Parke Wilde teaches and writes about U.S. Food Policy at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. He also maintains this blog. A friend sent me a link to today’s post with the subject line “check out this commercial”, which I promptly did- without reading the blog post title or the blog post.
I was instantly in love with Willie Nelson’s voice (covering a rendition of a Coldplay song, I came to learn) and the beautiful simplicity of the commercial. I wanted to cheer when the farmer started knocking down the barn walls (but then thought better of it because I was at work and don’t want to draw attention to the fact that I seem to have friends all over the place that are conspiring to get me fired). In the middle of the commercial I wanted (as Dr. Wilde was moved to do) to visit my local Farmers’ Market (which is also open this afternoon) and give all the farmers hugs for doing what they do.
But then the commercial ended, and I realized that this was an ad for- of all things- Chipotle. I felt tricked; hoodwinked. But I gave it a minute. Then another. And I read about their pledge to provide “Food with Integrity” and to treat animals like animals; and surely these things are improvements over other fast food restaurants’ stances on sustainability and health (of the planet, their animals, and our own). That said, I think Dr. Wilde’s interpretation that the “imagery overreaches what a fast-food restaurant can be expected to achieve” is spot on.
And there is still a part of me that would have liked this just a little bit more, if it weren’t attached to such a giant corporation. Call me crazy.