study, and 8 million tons of plastic pollute the ocean every year, causing considerable damage to delicate marine ecosystems. Yet a new study in Nature offers an alternative, and more optimistic view on the ocean's future: it asserts that the entire marine environment could be substantially rebuilt by 2050, if humanity is able to step up to the challenge.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A daughter touches her father's head while saying goodbye as medics prepare to transport him to Stamford Hospital on April 02, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut. He had multiple COVID-19 symptoms. John Moore / Getty Images

Across the country, the novel coronavirus is severely affecting black people at much higher rates than whites, according to data released by several states, as The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
Four rolls of sourdough bread are arranged on a surface. Photo by Laura Chase de Formigny and food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post / Getty Images

By Zulfikar Abbany

Bread has been a source of basic nutrition for centuries, the holy trinity being wheat, maize and rice. It has also been the reason for a lot of innovation in science and technology, from millstones to microbiological investigations into a family of single-cell fungi called Saccharomyces.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A coral reef in Egypt's Red Sea. Tropical ocean ecosystems could see sudden biodiversity losses this decade if emissions are not reduced. Georgette Douwma / Stone / Getty Images

The biodiversity loss caused by the climate crisis will be sudden and swift, and could begin before 2030.

Read More Show Less