Telling ‘the’ story or telling ‘a’ story?

By Gene Hall

Does it bother anyone but me that a major restaurant chain is using made-up themes, complete with scripts, to attack agriculture? Such is the case with Chipotle, a company that has made attacking farmers and ranchers a part of their marketing strategy.

Cartoon scarecrows and exploding cows abound in their online fantasy land. This somehow proves that modern agriculture is a “bad thing?” I guess it’s funny in a mean-spirited kind of way. That’s the thing about a script. It can turn out however you like.

Reality has no script. Serious people deal with reality. Unserious people write a script they like better.

Now Chipotle is serving food that is probably tasty, though I will never know since it is now a matter of principle that I don’t eat there. Certainly, there are not many things on the Chipotle menu any healthier than McDonald’s.  My friend Chuck Jolley, at my request, did a comparison.

My mother used to ask me, when my explanations of a calamity sounded suspicious, “Are you telling me a story?” In other words, “Are you lying to me?” Well, there’s lying and then there’s a particularly despicable kind of marketing. Neither is honest.

Gene Hall

Public Relations Director
Texas Farm Bureau
I believe that the only hope for a food secure world is capitalism and reasonable profits for America’s farm and ranch families–that the first element of sustainability is economic survival.
Follow Gene on Twitter and Facebook.

4 Responses to “Telling ‘the’ story or telling ‘a’ story?”

  1. Michael Osweiler says:

    Not endorsing the extreme depictions used by Chipotle’s, but this should be a wake up call to farmers that they/we have a credibility gap with consumers. When you look the warped agenda flaunted by the FB and the collective bully tactics used in concert with major biotech companies, it is no wonder the farming community is on the defensive. The public has entrusted millions of tax dollars to farmers. They want to see a responsible and credible demeanor, that is, one that is sensitive to long-term health and environmental safety.

    Regarding your comment ” I believe that the only hope for a food secure world is capitalism and reasonable profits for America’s farm and ranch families–that the first element of sustainability is economic survival”, all I can say is that I think you have “capitalism and reasonable profits” mixed up with your organization’s employment of deep pockets and coercive political tactics to achieve your ends.

    Iowa Farm Operation
    and former FB member.

  2. Chipolte’s ads are just the next phase in the propaganda campaign to ostracize and demonize American Ag producers. Why is this happening? See Kulaks on wikipedia.

    The distrust was nurtured as a marketing promotion by regressive Heirloom Seed companies, was taken up by small “organic” hobby farms unable to compete with those of us who make a living farming, and has progressed and been adopted and adapted by people on both sides of the political spectrum. The naive Right Free-marketers demand agriculture stand on its own, evidently totally ignorant of this country’s long standing Cheap Food policy which contributed greatly to the very existence of the American Middle class.

    Meanwhile the Leftist fearmongers rail incessantly for sustainability (code-word for subsistence) as they ignorantly advocate for deinnovation that would no doubt lead to our becoming FOOD dependent on third world, emerging economies whose political climate is and will be a wild card long into the future.

    Since the nation is no longer dependent on OPEC, seems like the uninformed, misinformed and outright liars are hellbent on finding another essential product to hobble our freedom. Every Statist knows, whomever controls the food, controls the people.

    American Ag is in the government (EPA, FDA, OSHA) crosshairs, as region by region we are scrutinized for vulnerabilities exploitable by USDA, with funding redirected from farmers pockets to bureaucrats that will regulate us into oblivion.

  3. Sue Price says:

    Having seen the scarecrow ad, I would call Chipotle’s ad irresponsible!

  4. Robert Domitz says:

    I checked out, and I think they quickly changed their tale. I did not see any cartoon scarecrows or exploding cows. Yes, the graphics are definitely cartoonish and they definitely push their food philosophy.

    These days, the FDA is saying that we use too many antibiotics in raising our livestock because the harmful bacteria that are not killed form a generation of bacteria that are resistant. (For the record, I dropped the routine use of prophylactic penicillin injections years ago. Yes, I lose a few more animals, but not significantly.)

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