Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Chipotle Burritos

chipotle mexican grill, ne broadway, portland
Image by cafemama via Flickr

I usually try to avoid eating fast food because I do not like to waste my money and I think it is very unhealthy. Since Chipotle is owned by McDonald’s, I group it in with fast food.

It’s not that I don’t like Chipotle, but it’s just that if I am going to eat out, I would rather have something else…

I have been there a couple times over the past couple years, but to me it is not very special.

However… A lot of my friends think I am crazy because they are OBSESSED with Chipotle. One of my friends gets it at least once a week and many girls in my sorority get it more than that…

Since I have my new application that gives me nutrition information on all restaurants, I decided to look into the menu to see how bad everything really is…

When I was younger, I heard rumors that a Chipotle burrito was like 100 grams of fat and one of the worst things you could eat but like I said, I never knew…until now

After looking into the menu, I was actually very surprised. Yes, Chipotle can be very bad for you, but it can also be not so terrible… it just depends on what you get.

For example, a typical burrito with the shell, meat, beans, rice, lettuce, salsa, cheese and sour cream is like almost 50 grams of fat. Way too much for one meal… and then when you add the guacamole on top of the burrito, it adds 13 grams of fat… so almost 65 grams of fat for one meal… GROSS

On the other hand, if you get a burrito bowl (no tortilla shell) with chicken, rice, peppers, lettuce, and salsa (hold the cheese, sour cream and guacamole) your meal is only 10 grams of fat. Now to me that is a HUGE difference… But when you think about it, it makes sense. In the second option, you are having your protein in the chicken, then carbs with your rice, and the rest of the meal is veggies. Not too bad.

I am still not saying Chipotle is the best choice but if you have to get something quick, or if your friends decide to go to Chipotle with you, you now can make that healthier option and feel better about your consumption there.

Torie Nicholas

  1. I like Chipotle. That’s the only fast food restaurant or chain restaurant that I eat at.

    I like the bowl or salad, no cheese or sour cream and no rice either. It’s filling and the beans are good (make mine black please). It probably has more sodium then I need but I could do a lot worse.

    Avocado is a good fat but still has calories.

  2. I love Chipotle. When it comes to the world of fast-casual restaurants, I think they offer the best food and experience for their price point. When you think about all of the other options, I’d much rather have real food that you can see being cooked in front of you rather than overly fried and processed items. Chipotle focuses on great all-natural meats and customizable ingredients. Sure, sour cream and guacamole and cheese are fattening but at least you know what you’re eating. I’ve eaten a lot of burritos in my day from all over the country and Chipotle is right up there because of their authentic flavor. As a side note, it’s been interesting watching Chipotle founder Steve Ells on NBC’s “Next Great Restaurant” show.

  3. the used to like chipotle, but the last time i ate there my bowl had so much salt i really had to throw it away. they must have done something wrong that day, but it got me thinking about how much salt they put in their food. I didn’t know it was owned my mcdonalds. now it really just seems like fast food to me. i had already thought about not eating there anymore, and this information reinforces that decision.

  4. I like to consider myself a healthy eater – and included in that for me, is a weekly date lunch at Chipotle with my husband.

    I also had thought (obviously prior to eating there as we do on a weekly basis now) that Chipotle’s food had to be riddled with fat, salt, cheese, etc., but I actually take the same route as Karyn from above and order the bowl or salad. I find that if I just go simple with lettuce, rice, black beans and occasionally some cheese (which I request on the side along with dressing) that it is actually a pretty healthy meal. Not to mention also VERY filling.

  5. First off, Chipotle hasn’t been owned by McDonald’s in years, and they have completely divested from them. So don’t come into writing an article about this employer with that prejudice already at hand.

    Second of all, the fat inside of avocados is quite healthy for you. So take a simple Nutrition course before you immediately associate that fat with the lard used in Chipotle’s tortillas, etc.

    I will however agree overall in saying that there is a lot of sodium in Chipotle’s food which makes me wonder whether or not their ingredients are as fresh as they are claimed to be.

    I happen to enjoy Chipotle for what it is, and that’s just it… it’s a fast-food chain, and a very healthy alternative to what is considered to be fast-food.

    Your best option, is to go with a bowl like the above posters have mentioned(minus the tortilla), and stick with the vegetarian diet. This meal is quite healthy for you, and very filling!

    Meat is fine–I’m a vegetarian–to have, just don’t run around ordering extra meat in your bowl. I do support what Chipotle has done with their “Food with Integrity” but you can never really know what is going on behind the scenes. And dealing with the USDA and major ‘evil’ corporations like Monsanto, it’s tough to say if the ‘food with integrity’ you’re eating isn’t contaminated, or mislabeled.

    Power is in being informed!

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