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Chipotle spotlights sustainability at Cultivate Festival

By Katie Pohlman

Chipotle’s Cultivate Festival is coming to Kansas City on Saturday, July 18 for a day of music, food and sustainability education in Penn Valley Park.

The annual festival, which is in its fifth year in other cities, will feature chef demonstrations, live music and sustainability exhibits. There is no entrance fee, and food and drinks all cost $6 or less, said Scott Robinson, Chipotle’s manager of national events.

“We wanted this to be a very community-orientated and inclusive, family-friendly festival,” he said. “We wanted to open it up to everybody, so that way a lot of different people can come.”

The five sustainable exhibits include:

  • A “Factory vs. Farm” exhibit that displays the conditions of factory-raised pigs compared to those that are responsibly raised.
  • A “Fresh vs. Processed” exhibit that shows attendees the ingredients found in a typical fast food product compared to food Chipotle serves at its restaurants.
  • A “GMO” exhibit on genetically modified organisms and how they are used in the food supply.
  • A “Cinema” exhibit that will show short films, including Pasture Raised Dairy, Chipotle Culinary Story, Tabasco Chipotle Sauce: Mexican Heritage, Tabasco Craftsmanship and Meet Minh Tsai: The Tofu Master Behind Chipotle’s Sofritas.
  • A “Guac from Scratch” exhibit where attendees can watch how Chipotle makes its guacamole and then sample it.

Chipotle also plans to make the Cultivate Festival as sustainable as possible. There will be waste stations, staffed by volunteers, where attendees can separate their recyclables from their compost and landfill items. After the festival is over, workers will hand sort the waste to make sure as much as possible is diverted from landfills. There will be free water filling stations and all the leftover food will be donated to Harvesters Community Food Bank, which serves 26 counties in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas, Robinson said. There will also be bike parking near the festival grounds.

Last year, Chipotle collected 8 tons of recycling and 9.5 tons of compost, donated 5,000 pounds of food and helped keep 13,000 water bottles out of the waste system at the festivals.

“There’s really no integrity of throwing a festival based on sustainability without looking at what we can do,” Robinson said.

The festival will feature four live chef demonstrations. Robinson said there will be seating for 300 at each demo and the chefs will take questions from the audience at the end. Three local chefs will be featured at the festival: Colby Garrelts from Bluestem, and Lachlan Patterson and Bobby Stuckey from Pizzeria Locale.

There will also be music by Max Frost, Betty Who, Smallpools, St. Lucia and Portugal. The Man,

An “Artisans’ Hall,” where regional, artisanal food companies will be able to display and sell their products, will feature Rye, The Roasterie, Shatto Milk Company, Poppy’s Ice Cream Truck and Little Freshie.

Chipotle’s Cultivate Festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 18 at Penn Valley Park, West 29th St. between Wyandotte Street and Broadway Boulevard in Kansas City, MO. The festival’s schedule can be found at

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Top photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Chipotle

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