Friday, February 6, 2015


I need to take a Twitter class. I keep watching the notices for technology classes from the Hutchinson Public Library, but one hasn't come up lately.

I'm on Twitter, but I'm not really ON Twitter ... though I sometimes stalk it. (Yes, I'm admitting it to my sister and my niece who have wondered if that's the case.)

A few weeks ago, there was an article in Grazing the Net, an email I get weekdays from Beef Today. I love their often humorous approach to serious animal agriculture issues. A hashtag title caught my eye:  #FiveWordsToRuinADateWithAFarmer.

Among the funniest to me were:
  • I left the gate open.
  • Can't you call in sick?
  • I don't like gravel roads.
  • I like my steak well-done. 
  • Huh! The neighbors' yielded better.
And another one hit home:
Want to eat at Chipotle?

Our granddaughter likes the "rice and bean place," as she calls it. But I am going to campaign for substituting Jose Peppers or Qdoba. I am dragging my feet at spending money at a place that purports to be pro-farmer yet seems to denigrate modern agriculture at every turn.

Last summer, Chipotle said it was going to buy grass-fed, antibiotic-free beef from Australia because the restaurant couldn't find enough U.S. beef that met its "high standards." More recently, Chipotle said it stopped serving pork at a third of its restaurants because one of its suppliers was using gestation or farrowing crates, and there was a "pork shortage." (Read what a Minnesota pig farmer has to say about the Chipotle pork shortage and see Trent Loos' photos from pigs housed both inside and outside during the harsh Nebraska weather this week, along with his commentary. Thanks to my Christmas in the Country blog friend Dr. Lindsay for the link to that blog.)

We are conventional farmers. And while I certainly support organic farmers and the consumers who prefer to buy organic products, that doesn't mean we aren't raising cattle and crops with integrity, too.

We compassionately care for our animals, as do 99.9 percent of the rest of animal agriculturists - whether organically or conventionally raised. The animals are our business, and, if we don't take care of them, it impacts the bottom line. And, of course, we also believe it's the right thing to do. The same goes for crop production. We aren't using heirloom seeds and products. We are using the technology available to grow quality products. And we are feeding our own families from our corrals and fields.

I don't see Chipotle founder and CEO Steve Ells using technology from 150 years ago. If he was, he'd be sending advertising supplements out using the Pony Express, not paying for ads during the Super Bowl or designing his company's website around how much integrity his restaurants have.

So, I guess I will go to other Mexican restaurants. Or I'll make my own burrito bowls. 
Homemade Burrito Bowls
adapted from Iowa Girl Eats blog
Serves 4
1 lb. chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness
15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (or other chopped. fresh tomatoes)
1 1/2 cups sweet corn kernels, fresh or thawed frozen corn
4 oz. shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend)
1 small head romaine lettuce, chopped

Seasoning Mix:
1 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

For Cilantro-Lime Rice:
2 cups water
1 tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup long-grain white rice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lime

Quick Guacamole
3 ripe avocados
Juice from 1/2 lime
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
Garlic salt, to taste

For Seasoning Mix: Mix the seasonings together in small bowl. Reserve 1 tablespoon to season the beans.

For Chicken:  Mist or brush chicken breasts with extra virgin olive oil, then season on both sides with the mix. Grill for 3-4 minutes a side over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Let rest for 5 minutes before chopping.

For the Cilantro-Lime Rice:  Bring water, oil and salt to boil in a saucepan. Rinse rice in a strainer under cold water, then add to boiling water. Place a lid on top; turn head down to medium-low and simmer until rice is done, about 15 minutes. Add lime juice and cilantro. Stir to combine.

For Beans: Put drained and rinsed black beans in saucepan. Add 1/2 cup water and 1 tablespoon of seasoning mix. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low to stay warm.

For Guacamole:  Add all ingredients to a bowl and mash with potato masher. Taste and adjust garlic salt, if necessary.

Scoop cooked Cilantro-Lime Rice into bowl. Top with grilled chicken, seasoned beans, tomatoes, sweet corn, shredded cheese, romaine lettuce and guacamole. Serve with salsa, if desired.

NOTE:  I also prepared and grilled steak to substitute for the chicken. (though I didn't get a photo taken of it.) Randy prefers beef over chicken.


  1. Thank you for such well written thoughts on the "Rice and Beans" place! and Burrito Bowls are so good, I love how easy and versatile they are! Thank you so much for sharing with us over at Country Fair Blog Party! I can not wait to see what you share with us next month!
    Jan @ Tip Garden