Chipotle Expands Local Produce Program

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Photo Courtesy Chipotle
Chipotle expanded its local produce program. The chain restaurant will now buy 35 percent of its bulk produce from local farmers.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is expanding its local produce program this summer. The environmentally conscious restaurant chain will purchase at least 35 percent of one bulk item in all of its restaurants from local farmers, a 10 percent increase from last year’s program. Chipotle has 25 farms in its network that will seasonally supply local restaurants with romaine lettuce, green bell peppers, jalapeno peppers and oregano.

The local produce program isn’t the only step Chipotle has taken to be more natural and eco-friendly. The restaurant was founded on the idea of Food with Integrity, a philosophy that the chain can and will purchase food that is better in terms of sourcing, taste, the environment, the animals and the farmers. The restaurant already grows about 35 percent of its beans organically. It also serves naturally raised meat. The animals were raised in a humane way — including free range pork — and never given antibiotics or hormones. Chipotle’s website even has a page where viewers can see who supplies the meat and where it’s served.

More about local produce

• Read about how First Lady Michelle Obama is using her influence on American culture to support the local food movement.

• Learn how to use your iPhone or iPod touch to find local food.

• Growing local produce doesn’t have to be an individual effort. Read about how one community in Boulder, Colorado, teamed up to create a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program that produces more than enough for everyone involved.

• Not familiar with CSAs? Find out what they are!