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The True Health Facts Behind the Chipotle Burrito

Updated on January 4, 2011

If you are anything like me, you are CLINICALLY addicted to the Chipotle burrito. I must eat at that restaurant at least once a week, and when my cravings really set in, I'll even dine there as much as three days in a row. If you think about it, that's a lot of beans, rice, steak, sour cream, cheese, and salsa I'm putting down my throat, along with a repeated amount of nine bucks I'm losing each time I pig out. But I'm not here to talk about my Chipotle addiction. I can't help but notice the company's constant ravings about how natural the food that they serve is; it's all over the cups, napkins, signs around the restaurant, and even in the sheet of trash paper they put inside your burrito basket. I'm not one to care much about health within my diet, but I can't help but be a little curious if all this hype about their free-range porkĀ really covers up the fact you're eating a giant fast-food burrito. So let's find out.

We'll start with the facts. has a handy nutrition facts calculator for each specific meal someone can get at Chipotle. Since the possibilities of meal combinations reach over 65000 (which is yet another fact displayed around the eatery), I'll only calculate the calories within the burrito I usually get and the burrito my boyfriend usually gets. It turns out that my dish is a total of 38 grams of fat and 970 calories, which is basically half of the amount I should be ingesting each day. The tortilla alone is 290 calories! My boyfriend's is even worse, but it may be due to the fact he gets twice the amount of chicken and sour cream. His burrito, consisting of rice, cheese, double chicken, and sour cream, adds up to 1140 calories and 44 grams of fat. At first, these results scared me a bit, but then I started looking at the facts without the dietician viewpoint. Usually it is a struggle to eat up my entire burrito, and afterward I'm stuffed for quite a while, which means I don't go home and eat junk food to fill myself up again. This isn't some Dunkin' Donuts coffee that's giving you a million calories and not feeding you whatsoever; you're getting a full meal at Chipotle and you should be set food-wise for a long time after dining there. As for the fat, the amount is actually quite good when compared to the amount of calories. Awesome, another reason to frequently eat one of my favorite foods. But I'm not completely sold on the other health aspects.

Most of the critics of Chipotle that I've found online complain about its high calorie amount, which is a problem that I've solved, since eating a lunchtime burrito disables me from snacking on anything else until dinner time. The other facts about the life of the animals before they turn into your burrito meat seems to be pretty legitimate. According to the company's website, all the pork and chicken served are antibiotic-free, which means they weren't fed massive amounts of antibiotics to prevent diseases in the animal. All pork is free-range, and all chicken are not given any additives to make them grow faster. As for the beef, 85% of it comes from farms that naturally raise their cows, and they say their working hard to make it 100%. I guess if you're a steak lover like me, luck will determine whether you get the good meat or not!

All these statistics basically reiterate what Chipotle has been advertising for a while, but now you have the cold hard facts. As long as you're not going to the restaurant and ordering three burritos at a time, you should be fine. Congratulations! Now you can finally download that Chipotle app on your iPhone so you can pre-order your burritos, and get your fast food even faster.


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