Chipotle has come under fire after vegetarian writer Jonathan Safron Foer neglected to select a writer of Mexican descent for the restaurant’s “Cultivating Thought” literary campaign in which short stories from various writers are printed on its cups and bags.
Foer, himself an author, selected Sarah Silverman, Michael Lewis, Malcolm Gladwell, George Saunders, and Toni Morrison, among others, in a campaign announced last week. He even chose himself.
As the Los Angeles Times notes, “the Latino literari quickly pointed out that the company (whose full name, after all, is Chipotle Mexican Grill) had failed to include a single Mexican, Mexican American or otherwise Latino writer in the 10 authors and storytellers asked to participate.”
One Latino writer wrote in the O.C. Weekly, “In Foer’s world, Latino authors simply don’t exist and simply don’t appeal to his Chipotle worldview of what the chain is advertising as ‘Cultivating Thought’ – the only Mexican cultivation the two approve for their beloved burritos is the tomatoes harvested by Florida pickers.”
A Mexican restaurant in Berkeley reportedly passed out “blank cups and pens to customers so they can write their own stories.”
“At the frozen food section at Ralph’s supermarket, the ‘Latino Style Vegetables’ are cut up all small,” one Latino author wrote at that restaurant, according to the Times. “Like little minds? Little significance? The ‘Malibu Style Vegetables’ are cut big and grand. The cauliflower, which is WHITE, is the BIGGEST veggie in the picture!”
Other authors created a page on Facebook called “Cultivating Invisibility: Chipotle’s Missing Mexicans.”
“Don’t ignore me,” Alex Espinoza wrote. “Don’t eat my food and think you know me.”