Today it was truly a good day with lots of food, live music and fun. Cultivate Chipotle festival 2015 in downtown Loring Park of Minneapolis was a “celebration of food that is responsibly raised, skillfully prepared and delightfully enjoyed”. I had attended this celebration of food, ideas and music last year also. Read here about my last year experiences. Cultivate Chipotle festival had already traveled to the cities of Phoenix and Kansas City this year. And on 22nd August, 2015, it was the turn to woo the city of Minneapolis.
Apart from a variety of lip-smacking food items coming from the kitchen of famous Mexican grill restaurant, this festival is also about creating awareness among the masses about the better and healthier environment. Several short films were screened on the occasion depicting how Chipotle buys its raw products from farm-houses whose aim is to create a better eco-system through its processing.
In another demo, visitors could experience the conditions of factory-raised pigs compared to those that are responsibly raised. According to one of the facts displayed during the event, 80% of cattle are given growth hormones to make them grow bigger and faster. Residues of added hormones in beef production pose a potential risk to human health. This concern does not just ends here. There is a considerable environmental impact as well due to these hormones, which mixes with cattle manure and contaminates soil, water bodies and groundwater.
Festival took upon the fast-food joints as well. In a direct scathing attach on the giant, McDonald’s, a display at the entrance of the venue stated that Chipotle is not owned by McDonald’s. To allay fears among the people, it mentioned that since 2006, Chipotle has been completely independent, though in the early days of Chipotle, McDonald’s was one of the investors.
On one of the exhibits, there was a comparison between the fresh food and processed food. It displayed the ingredients of a typical burger prepared by fast food joints and the processed ingredients used in its making and how harmful it is to our body. I liked the thought that when more people will start demanding for healthy, unprocessed, higher quality food, the supply of such items will naturally grow, creating a dent in the business model of many restaurants who today thrive on artificial and not-so-healthy substances.
There was a particular exhibit on GMO (genetically modified organisms) as well, displaying the names of few USA companies which are lobbying against labeling of GMO foods. It asked a question to the visitors – which GMO issue concerns you most. And the overwhelming response was not a big surprise from the audience. I also stood up for the safety of our environment and a better planet for our future generations.
In a fun-filled exhibit, Chipotle displayed how it makes one of the favorite ingredients of its company – Guacamole – from fresh, whole ingredients. I tasted the live guacamole as well along with chips. At other tents, one could have enjoyed tacos, gorditas, tostada, organic tea, fresh and natural fruit juice, and several other responsibly grown and processed food items and ingredients.
Food is as much an art, as an science. So, there were renowned scientist and artisans of food – chefs – who gave a peek into the world of culinary with their expertise. In Chef’s Stage, they demonstrated a variety of dishes and unique cooking techniques as well as shared their love of working with local farms and suppliers. Likes of Andrew Zimmern, Richard Blais, Gavin Kaysen, Erik Anderson, Jamie Malone and Jim Christensen took the audience on a ride full of taste and subliminal.
An affair with my taste bud over the weekend. Imagine this with the rocking live music of Walk the Moon, Atlas Genius, X Ambassadors, Anderson East, DJ Christopher Golub and Hippo Campus. A perfect day undoubtedly.
While walking back from Loring Park, my mind could not stop from looking back at the venue and thinking that next revolution in this world might stem from the stomach itself.