chipotle restaurant sign and logo

Chipotle Mexican Grill, the food chain that has always had a strong commitment to responsibly sourcing ingredients, has halted serving pork (carnitas) at hundreds of its restaurants. A supplier to about a third of the chain's outlets has violated their "responsibly raised" standards, discovered during a routine check. The violations were primarily in connection to housing for the animals, mandated by Chipotle to be humane, with access to the outdoors, and barring use of cramped pens.

A company representative stated, "This is fundamentally an animal welfare decision, and is rooted in our unwillingness to compromise our standards where animal welfare is concerned." The Chipotle website's Food With Integrity statement proclaims, "We call this style of farming and ranching naturally raised, and since 2001, Chipotle has sourced 100% of our pork from producers who follow these guidelines."

So for now, signs in about a third of the chain's more than 1,600 restaurants say: SORRY, NO CARNITAS.


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About The Author

Andrew Mersmann's picture

Andrew is the author of Frommer's global guide to volunteer vacations, "500 Places Where You Can Make a Difference" (Gold Medal Winner from Society of American Travel Writers: Best Guide Book 2010). He spent more than a decade on the editorial team of PASSPORT Magazine. He has volunteered and led teams on service projects around the world, and is honored to be on the boards of directors for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation ( and Mentor Artists Playwrights Project ( Mersmann has been a featured speaker, interview guest, or moderator on several travel talks, from the New York Times Travel Show, Smithsonian Associates, and the 92nd Street Y-TriBeCa to Oprah and Friends, Animal House, and The Focus Group on satellite radio as well as on NY1 television. Past participant at the Clinton Global Initiative and judge for Condé Nast World Changers Conference, he blogs about volunteering and service travel at As part of the evox television team, he is dedicated to audience engagement, so if you're not engaged, he needs to be thumped on the head (gently)...or at least told (nicely). Twitter: /ChangeByDoing

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