food

Several weeks ago, Chipotle founder Steve Ells published a column headlined "Conventional vs. Grass-fed Beef." As you've probably heard, Chipotle prefers the latter—the fast-casual burrito chain has a lot to say about agricultural reform, ethical food, etc. But here the subject is more complicated than the title suggests: Ells was defending Chipotle's decision to stop buying exclusively domestic beef in favor of importing some of it from Australia, where the grass-fed supply is better. It's a classic food-ethics connundrum: should you go with the higher production standard, or the food produced closer to home? Chipotle chose the former, a perfectly defensible choice if you just have the two.
July 8, 2014

I have lived in the U.S. for nearly three years now, and there is so much to love: the beauty and the grandeur of the landscape, the welcome and hospitality I’ve found in one city after another, and so many new friends. But there is one thing I don’t love so much.
March 3, 2014

Some news in the world of sustainable food: Chipotle is responding to beef supply shortages by considering looser standards. Instead of aiming to avoid all beef treated with antibiotics, the burrito chain and sustainable ag advocate may start accepting cows treated for illness, while still avoiding those given antibiotics as a matter of routine. It's a defensible place to draw the line.
August 21, 2013

U.S. farm policy badly needs an overhaul. But first, amid the worst drought in decades, Congress needs to pass an uninspiring farm bill.
August 20, 2012

I'm as down on big organics as the next guy who makes homemade sauerkraut out of cabbage grown by his farmer wife. As Stephanie Strom details, the standards of organic certification could be much stronger, and most national organic brands are owned by the very mainstream companies they're standing in implicit objection to. Not exactly a recipe for systemwide reform. Still, I think Tom Philpott's right: Michael Potter of the independent holdout Eden's Organics, Strom's primary focus, goes too far in slamming the certified-organic label as a "fraud."
July 13, 2012

Foodie nation

Late in life, my mother confessed that she never enjoyed cooking. "But," she said, "I did take satisfaction in serving simple meals to my family." Well, there's no such thing as a simple meal anymore.
February 22, 2012

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