The “talking heads” of CNBC appear to be no more reliable than the politicos who occupy prime real estate in our nation’s capitol. After months of championing Chipotle for providing a “healthy food” alternative to McDonalds, it would appear that the Masters of the Universe know as little about food as they do about finance.
In a devastating article published by the New York Times yesterday, “healthy food” alternative Chipotle is serving up the same calorie-ladened and high salt content fare as their brothers at the Golden Arches. If you believe the propaganda from Chipotle, their farm animals are treated more humanely than the factory-processed meats at McDonald’s, but dining frequently at either restaurant is probably taking years off your life and adding inches to your waistline.
Get a load of these statistics from the New York Times article entitled “At Chipotle: How Many Calories do People Really Eat?”
Today, we have a ballpark estimate. The typical order at Chipotle has about 1,070 calories. That’s more than half of the calories that most adults are supposed to eat in an entire day. The recommended range for most adults is between 1,600 and 2,400.
The histogram above shows the distribution of calories for all orders. The spike around 1,000 calories represents “standard” burrito orders – a meat burrito with typical additions: cheese, salsa, lettuce, sour cream, rice and beans. If you order a meat burrito at Chipotle with these toppings, it’s very likely to reach 1,000 calories.
But there’s so much more to this data than the averages. Chipotle customers can and do order meals with fewer than 650 calories, such as a cheese-free burrito bowl. On the other end of the spectrum, about one in 10 meals had more than 1,600 calories.
The distributions of two other metrics of a meal’s health — salt and saturated fat, shown in the charts below — are just as revealing. Most orders at Chipotle give you close to a full day’s worth of salt (2,400 milligrams) and 75 percent of a full day’s worth of saturated fat.
Ouch, these statistics are pretty damning, but I suspect it won’t have much of an impact on their inflated stock price. “Save me a bite of your burrito, Mr. President.”