Monday, August 6, 2012

Fast food with a soul

I'm not typically a proponent of fast food. It's awful for your body. It's awful for the environment. And, it's especially awful in its support of the industrialized farming that abuses and mistreats animals.

But there is one chain that I endorse: Chipotle Mexican Grill. Though still far from perfect, Chipotle is the only large-scale fast food chain that focuses on offering humanely raised, hormone-free and antibiotics-free beef, pork, chicken and dairy, and tries to source as much of their produce as possible from local farms. In essence, they are trying to do the right thing by the animals, the environment and the consumer.

A recent commercial (and one of my personal all-time favorites) shows what they're all about:

What's even cooler is that the owner and founder of Chipotle, Steve Ells, is now branching out to bring that same ethic to other fast food genres. While on a trip to Washington D.C. last week, my husband and I checked out the lone location of his new Asian concept: ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen. It was awesome! Similar to other rice/noodle bowl restaurants, you simply pick your grain, pick your protein, pick your veg, pick your sauce and pick your final toppings. It's quick, it's cheap and it's made with the same local, humane and antibiotics-free focus as Chipotle.

While on my D.C. trip, I read an article in WIRED about another fast food option to check out if you're ever in Palo Alto, California, called LYFE Kitchen. Created by Mike Roberts, former McDonald's president and COO, it's a new fast food concept that focuses on humanely-raised meats, organic produce and creating tasty dishes without refined flours and sugars, corn syrup, butter, cream or other high-fat, low-nutrient ingredients. Though there is currently only one location, Roberts is planning to use his supply-chain knowledge from years of experience at McDonald's to turn it into a full-scale restaurant chain.

Additional Resources:

Time Magazine article about Chipotle/ShopHouse:,9171,2119329,00.html

WIRED Magazine article about LYFE Kitchen:

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  1. Still haven't been to a Chipotle yet. I have tried to avoid fast-food restaurants for so long. Good to hear there are some that actually attempt to provide healthy food.


    1. Hi Shana! I'm not big on fast food either, but I am definitely encouraged that there are a few places that are trying to offer something healthier. I've only eaten at Chipotle a few times, but it's a fun little spot. Hope you can check one out sometime!

    2. Will definitely try to! LYFE Kitchen also when I am in Palo Alto, or when they open up more. :)