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Farmers are criticized for not farming the way they used to

I havenít eaten Chipotle in a few years.

And thatís a shame, because from a food standpoint, Chipotle is freaking tasty.

But I am a product of Wayne County ó a place where, for lack of a better term, you canít swing a cat, live or otherwise, without hitting a farmer.

And farmers, despite what you may hear in the news, are the single most important occupants of our modern workforce.

Think about it. How much less farmland is there today vs. 50 years ago? And yet these dudes in their bib overalls and Pioneer seed hats are feeding a population that isnít exactly declining.

How? By getting more efficient. By getting smarter. By using technological advances to their favor.

And theyíre doing it all in the face of never-ending criticism ó criticism levied as a result of them not farming the way they did half a century ago.

Chipotle, perhaps more than any other organization in the public eye, has lead those charges. In an effort to spread public perception that conventionally raised foods arenít safe, the company intentionally threw an entire industry under the bus to make themselves appear more wholesome and honest.

Perceptions can be a dangerous thing. To many, theyíre more believable than, ya know, scientific evidence (and for the record, facts are that the U.S. has the safest food supply system on the planet.)

From in-store signs touting hormone-free meats (take a biology class Ė all living things contain hormones) to misleading commercials to a fictional sitcom to further push their message, Chipotle has gone over and above the lines of appropriateness. Shoot, they even launched a kidsí game for smartphones aimed at freeing all the mistreated animals. In millennial text speak, #SMDH.

Donít misunderstand where Iím coming from. Iím not putting down anyoneís particular preferences. If you like grass-fed, cage-free, fair-trade lettuce thatís only been fed a diet of humane-certified rain water, have at it.

Vegetarian? I love ya Ė because, you know, that means more meat for me.

If you believe strongly in organics? Cool. Want to only eat stuff that was grown within 50 miles of your house? Go nuts. (Say goodbye to guacamole, though.)

But donít throw everyone else under the bus just because they donít think the way you do.

Just know that somebody, somewhere is growing what you eat. Somewhere, thereís a farmer who woke up way before you and is working much harder every day than most of us would prefer to do to make food readily available for you and your family.

Thatís a fact. If you donít know a farmer, meet one. Lord knows there are plenty around the area.

I suppose the tragedy in all this is that, quite honestly, Chipotle made a really good product. I can admit it. And if theyíd just gone down the road making fantastic burritos, I wouldnít have anything to rail about this week.

But the reality is, they didnít. So no more Chipotle for me.

Instead, if I need a burrito, there are other places out there ó like my dudes at Ohio City Burrito when Iím in Cleveland.

Thanks to folks like that, I can not only say that I havenít eaten Chipotle in a few years but also that I donít plan to anytime soon.

Published: February 14, 2016
New Article ID: 2016702149991