Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Why Chipotle’s Pork Problem Is Good for Farmers

Food

News that Chipotle pulled pork from many of its menus, due to an issue with one of their supplier's animal welfare practices, has been blowing up all over the news and social media. The Washington Post and others believe that the company's high standards for animal welfare are laudable, but at this point a real problem.

On our 333 acre organic farm in Kutztown, Pennsylvania we have a robust organic pork operation that is setting the standard for best practices in raising hogs. Photo credit: Rodale Institute

In my mind, this is a good problem.

I applaud Chipotle for holding their farmers to high standards. Chipotle seeks out farmers who raise hogs according to strict animal welfare practices. And I thank them for not compromising their principles, and for pushing production to be more humane.

So this “pork problem" is not a problem at all.

It's an opportunity for farmers to get ahead of the curve and work with restaurateurs and grocers who demand healthy, humanely raised organic products for their customers.

There are not enough organic farmers in the U.S. At Rodale Institute, we're working to change that. On our 333 acre organic farm in Kutztown, Pennsylvania we have a robust organic pork operation that is setting the standard for best practices in raising hogs.

In developing our hog operation, we learned a few things …

  1. Organic hogs, including breeding stock, are difficult to source.
  2. Demand for humanely raised organic pork exceeds current supply.
  3. Farmers can profitably raise organic pork on underutilized, marginal land.

Just this week, we put the roof on a new facility for our hogs that will revolutionize the way we raise pastured pork in the U.S. The beauty of this facility is that it can be scaled up for farmers who wish to have a large-scale operation, but also scaled down for farmers who wish to have just a few animals.

How do we do this? Our hogs are raised on pasture in a facility that offers them shelter, but also open access to the outdoors. We focus on heritage breed animals that thrive on pasture. We plant crops for them to forage, cutting down on feed costs, while also managing our land effectively.

Our goal is to help farmers transition to organic or begin farming organically. Restaurants like Chipotle, which hold as their mission to serve “food with integrity," are experiencing explosive growth.

Now, the farming community needs to catch up and make Chipotle's “pork problem" no problem.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

How Regenerative Organic Agriculture Can Save the Planet

12 Ways to Rid the Planet of GMOs and Monsanto's Roundup

Watch Vandana Shiva: 'We Are All Seeds'

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The CDC has emphasized that washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Guido Mieth / Moment / Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control has emphasized that washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective measures we can take in preventing the spread of COVID-19. However, millions of Americans in some of the most vulnerable communities face the prospect of having their water shut off during the lockdowns, according to The Guardian.

Read More Show Less
A California newt (Taricha torosa) from Napa County, California, USA. Connor Long / CC BY-SA 3.0

Aerial photos of the Sierra Nevada — the long mountain range stretching down the spine of California — showed rust-colored swathes following the state's record-breaking five-year drought that ended in 2016. The 100 million dead trees were one of the most visible examples of the ecological toll the drought had wrought.

Now, a few years later, we're starting to learn about how smaller, less noticeable species were affected.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Disinfectants and cleaners claiming to sanitize against the novel coronavirus have started to flood the market.
Natthawat / Moment / Getty Images

Disinfectants and cleaners claiming to sanitize against the novel coronavirus have started to flood the market, raising concerns for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which threatened legal recourse against retailers selling unregistered products, according to The New York Times.

Read More Show Less
A customer packs groceries in reusable bags at a NYC supermarket on March 1, 2020. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

The global coronavirus pandemic has thrown our daily routine into disarray. Billions are housebound, social contact is off-limits and an invisible virus makes up look at the outside world with suspicion. No surprise, then, that sustainability and the climate movement aren't exactly a priority for many these days.

Read More Show Less
Ingredients are displayed for the Old School Pinto Beans from the Decolonize Your Diet cookbook by Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel. Melissa Renwick / Toronto Star via Getty Images

By Molly Matthews Multedo

Livestock farming contributes to global warming, so eating less meat can be better for the climate.

Read More Show Less