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Chipotle film underscores family farms' plight

The second short movie from the fast-casual restaurant to critique industrial farming

Chipotle Mexican Grill unveiled Wednesday a second short film about the plight of small family farmers in the United States, this time to promote its annual Halloween fundraising efforts.

The film, titled “Abandoned,” aims to raise awareness about the economic hardship family farmers face compared with an increasingly industrialized agricultural system in the United States. The film was released by the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, an organization created by the Denver-based chain earlier this year to support family farms and promote sustainable agricultural practices.

“Abandoned” tells the story of three young boys who break into an abandoned farmhouse at night and vandalize the property. During the act, one of the boys finds mementos of a family forced to leave in a hurry, and makes the connection that their own farming families may face a similar fate.

The video includes a version of the Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings song “Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” sung by Karen O, lead singer of indie rock band the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Watch the video; story continues below

“Chipotle has a long history of supporting local family farms,” Steve Ells, founder, chair and co-chief executive of Chipotle, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, those farms are disappearing by the hundreds each week. With this film, we hope to spark more of a conversation about the urgency of supporting family farms and the communities they sustain.”

The film also seeks to promote Chipotle’s Halloween “Boorito” fundraiser on Oct. 31, during which guests are invited to dress in a costume inspired by the family farm and buy a burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos for $2. Proceeds will be donated to the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation and Farm Aid, a nonprofit organization that promotes family farming.

“Abandoned” is the second short film released by Chipotle this year that promotes small-scale farming.

In movie theaters across the country this fall, the chain is showing a short film called “Back to the Start,” about a fictional farmer’s choice to move away from industrial production to more sustainable methods.

Chipotle’s support for small farms is tied to the fast-casual chain’s “Food With Integrity” efforts, which include sourcing natural and organic meats and other ingredients from local and sustainable farm suppliers for its restaurants.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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