The Crimes and Punishment of Chipotle

Whenever possible I avoid eating at corporate chain restaurants, have never eaten at a Chipotle Mexican Grill, have no known friends or relatives employed by Chipotle, and own no stock in the company.  Big corporations are a lot like politicians.  They are required by corporate charter to have no hearts, no souls, and regardless of the business, their only motivation must be profit.  It’s what they do.  Public health and welfare be damned if it gets in the way.  But every now and then, a Paul Wellstone manages to get himself elected to public office, and in an equally rare occurrence, sometimes a corporate CEO will announce a plan with socially redeeming value.

Such is the case with Chipotle founder and Co-CEO Steve Ells, who in 2013 disclosed the presence of GMOs in his menu’s ingredients.  This announcement was followed up in 2015 with the complete elimination of all known GMOs in all products served at all Chipotle locations.  Chipotle’s website discloses the reasons:  It has not been proven that GMOs are safe for human consumption.  Cultivation of GMOs can damage the environment.  Chipotle should be a place where people who understand the dangers of GMOs can eat a meal they know is safe.  Further information is provided concerning the presence of Monsanto’s Glyphosate in GMO food products, and how Glyphosate was recently found to be a likely carcinogen by the World Health Organization.

But Steve Ells didn’t stop with eliminating GMOs.  If you’re going to play the healthy card, you might as well go for broke.  He also announced that Chipotle would no longer use artificial ingredients or fillers.  Beef, pork, and chicken would never contain growth hormones or steroids, and the animals would never be fed GMO crops as livestock feed.  Cows, pigs, and chickens unfortunate enough to end up in Chipotle kitchens would at least get to experience the joy of living their abbreviated lives free-range and outside of corporate livestock mega-farms.  There is also a requirement that vegetables be grown in healthy soil, and that all food products come from farms, not factories.  Mr. Ells stopped just short of going all out organic, which might possibly his next step if he manages to survive punishment for crimes already committed.

What crimes did Steve Ells commit?… you might be asking.  Let’s put this into perspective, and compare an honest politician to an honest corporate executive.  Return with me now to 2002, when Dick Cheney famously snarled at Congressman Paul Wellstone:  “If you vote against the war in Iraq, the Bush Administration will do whatever is necessary to get you.  There will be severe ramifications for you and the state of Minnesota.”  And so it goes.  Wellstone voted against The Iraq War, appeared to be winning his bid for re-election, and died a few weeks after Cheney’s unveiled threat in a fiery and unexplainable plane crash.  His wife, daughter, two pilots, and three campaign workers shared in the severe ramifications of his vote, and punishment for his crimes against the status quo.

Steve Ells’ crimes against the status quo should be obvious by now.  I find it difficult to believe that I can’t find any other articles on the subject.  Ells goes all healthy and environmentally responsible in a very public way in 2015, and suddenly his delicious, nutritious food is poisoning hundreds of innocent customers.  WTF?  Chipotle’s reputation went virtually untarnished until Steve Ells’ anti-GMO announcement, and now the only thing you can count on if you eat Chipotle’s healthy Mexican food is that you’ll soon be experiencing diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting, if not death.  The only unknown factor is whether you’ll be inflicted with E. coli., salmonella, or norovirus.  More than 200 unexplainable outbreaks of various kinds of food poisoning in at least ten states, and the corporate media has been over-emphasizing the culinary disaster for weeks on end.  Nightly.  Fear and loathing in High Definition.  Chipotle…Chipotle…Chipotle!  Beware.

Admittedly I haven’t personally investigated the possibility that a giant food conglomerate or agro-chemical corporation might have had their hands in this dirty business, and don’t intend to.  All we have here is a boatload of circumstantial evidence.  Conspiracy theory, if you will.  Follow the money, boys and girls.  Who stands to win if Chipotle goes broke?  Who’s been celebrating the last couple months while Chipotle stock tanked by 200 or so points?  I don’t know whether Dick Cheney is heavily invested in Monsanto, but I’d guess he’s not the one directly responsible for this particular assassination.  All I know is that if I wanted to take down the tree-huggers at Chipotle, I’d hire a dozen desperate guys, plant them as employees, have them slip some slimy, filthy shit into the food, and let nature take its course.  Follow the money.  Follow the money.  These coincidences are just too ridiculous to be true.  Too fucking ridiculous.

My home has been in the Hawaiian Islands on and off for a couple of decades now.  Molokai, Kauai, and now Maui.  I’ve watched while Monsanto has silently slipped in and taken control of the Islands.  Money talks, they have lots of it, and never hesitate to spend it when there’s allegiance for sale.  On Maui they own virtually all the politicians.  The newspapers never have anything derogatory to say about them.  Monsanto not only owns the Maui Police, their Island Headquarters shares a driveway with the new forty million dollar Maui Police Department bullet-proof mega-plex.  On the many anti-Monsanto marches I attend, marchers are nearly outnumbered by uniformed, armed policemen.  The police tell us when and where to march, making certain we don’t get out of hand and cause any disruptions to life as usual.  Monsanto goons observe and take notes from their late model beige pickups on every street corner along the route.  Maui residents recently voted in favor of a moratorium on Monsanto’s activities, but a bought and paid for judge overturned the election results.  Monsanto continues with their 24/7 spraying of Glyphosate and other undisclosed toxins, and Maui’s 12 month growing season keeps producing ever more frightening Frankencrops…just a few blocks from my home.

Poor, well meaning Steve Ells now grovels and apologizes to a public bombarded with new nightly evidence of food handling malfeasance from ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and all the usual suspects.  If I were him, I’d have an investigative team taking a hard look at all employees working at every location where food poisoning has been reported.  Focusing on, but not limited to, new employees.  I can just about guarantee that when the polygraph test results are in, he’ll find more than a few traitors among his fold.  Exactly who these turncoats work for will likely be determined.

Agro-chemical corporations are a huge deal.  We’re talking potentially trillions of dollars here.  A billion is chump change to those who seek to control the food sources of all mankind.  Monsanto, Bayer, Syngenta, BASF, Dow, DuPont, Nufarm, Makhteshim, Sumitomo, and Arysta together control 89% of the global agro-chemical market.  Steve Ells should have all ten of these corporate monsters in his lineup of suspects.  Add to this the nation’s top ten major animal torturers/meat producers, and I’ll guarantee that Steve will find at least one corporate crook with E. Coli, norovirus, salmonella, and blood on his hands.

Good luck, Mr. Ells.  Now get off your knees and put on the boxing gloves.  You’ll be fighting way out of your weight class, but you have Karma working for you.  You didn’t ask for this battle, but it looks like you’re stuck with it.  I’m even planning on eating at a Chipotle next time I come across one in my travels.  Please do whatever is necessary to get this bullshit straightened out before I do so.

John R. Hall: Meanderer, dreamer, mountaineer, restaurateur, military draft refusing felon, wannabe revolutionary, and citizen of Earth, observes the circus of life, and writes from wherever the north winds blow him. He can most likely be found somewhere in The Hawaiian Island Chain, in Mexico's Corazon, in The Sonoran Desert of Arizona, The Mohave Desert of Nevada, The high deserts of New Mexico, on a Teton glacier in Northwest Wyoming...or at halls245@msn.com. Read other articles by John Rohn.