All posts by Rafi

Chipotle and its quest for sustainable food


Chipotle opened its first store in 1993 and has seen astonishing growth and financial success since going public in 2006. Chipotle has been one of the industry’s leaders in serving and promoting sustainable food. Its high-quality natural food has given it a competitive advantage over competitors in a market that is increasingly becoming more conscious about what they eat. Chipotle has a mission of serving “Food with Integrity” to its customers. Chipotle is committed to finding the very best ingredients raised with respect for animals, the environment, and farmers. Chipotle brands its meats as naturally, or “Responsibly“ raised, which entails treating animals humanely without the use of antibiotics or added hormones. Many of its other ingredients are organic and do not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Chipotle has been considered a pioneer in creating and promoting sustainable food chains. Despite its measured success in its food sourcing, Chipotle has been unethical within some of the social aspects of the supply chain, most notably its policies towards its employees. Chipotle has had problems with its hiring process as it is still being investigated over hiring illegal and undocumented workers. They also have several pending class action lawsuits from employees who are systematically unpaid for overtime hours as a result of Chipotle’s policies and practices. Chipotle needs to address these policies in order to have a sustainable food chain, which not only involves the food it serves, but the people serving it. Chipotle has an opportunity to change the industry to become more sustainable. Chipotle raises awareness about the problems within the food industry through advertisement campaigns. These advertisements can help change consumer behaviors to demand more sustainable foods, which will in turn force other restaurants to provide sustainable foods in order to meet this demand. Chipotle and sustainable suppliers can also use their relative competitive advantage to further influence competitors to become sustainable. This will create a market in which more sustainable suppliers are available, which will drive food prices down and quality standards higher. This will create a cycle in which sustainable food chains take over the existing marketplace.

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Parody, Fair Use of Copyright Infringement?


The Campus Theater showed Spaceballs earlier tonight. It is a parody of the original Star Wars Parody. People tend to have polar opinions on parodies, but I am a big fan of them, especially movie parodies. Parodies are merely a form of satire. They imitate “works of art” by deliberately exaggerating them mainly for the purpose of comedy. But is this fair use? or is it a Copyright Infringement?

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Contrasting deliverables


Earlier this semester I attended the last Field Research series, which had to do with deliverables.Two professionals from very different fields gave their perspective on the deliverable that their line of work require.

Deliverables (definition) : A project management term for the quantifiable goods or services that will be provided upon the completion of a project. Deliverables can be tangible or intangible parts of the development process, and are often specified functions or characteristics of the project.

One of the panelists was a consultant and an expert in health. He has been working with Geisinger to improve their operations. The other panelist was a visual artist. Deliverables for these panelists varied greatly and it was interesting to see how these professionals approached the deliverable, or final product, of their work. I will point out some of the differences that i found to be most important and interesting.

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Taking the voluntary out of volunteering


Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity and is intended to promote goodness or improve human quality of life. In return, this activity can produce a feeling of self-worth and respect. There is no financial gain involved for the individual. Volunteering is also renowned for skill development, socialization, and fun. Volunteering may have positive benefits for the volunteer as well as for the person or community served.

When is the last time you volunteered to do something? When is the last time you volunteered to do community service hours? Did you truly do it voluntarily or did you do it involuntarily to meet the service hours for your greek organization or an outstanding citation? I have a sense that most of us millennials, I know there are a lot of exceptions, are part of the group that need an outside force or motive to get us to do any sort of volunteer task. I get the sense that most of my generation does volunteering not out of the kindness of their heart, but rather out of self-interests such as meeting hour requirements for organizations or adding it to a resume to improve how people perceive them. However, I also know there are countless of examples of the opposite. These are people who do genuinely do it voluntarily and do not want any sort of personal gains. Unfortunately, this is not majority. But what if we could have these kind of people be the majority instead of the minority? What would that take? Is the only way to get people to volunteer by requiring it? Doesn’t that defeat the true nature of volunteering?

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Solar Roadways?


I wanted to take Greg’s idea of heated roads a step further to challenge Elon Musk to invent solar roadways and parking lots. These roads and parking lots would not just be able to make roads safer, but they would completely change our roads as we know them. Roads and especially parking lots are almost always exposed to the sun. What if we could figure out a way to turn this valuable sunlight to into energy? We would be able to make roads that could provide energy to the grid. Vast parking lots could cut down the energy used by the buildings and stores that built them. An electrical engineer and his counselor wife originally proposed this idea. However, without the money and resources, they have been slow to get their idea to work. Elon Musk’s expertise, creativity, and resources could help commercialize this innovative idea…. Continue reading Solar Roadways?

That’s Right. He’s Back.


BREAKING NEWS: Brett Favre has officially announced that he is coming out of retirement once again to play in the NFL again. *

The last time we saw Brett Favre in uniform was on December 5th, 2010 before he was forced to leave the game due to a devastating shoulder injury (was diagnosed as a slight strain after the game). The veteran had the presence of mind to throw an interception on what so many foolishly believed to be the last of his career to give back-up quarterback, Tarvaris Jackson, enough time to warm-up on the sidelines. This smart play let the Vikings oust the Buffalo Bills 38-14 en route to a memorable 6-10 season. However, it was a sad and serious day for the NFL when Brett Favre finally decided to retire at the end of the season. Or so we thought…

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The Case for the Ethical Burrito: A Kantian Perspective on Advertisement


Chipotle and the Ethical Burrito

Chipotle opened its first store in 1993 and has seen astonishing growth and financial success since going public in 2006. Chipotle has been one of the industry’s leaders in serving sustainable food. It is trying to change the way people think about and eat fast-food. It has recently been marketing its commitment to serving high-quality and sustainable ingredients through various media outlets and programs. Despite being considered an industry leader in sustainability, Chipotle’s advertisement and practices have been criticized for being unethical and misleading to customers. The ethics of its advertisement and practices have been questioned, but nevertheless, Chipotle is shining the necessary light into the problems of the farming and agriculture industry. Chipotle is making consumers more aware and conscious about what they are eating. Even if not all of Chipotles practices are completely ethical or sustainable, it is setting an example that other companies in the industry can follow.

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Transparency the new Sustainability


Jason McLennan, one of the most influential people in the green-building movement, gave a very moving and inspiring talk. He has dedicated his life into building a more sustainable world. As CEO of the International Living Future Institute – a leading NGO that focuses on transformation toward a world that is socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative.  McLennan is a sought-after designer, presenter, and consultant on a wide variety of green building and sustainability topics. Green building, also known as green construction or sustainable building, is an environmentally responsible and resource-efficient process used throughout the building’s life-cycle, from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, and renovation through demolition.

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Chipotle: Pure Imagination or Pure Manipulation?


Chipotle has set out on a quest to make fast-food sustainable. Their advertisement is a short animated film starring a farmer, the “Scarecrow”, in Chipotle’s new application-based game. This is a marketing stunt by Chipotle to advertise the freshness of their food and to take a stand against “factory farmed meats”. Factory farming in short is a result of the industrial revolution and the heightened demand for cheap meat. Large-scale farming operations have consumed smaller traditional farms and brought the concept of the assembly line to the food industry. The video trying to depict just that:


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