Chipotle Really Does Serve 'Naturally Raised' Meat

The Better Business Bureau investigated the burrito chain's claims and found the ads were right

After Chipotle's (award-winning) advertisements came under fire because of their claims that the chain's meat is "naturally raised," the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has investigated and found that the claims are in fact true. 

The video "Back to the Start" portrays a farmer who switches his factory farm into a sustainable farm. After it aired, the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the BBB asked the burrito chain to substantiate its claims that the video implied: first, that the goal of Chipotle is to exclusively use "naturally raised" meat in restaurants, and second, that Chipotle already has achieved this goal.

This week, NAD announced in a press release that the advertisers complied with detailed information from Chipotle's Food with Integrity programs and the methods of sourcing sustainable meat — which are more strict than the USDA's definition of naturally raised meat. It also provided info on its produce (whether it was organic and local) and its dairy (whether it came from pasture-raised cows).

The final conclusion from NAD: the ads are true, for the most part. Chipotle reached its goal of using naturally raised meat in its restaurants in October 2011, but back in August (when the video premiered), only 80 percent of the meat used in Chipotle restaurants was naturally raised. The good news, we suppose, is that consumers can now rest-assured that Chipotle's meat is what it says it is.