ApEc in the News
Environment and animal rights groups have praised Chipotle for its sustainable and humane practices, but its recent food poisoning outbreaks illustrate the challenges that can come with living up to this image.
Branded with the tagline “food with integrity,” Chipotle has led the movement among fast-food chains in acquiring produce from local farmers, seeking meat producers who carry out humane animal practices, and reducing its environmental impact. It has used terms like “sustainable,” “added hormone-free,” “organic,” “naturally raised” and “unprocessed” in its marketing materials.
But food safety experts say these campaign have shifted the company’s focus away from microbial safety, and that these very choices contribute to making it more difficult to guarantee the food won’t become infected with germs that can make customers sick with diarrhea and vomiting for days.
“If you want to make products fresh, that means you’re not going to use a preservative or it’s going to be unprocessed,” says Jayson Lusk, president-elect for the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, who has been critical of Chipotle’s marketing practices. “It does provide a real tradeoff in terms of providing a safe product for the consumer.”
If conditions hold, University of Minnesota Grain Marketing Specialist Ed Usset said the state could have an average corn yield in the mid-180s, with an outside chance of an average over 190. Usset and University of Minnesota Climatologist and Meteorologist Mark Seeley spoke on weather and grain marketing Aug. 6 at Farmfest.
Those with any corn sitting in a bin to sell should take advantage of any rally in the market now.
"If you've got grain, you've got to put a number on it," Usset said. "You're in a very defensive position if you've got grain left. Sometimes marketing decisions are about minimizing losses."
A few years ago, Dr. Laura Kalambokidis focused more on recovery from the Great Recession, she told us, but Minnesota recovered the jobs lost then ahead of the rest of the nation. So, in recent years, "we're talking more about how we're doing in the expansion part of the business cycle," said Kalambokidis, also a professor in the department of applied economics at the University of Minnesota.