Say It Ain’t So! Chipotle Warns It Might Chop Guacamole If Climate Change Worsens (DETAILS)

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    If extreme weather and the destruction of our planet isn’t enough to convince skeptics that climate change is real, maybe this will.

    Chipotle, the Mexican grill and chain restaurant that Love & Hip-Hop’s Cyn loves so dearly, is warning that they may nix their famous guacamole from the menu if the climate change crisis worsens.

    That’s bad news for the lovers of the green mushy stuff and veggie bowl lovers who get the condiment on the side for free.

    According to Think Progress:

    Chipotle Inc. is warning investors that extreme weather events “associated with global climate change” might eventually affect the availability of some of its ingredients. If availability is limited, prices will rise — and Chipotle isn’t sure it’s willing to pay.

    “Increasing weather volatility or other long-term changes in global weather patterns, including any changes associated with global climate change, could have a significant impact on the price or availability of some of our ingredients,” the popular chain, whose Sofritas vegan tofu dish recently went national, said in its annual report released last month. “In the event of cost increases with respect to one or more of our raw ingredients we may choose to temporarily suspend serving menu items, such as guacamole or one or more of our salsas, rather than paying the increased cost for the ingredients.”

    Chipotle is aware, however, what chopping those special ingredients from their menu may do…like, cause a national riot. Because that could totally happen.

    “Any such changes to our available menu may negatively impact our restaurant traffic and comparable restaurant sales, and could also have an adverse impact on our brand,” the filing read.

    But, they don’t really have a choice. Especially since guacamole is such a huge operation for the chain. Spending more on ingredients means a broke Chipotle. A broke Chipotle might mean no burritos for us all.

    The guacamole operation at Chipotle is massive. The company uses, on average, 97,000 pounds of avocado every day to make its guac — which adds up to 35.4 million pounds of avocados every year. And while the avocado industry is fine at the moment, scientists are anticipating drier conditions due to climate change, which may have negative effects on California’s crop. Scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, for example, predict hotter temps will cause a 40 percent drop in California‘s avocado production over the next 32 years.

    And yes, we’re the only ones to blame here. Partly anyway.

    “For instance, two years of drought conditions in parts of the U.S. have resulted in significant increases in beef prices during late 2013 and early 2014,” the company said, noting that more price increases on beef could affect its decision to suspend guacamole service. While scientists’ understanding of drought and climate change is evolving rapidly, mainstream climatologists’ view of drought is that it is directly linked to man-made climate change.

    Severe and prolonged drought has put a strain on farming practices in California, the state which holds the most Chipotle restaurants (288, according to its annual report. Ohio holds a not-so-close second, with 148 locations.). And it’s not just the beef. With water scarce, farmers are unable to plant as many seeds, so prices of produce are also projected to rise.

    So if you want the green magic on your burrito bowl, a change needs to come. And soon. Or taco night will be forever ruined.

    SOURCE: Think Progress | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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