Cafe Society

Farmed & Dangerous: Combustible cows, comedy and Chipotle

A series premiering on Hulu this month has the home-grown Chipotle chain cooking up more than just burritos. Working with Hulu and Piro studios, Chipotle is launching a four-episode web series titled Farmed & Dangerous, which will debut on Monday, February 17. The show is a satirical comedy that explores "the outrageously twisted and utterly unsustainable world of industrial agriculture," according to the series website. Which means it fits right in with Chipotle's brand: Food with integrity.

See also: Chipotle founder Steve Ells discusses the ingredients behind two decades in business

The show, starring veteran actor Ray Wise, centers on the fictional company Animoil and its attempts to lower costs by feeding petroleum pellets to its cows. Exploding cows provide the backdrop for the struggle between small, sustainable farmers and the giant industrial food complex.

"Entertainment is an effective way to engage people who otherwise might not be paying attention," says Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold. "The real bottom line is to make people more curious."

Chipotle is mentioned only once in the series, although it will advertise regularly during the show. To make sure the company's "food with integrity" message comes through, Chipotle stayed involved in the creative process. "It was very much a partnership with Piro," explains Arnold. "We were involved in every stage of development."

This isn't Chipotle's first venture online. Two Youtube videos made by Chipotle -- Back to the Start, featuring Willie Nelson, and The Scarecrow, featuring Fiona Apple) that both promoted the notion of sustainable farming practices over industrial agriculture have reached over 20 million viewers.

Don't expect this to be Chiptole's last effort, either. "The show was built in a way that it could continue," says Arnold. "We would like to see this continue."

Watch the trailer for Farmed & Dangerous here. Spoiler alert: Old Betsy doesn't make it too long.

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Ben Landreth