Chubby Chipotle Campaign Funded By Food Industry Lobbyist

2BFC395500000578-0-image-a-46_1441420177325Chipotle has been hit by a national campaign featuring a grossly overweight young man and attacking the chain for high fat food. The ad tells readers that by eating two “all natural” Chipotle burritos a week, consumers could gain 40 pounds in a year. What is most notable however is the source for the campaign: an industry lobbyist named Richard Berman who appears miffed by the restaurant’s support of GMO-free, antibiotic-free food.

Berman is the head of public relations firm Berman & Co. and created the Center for Consumer Freedom to criticize efforts to limit high fat or unhealthy foods. The campaign includes the website Chubbychipotle.com. The CCF was formed in 1996 and reportedly criticizes such organizations as the Humane Society of the United States, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

According to the Washington Post, the CCF lobbies on behalf of large food companies. The website states “”A growing cabal of activists has meddled in Americans’ lives in recent years . . . They include self-anointed ‘food police,’ health campaigners, trial lawyers, personal-finance do-gooders, animal-rights misanthropes, and meddling bureaucrats.”

That is not exactly what readers would assume to be the intent or message of this ad. Indeed, it appears that Berman lobbies on behalf of companies selling high-fat products. His opposition appears not to be the health impact of the food but the fact that Chipotle is supporting a national effort against GMO and non-organic food. Readers are equally left in the dark that “The Center for Consumer Freedom is supported by restaurants, food companies and thousands of individual consumers.” That information is available on its website.

Since the ad campaign has not been accused of false statements, a product disparagement case would likely not be successful.  The ad does appear to over-simplify the issue and such weight gain will vary widely (hence the use of “may” in the critical line).

I am also a critic of CCF targets like Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s laws on sugary drinks. Moreover, the premise of the ad that Chipotle serves high caloric, high fat meals would seem unassailable. However, the campaign is less than honest given the opposition of CCF to limits on high-fat food and the financial support from competitors of Chipotle.

What do you think?

33 thoughts on “Chubby Chipotle Campaign Funded By Food Industry Lobbyist”

  1. BamBam,
    Another way to decrease the glycemic index even further is to cook the rice, then completely cool it overnight. The cooking and cooling changes the structure of the starch to become resistant starch, which is incredibly healthy and better for diabetics, as it further lowers the glycemic index and makes it digest slower. It can be reheated but not too hot.

  2. Annie

    Harvard Health Publications has white rice listed at 89, with basmati rice coming in at 67. I love rice, so I’m going with your numbers.

  3. Max

    Because they don’t eat five pounds of it at a sitting with tons of beef, ribs, etc. Asians eat a lot of dark green vegetables, fish, with rice, in reasonable quantities. They also eat small amounts of many different things, like snacking.

    The chemical garbage and eating to excess is what is ailing us.

  4. Darren … I think your comment illustrates the reason that a home grown tomato or small farmer grown tomato has so much better internal color & richer taste than the beautiful flawless red outside/pathetically pale inside versions found in most supermarkets. When I have a friend who will give me their home grown tomatoes, I truly appreciate it.

    Personally, if it has green leaves it is likely I can kill it inadvertently before it bears fruit…so I envy those with a green thumb, when I seem to have a lethal one. At the moment a friend gave me a dogwood tree in 1st year growth, in memory of my late “Dera” dog, and I can’t figure out who to ask to plant it so I don’t kill it off. My tomato guy is the likely candidate 🙂 He doesn’t live far away and he also adored “Dera” dog….enough so that he was there with me at the end.

    1. Monsanto will have a kitten if Glyphosate is banned, as their RoundUp Ready(R) GMO crops depend on its co-usage. Monsanto always claims that their GMO crops are safe, but how about the fact that their crops are designed to be grown in the scorched earth aftermath of a roundup application? There is also evidence, besides its mutagenic properties, linking roundup to Parkinson’s disease and parkinsonism. (which I can assure you is not good to be afflicted with)

      I can’t stress it enough. Folks, if you have the ability grow your own food, or buy it from a CSA or farmer who grows it as nature intended, do so. It might be smaller in size, but I guarantee you it will taste much better and be healthy. Do this for yourself and your maker.

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