Imagine a world in which scarecrows work in the Crow Foods factory -- where manufactured food is stamped with “100% Beef-ish” stickers, chickens are given mystery injections, and cows stare sorrowfully in cages. This is the Willy Wonka-inspired world the restaurant chain Chipotle created in a promo for its new iOS game and the short film is an obvious potshot at industrialized food production.
Sure, the animation is cool, and Fiona Apple’s cover of “Pure Imagination” is pretty mesmerizing. But the message? Not so hot. As David Harsanyi muses on The Federalist,
What it doesn’t do is tell us where “food comes from.” The Chipotle Scarecrow slogs to his miserable job at a smoke-spewing factory where nothing grows but caged chickens and cows. For some strange reason, in this imaginary world, government subsidized Big Agriculture chooses to leave massive swaths of land fallow or desolate, when, in fact, where food actually comes from, farm productivity has increased dramatically over the past decades and the resources required to keep production high has declined. Not exactly the stuff of dystopia.
Nevertheless, the emotionally-charged viral video suggesting “big food” production is harming agriculture has now almost 5.5 million views on YouTube. Hypnotized pundits have even hailed the promo as “haunting,” and “amazing” even “Oscar-ready.”
I'll give Harsanyi the last word,
What we do know is that we’re producing lots of moderately priced nutrition for lots of people. That should be a lot more morally concerning to us than a chicken’s comfort level.
To “view paradise,” click play below.