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Chipotle brings ethical farming to the Grammys with help from Willie Nelson

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

How about those Grammys? Last night’s bombastic awards ceremony was a typically over-the-top affair highlighted by Adele’s well-deserved clean sweep and shadowed by the sad specter of Whitney Houston’s sudden and unexpected passing over the weekend.

Amidst the glitz, glamour and whatever Nicki Minaj was going on about, popular food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill showcased an emotional extended commercial spot promoting the idea of ethical and more sustainable farming practices.

Featuring long-time U.S. farmer advocate Willie Nelson (above) covering Coldplay song “The Scientist”, the 2-minute video by filmmaker Johnny Kelly (entitled “Back to the Start”) shows how quickly a small farm can grow into another cog in the corporate machine, and the concessions made along the way. The clip ends with a mention of Chipotle’s non-profit Cultivate Foundation, which has already donated $2 million “to help fund initiatives that support sustainable agriculture, family farming, and culinary education.”

“Delicious, affordable food can be produced without exploiting the farmers, the animals or the environment,” says Steve Ellis, the chairman of the Cultivate Foundation on the company’s website. “Chipotle has proven that to be true, but Chipotle is only one small part of the solution. Our goal now should be to have all food produced as sustainably as possible.”

Willie Nelson’s version of the Coldplay song is available on iTunes, with 60 cents from each 99-cent download going directly to Chipotle’s Cultivate Foundation.