You’ve got to love our capitalist system. Especially the way some companies will do anything to make a buck at other people’s expense.

I’m talking about the latest advertising scheme concocted by none other than Chipotle Mexican Grill.

If you haven’t been following the company’s strategic marketing program, it revolves around bad-mouthing and criticizing conventional food production techniques. 

Its latest escapade involves a series of web commercials entitled “Farmed and Dangerous,” a four-part comedy series on the TV-streaming service Hulu that launched on Feb. 17 that takes a satirical look at large-scale farming. Trouble is, farmers aren’t laughing.

 

More from Western Farm Press

What happens if US loses California food production?

Drought is farmers’ ‘ah-hah’ moment on environmentalism

 

As if being named the worst advertisement in 2013 by the Wall Street Journal for its attack on large-scale agriculture in its “Scarecrow” campaign wasn’t bad enough, this latest assault stars actor Ray Wise and is complete with a Dr. Strangelove-like scientist inventing eight-winged chickens, cash bribes delivered in gift boxes and, of all things, exploding cows. The Scarecrow commercial shows cattle and pigs on factory conveyor belts being liquefied and served to children. Another shot shows a chicken being plunged with a caulk-gun-sized syringe that inflates its size. Dairy cows, with sad puppy eyes, are milked in metal boxes in a dark factory.

 

 

The most horrifying aspect of Chipotle’s ad campaign is that those people who have little connection to their food and lack knowledge about how it is produced may actually believe these gross misrepresentations. They will never know the pride, skill and countless hours spent by our nation’s agricultural producers in delivering to consumers the highest quality and safest food on the planet.

 

Want the latest agricultural news each day? Click here for the Western Farm Press Daily e-mail newsletter.

 

While “Farmed and Dangerous” hopes to promote the company’s concerns about sustainable agriculture and the humane treatment of animals used for meat, this stealth marketing strategy, Chipotle executives say, is not about “product integration,” but “values integration” — a pretty lofty concept for a burrito business.

No. This is all about profits, pure and simple. Chipotle wants to boost its sales in an expensive scheme to suggest that the act of buying burritos and tacos at Chipotle is morally superior to the act of buying them elsewhere. After all, the company bills itself as a good source of “natural” and “sustainable” food. (Of course, this is hypocritical as the chain recently announced that it would be filling its burrito shells with conventional beef due to a shortage of natural beef. Funny how they say one thing and do another, all the while ramping up their fear mongering to scare consumers about the food that they eat.)