Can Fast Food Ever Be Slow Food?

Chipotle Says it Will Double Local Produce Served in 2011

If you’re familiar with Reset San Francisco, you’re probably familiar with our love of taco trucks. Today, instead of just talking tacos, we’re going to talk burritos too – specifically the almost unnaturally tasty burritos and tacos thousands of San Franciscans eat every day from the fast food chain, Chipotle.

San Francisco is home to dozens of local tacquerias and when given the choice, we find it more delicious (at least for our soul) to support these small local businesses. But for sustainability to have a broad impact it needs to go beyond the mom-and-pop store and be a part of the entire economy. And that includes big chains.

So the question becomes, does the fast food burrito empire, Chipotle, deserve credit for its recent announcement that it intends to double the amount of local produce it uses in 2011?

Chipotle claims to have served 5 million pounds of locally grown produce in 2010 and they intend to serve 10 million pounds next year. The announcement is all part of what the company calls its “Food with Integrity” program where they seem to be working hard to make fast food part of the slow food movement that has made San Francisco and the entire Bay Area famous.

Judging by the line we experienced at Chipotle for lunch today, the pledge and product are convincing customers who might not usually choose to frequent a fast food chain, to do just that.

Fast food chains too often serve as a major source of food in impoverished communities and in communities with expensive or limited access to fresh produce and healthy ingredients.

While we would prefer locally-owned businesses delivering the benefits of locally-sourced products – should we reward big chains like Chipolte for taking a step in the right direction?

What do you think?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and join the conversation on Facebook.

Dwight A's picture

The Price of Healthy Food

Like you said, "Fast food chains too often serve as a major source of food in impoverished communities and in communities with expensive or limited access to fresh produce and healthy ingredients." but won't this addition of local foods increase Chipotle's prices? In turn the people that Chipotle serve's the most, in impoverished communities, won't have access to this healthy food, defeating the purpose. So if Chipotle can manage to keep the prices down then they should be rewarded, but if they can't they are defeating the purpose of a fast food restaurant.   

 

Paid for by Phil Ting for Assembly 2012. FPPC ID# 1343137