Ag Today Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Ag Today

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Stockton Record

After two bad years for fish, water officials seek solution

By Alex Breitler

Not content to hope for El Niño storms, state officials on Tuesday approved a plan that — though watered down in the end — could result in better flows next year for endangered fish species decimated by drought.

The State Water Resources Control Board acknowledged that the environment, in particular, has suffered for lack of water. The temporary weakening of science-based water quality standards in the Delta and on upstream rivers preserved hundreds of thousands of acre-feet of water for cities and farms this year, but in the process, some fish have careened closer to extinction.

Just 5 percent of endangered winter-run Chinook on the upper Sacramento River survived in 2014; so far this year, the survival rate has dropped to 3.5 percent. And in the Delta, smelt surveys are expected to reveal a record-low number of fish once again this fall.

The decision to loosen standards over the past two years was “reasonable at the time,” state officials said Tuesday, but the poor outcome points to a need for earlier and better planning.

“The status quo these past several years isn’t working for protection of fish and wildlife,” said Diane Riddle, an environmental program manager with the State Water Resources Control Board.

If heavy rains do come, this 2016 plan may be moot. But the mere discussion of its possible implementation raised worries among agricultural users up and down the Central Valley. Holding back more water in reservoirs, after all, could mean decreased deliveries to their farms. They said it was too early to make such a decision.

“These numbers that are being thrown around so cavalierly have real-life effects on people,” Jason Willard, a citrus farmer from Tulare County, told the water board.

Most of the controversy Tuesday centered on the idea of requiring a minimum amount of water to be left in massive Lake Shasta at the end of the next growing season. A draft decision by water board staff called for at least 1.6 million acre-feet of water to remain in the lake next October, to ensure there’s enough cold water for salmon spawning downstream in the Sacramento River.

This year saw just 1.4 million acre-feet of water in Shasta. Federal biologists have said 1.9 million acre-feet is needed in the driest of years.

The water board softened the plan before approving it Tuesday, inserting language clarifying that the 1.6 million figure is not a requirement but “a planning target” only, that could change when more information becomes available about the amount of cold water in the lake. Inaccurate estimates earlier this year caused temperatures to climb above what’s needed to keep salmon eggs cool, causing most of those eggs to die for the second year in a row.

“We’ve got two strikes,” board member Steven Moore said. “We’re 0-2 on temperature management. We can’t strike out. And I don’t think we will if we approach it with a team effort.”

A third consecutive year of very low salmon spawning could be catastrophic for the winter-run, since salmon typically live in three-year cycles, officials said. Fall-run salmon, a major commercial and recreational stock, also are impacted.

Delta advocates and environmentalists argued the state’s plan for next year doesn’t go far enough toward protecting the estuary. They took umbrage with the water board’s conclusion that its actions over the past two years were “reasonable at the time,” and that fish and wildlife would not be “unreasonably” affected by the loosening water quality standards under emergency authority granted by Gov. Jerry Brown.

“The water community stares in disbelief as if forced to watch a looped film where the same thing happens over and over and over,” John Herrick, an attorney for south Delta farmers, wrote in a letter to the water board in advance of Tuesday’s decision.

“There is no hope, no avenue for input, no possibility for change; only the uncaring destruction as the unthinking bureaucracy crushes everything in its way.”

The plan also calls for minimum storage at Folsom Lake for the Sacramento metropolitan area, and for a new plan to protect fish and wildlife on the Stanislaus River, where New Melones Lake — at 11 percent capacity — is in the worst shape of any of the state’s largest reservoirs. Staff at the water board has warned that the Stanislaus and San Joaquin rivers could run dry in 2016.

— Contact reporter Alex Breitler at (209) 546-8295 or Follow him at and on Twitter @alexbreitler.



Modesto Bee

Salmon thrive in some places like Stanislaus River, struggle in others

By John Holland

Salmon have spawned this fall in the Stanislaus River in numbers not seen in three decades – 11,629 of them as of Monday by one count – but the outlook is worse to the south.

The Tuolumne River had an estimated 350 fish Monday. The Merced River was at about 800 late last week. Both streams have had much less water released from upstream reservoirs during the spawning than the Stanislaus.

“We’re nearing the end of the run and it’s looking pretty bleak,” said Peter Drekmeier, policy director for the Tuolumne River Trust.

Concern about the chinook salmon has reduced water diversions to farms and cities in recent decades. The supplies could drop even more if the fish’s long-term prospects do not improve.

Salmon hatch in rivers up and down the Central Valley, then spend a few years in the Pacific Ocean before returning to reproduce and die. Along the way, they face reduced flows, high temperatures, non-native predators, degraded spawning gravel and other challenges. Add to that a four-year drought that has further strained the habitat.

“Water is extremely limited this year, and we’ve been trying to make what water we have work well for fish,” said Rhonda Reed, branch chief at the National Marine Fisheries Service for the San Joaquin River and its tributaries.

Salmon numbers in the San Joaquin Valley are relatively small compared with the Sacramento Valley, but they nonetheless approached 70,000 in 1985. The spawners that year included many that were born in a two-year stretch of very wet weather.

Reservoir managers have to release minimum amounts to help lower-river fish at key points in their life cycle. The amounts are relatively low on the Tuolumne and Merced, but that could change in future years under new federal licenses for hydropower, along with state mandates.

Releases on the Tuolumne peaked this fall at 183 cubic feet per second as measured at La Grange, according to the California Department of Water Resources. The peak for the Merced, as measured at Snelling, was 589 cfs.

The Stanislaus ran as high as 1,335 cfs, as measured east of Oakdale at the Orange Blossom Bridge. It has higher flow minumums because it is part of the federal Central Valley Project, along with supplying the Oakdale and South San Joaquin irrigation districts. This fall, the districts boosted the river with water being sold to distant farmers by way of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The sale drew fire from critics who said it was not approved in the open, but the results for salmon look favorable.

The 11,629 fish were tallied at a weir operated by Fishbio, a consulting firm with an office in Oakdale. Spawning will continue further into December, so the number could approach the 13,473 recorded for all of 1985 by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The fish spawn in about 25 miles of the Stanislaus from Riverbank to Goodwin Dam. Last week, The Modesto Bee got a look at the upper end of that range with Domenic Giudice, an environmental scientist with the state agency.

“This is good habitat,” he said of a stretch just east of Knights Ferry. “We just added gravel. The water temperatures are right. It’s fresh out of the dam. Velocities are high.”

Giudice and his co-workers estimate the numbers in part by counting the carcasses of fish that died soon after spawning. They take specimens that go to their La Grange lab to determine the age and native stream. They then chop each fish in half with a machete so they do not count it twice.

What looks like a rotting mess is a source of food for raccoons, foxes, vultures and other riverside wildlife —including insects that will be eaten by young salmon next spring.

“It’s a very gruesome representation of the circle of life,” Giudice said.

Crowded fish

Earlier this fall, Stanislaus water temperatures were too high for spawning, but that has improved, said Fishbio senior biologist Andrea Fuller in an email.

“However, there is not enough room for all of the fish to spawn in the Stanislaus River, and we are seeing fish spawning on top of each other,” she said. “When a salmon creates a new nest on top of an old nest, the old nest is destroyed.”

Reed, with the federal fishery agency, said that could be solved by increasing the Stanislaus habitat. She also said the Merced spawning, while still low, is an improvement. It is the only one of the three rivers with a hatchery to supplement the wild salmon.

The fish on the Merced and Tuolumne also contend with water hyacinth, a non-native weed that has clogged the lower rivers and parts of the Delta during the drought. The Stanislaus, with its higher flows, has not had a problem.

Fish, farms

Water suppliers contend that greatly increased flows are not the answer for salmon. They call for gravel replenishment and other habitat improvements, suppression of striped bass and other nonnative predators, and cleanup of tainted rivers.

The suppliers include OID; SSJID; and the Modesto, Turlock and Merced irrigation districts. Their farmers say they use much less water than before, but environmentalists would like to see even more conservation.

“I do think that through water use efficiency, we could have a thriving agricultural economy while reviving the Tuolumne,” said Drekmeier at the Tuolumne River Trust.

The salmon industry also seeks increased flows on Central Valley rivers to help the little fish that will become the big fish it catches off the coast.

The Golden Gate Salmon Association projects that healthy conditions could generate $5.4 billion in annual economic activity in California, compared with $1.4 billion now, Executive Director John McManus said. It sees the potential for close to 100,000 jobs, including commercial and sport fishing, boat and gear suppliers, and other businesses.

McManus, based in Petaluma, said the total rises by about 50 percent if it includes the part of the Oregon coast where Central Valley salmon swim.

‘Amazing’ species

The eggs laid by female salmon this fall, then fertilized by the males, will produce juveniles that will head out to sea in the spring. They could be helped along by reservoir releases, or by strong natural runoff if El Niño continues to bring storms to California.

Longer-term efforts could help, too, such as at Dos Rios Ranch, where the Tuolumne meets the San Joaquin and natural floodplain is being restored. Drekmeier said the food and other conditions could help young salmon grow fast and be ready for the hazards of the Delta and Pacific.

Giudice, the state fish expert, also talked about the prospects as he searched for salmon carcasses near Knights Ferry.

“Their power and determination are amazing,” he said. “They’re going to fight to spawn and then lay down and die. It’s a pretty impressive life.”

John Holland: 209-578-2385,




Fresno Bee

Federal water bill deserves California’s full support

Everyone who runs for Congress claims to be a problem-solver.

Yet California is saddled with a congressional delegation that has failed to find common ground on a $1.3 billion water bill that would deliver more irrigation water and help the environment in a state whipsawed by four years of drought.

When it became clear last week that the latest effort on this legislation was kaput, the politicians did what they so often do in the face of failure: point fingers.

Northern California Democrats – sensitive to regional needs and the desires of environmental interests – said they largely had been frozen out of negotiations.

Central Valley Republicans, who have had a front-row view of fallowed farmland, job losses and people in community food lines, pinned the blame on California’s two Democratic senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer.

We wouldn’t blame Feinstein if she believes the adage “no good deed goes unpunished” was aimed specifically at her.

First, a staffer of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, presented a water bill package as having been signed off on by Feinstein when she had not approved the final language. Then later McCarthy complained that “our senators have once again failed to rise and meet the challenge with us.”

McCarthy’s remarks ignored the fact that Feinstein has invested considerable political capital into this legislative effort and was able to enlist the support of Boxer, a passionate advocate for environmental interests.

The good new is, agreement has been reached in several areas, including consideration of new water storage projects and funding for recycling and desalination. And Republicans have dropped their misguided efforts to amend the Endangered Species Act.

Still to be hashed out, reported Michael Doyle of McClatchy’s Washington bureau, are “key questions related to increased water pumping to farms.”

All sides should return to the negotiating table as soon as possible. That is because this legislation would benefit a California water system that doesn’t meet the needs of the state’s 39 million residents – drought or no drought.

For example, the bill provides partial funding for Sites Reservoir, proposed on the west side of the Sacramento Valley, and Temperance Flat, proposed for the upper San Joaquin River north of Fresno. These federal dollars would leverage allocations from the $7.5 billion state water bond should one or both of the dams be approved.

There also is funding in the federal bill for improved spawning grounds and passage ways for fish. Operational flexibility provisions would be underpinned by real-time monitoring of fish locations in the Delta, thus providing an opportunity to pump more water to farms without hurting fish species.

El Niño is expected to dump considerable rain and snow on California this winter and spring, but one wet year alone won’t end the drought. Nor can California meet its water needs through conservation efforts alone.

California’s congressional delegation should put down their talking points, stop playing political games and come together to get this vital legislation passed early next year.




Sacramento Bee

‘Paper dams’ are blocking state water sharing

By David Festa

There’s nothing like a rainy day to hunker down and watch an old movie, which is what I did recently as welcome showers rolled across California, bringing temporary relief to our drought-scorched landscapes.

The movie was “There Will Be Blood,” and though it’s about the oil boom in late 19th-century California, a few memorable lines from Daniel Day Lewis’ character reminded me of our state’s current water problem. “If you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and I have a straw (that) reaches across the room and starts to drink your milkshake. I drink your milkshake! I drink it up!” the ruthless oil baron taunts a hapless neighbor.

It’s not the perfect metaphor, but the lines do illustrate a point: When accessing water from California’s reservoirs, canals and aquifers, not everyone has the same-size straw.

There are three main ways to get water in California. You hope your surface water rights hold a high enough priority to get a full share of water that’s available. Or your pockets run deep enough to allow you to drill and maintain an expensive well. Or your community has lawyers and lobbyists who can work the state’s complex water system.

The drought has forced everyone to cut back. In 2015, farmers fallowed 500,000 acres of cropland. Cities have imposed restrictions on residents and businesses. But disadvantaged communities and the environment have suffered disproportionately.

This fall, salmon were baking in streams because the water was too shallow and too warm. In the Central Valley, over-pumping of wells has left many people – mostly poor migrants – without access to drinking water.

There’s no single solution for correcting these inequities, but we could start by streamlining California’s water laws in ways that promote water sharing.

As more and more people began vying for water, laws were put in place to safeguard their interests. More than a century later, the result is a patchwork of regulations that impede water sharing. These “paper dams” allow only short-term trades, which don’t build long-term stability. Only well-financed, sophisticated users are able to benefit routinely from the current market.

By blowing up these paper dams, Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature can unleash the potential for water sharing to deliver three major benefits to the state.

First, it can free up a lot of water and result in more efficient use. Agriculture has rights to approximately 80 percent of water set aside for human use. Fallowing, efficiency and crop switching could free up 10 to 20 percent of that water and improve a farm’s bottom line. Even at the low end of that range, it would free up water roughly equal to half of what is consumed by the urban and industrial sectors combined. Even better, that water could be available quickly, and without building expensive and environmentally damaging infrastructure.

Second, water sharing is the fastest and most assured way to get extra water and funding to the environment and disadvantaged communities. For example, an effective transfer surcharge would funnel water and financing directly to projects that support our public trust resources and most vulnerable communities.

Third, water sharing helps deal with climate change. The drought reflects what we can expect California’s climate to look like in the future. The ability to move water efficiently between users and to sensitive ecosystems will provide the flexibility and resiliency needed to endure climate fluctuations.

But to reap the benefits of water sharing, we need to act now.

David Festa is vice president of the ecosystems program at the Environmental Defense Fund. He can be contacted at



Valley Public Radio, Fresno


Califrnia Farmers Consider Cashing In On A New Crop . . . Marijuana

By Ezra David Romero

California farmers are known for producing some of the finest fruits, vegetables and nuts in the world. But what if big agriculture here also included marijuana? If the legalization of recreational pot makes it onto the November 2016 ballot and passes, local growers might have a new crop to harvest. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports that some Central Valley farmers are already eyeing just that possibility.

A few years ago Los Banos Farmer Cannon Michael discovered a one-acre illegal marijuana grow on his land.

“They had made reservoirs and they were pumping water,” Michael says. “They had buried generators. They had this whole encampment and we knew nothing about it.”

He says the forbidden plantation was worth around $19 million dollars. That’s more than his 11,000 acres of tomatoes, cotton and other crops bring in in one year. That got him thinking.

“So if that’s a market that’s viable then we would definitely look at it,” Michael says. “I don’t know if I thought if I put in a 200 acre planting of marijuana would the market sustain that?”

But this idea of cannabis becoming a major player in mainstream agriculture is contingent on California voters. There’s a very good chance backers of legalizing marijuana will gather enough signatures to put a measure on the ballot next fall. If it passes, growers like Michael would still face significant hurdles. The state would need time to develop regulations, local laws could further restrict growing, and cannabis would still be illegal under federal law. Still, becoming a big grower early could make sense for farmers like Michael who have land and resources.

“To me it’s just another potential option for something that could be a benefit to the farm and continue to help us rotate properly and then also make some money hopefully.” Michael says.

But small farmers already growing legal medical marijuana aren’t necessarily dreaming of a California with rolling hills of pot. Especially if big growers eventually push out smaller existing farms.

“I don’t really see any clear benefit,” says Hezekiah Allen with the California Growers Association representing over 500 members. “It doesn’t seem like it’s been terribly good for the natural resources or the people of California. Certainly our hope is that we kind of avoid consolidation and we don’t really move in that direction.”

He says the strain of cannabis called hemp, which has low levels of THC, may be beneficial to farm on a large scale. Hemp can be used to make paper, clothing and even soaps.

“So I think there’s absolutely a role for big industrial commercial production and I think there will always be a role for craft producers if we take the time to get it right,” Allen says.

If large farmers focus on hemp, Allen hopes that growers already cultivating marijuana for medicinal use won’t be harmed. At the moment cultivation is legal for medical purposes. But the actual number of plants a medical-marijuana cardholder can grow is limited and varies by county. The statewide standard is six mature plants or 12 immature plants.

Growing weed also takes a lot of water, but not quite the 400 gallons it takes to grow a pound of almonds. Allen says it takes 150 gallons of water to grow a pound of pot.

Law enforcement also plays a big role in growing practices. Take Fresno County where Sheriff Margaret Mims has waged an all-out war on marijuana, closing down hundreds of illegal grows.

“For me it really started out as the violence issue: the home invasion robberies, the homicides, the assaults, the assaults with a deadly weapon,” Mims says. “All of that started increasing in these large marijuana grows.”

Her officers have encountered gangs, booby traps and military grade weapons at grow sites.

She also says marijuana has negative effects on human health. If cannabis becomes legal in California, Mims says she’s afraid violence will get out of hand again.

“If we again start allowing people to have these large groves the violence will go up again,” says Mims. “We have to take into consideration how we reconcile the difference between state law and federal law.”

She hopes whatever initiative passes includes some sort of control by local enforcement.

“As long as that happens we’re all going to come out ahead because then cities and counties can make up their own minds about what they want to do with their own land use ordinances,” Mims says.

She also doesn’t think existing growers will want to pay taxes and fees that come with legalization. Others like Christian Long in Fresno are looking forward to the full legalization of the crop.

He’s the vice president of the Fresno-based hydroponics company Current Culture H2O. They sell systems that people use to grow all sorts of plants, but most of his business is from people who grow cannabis. Today he’s working on a system with 12 tubs connected together by PVC pipes, this time growing broccoli.

“This is 12 sites total, so the roots just grow right down into the water like that,” Long says.

Long says they’re currently working on a modular system that could be used on a large scale.

“Now we’re at the point where a lot of our new business actually is these commercial growers,” Long says. “We’re not leaving the hobby segment, but we’re creating a whole new segment in our business that’s specifically for commercial.”

He says he thinks it will take about 10 years for cannabis to catch on as a large regulated crop.

“If the laws do change I think that we’re going to see kind of a reemergence of home growers specifically and people that want to grow their own medicine,” says Long.

But Long says that’s just the beginning. He’s hoping for a boom come late 2016. And to get ready for the influx of orders Current Culture H2O is expanding to a 30,000 square foot building to accommodate future orders.



Wall Street Journal

Chipotle Pulls Back on Local Ingredients

A string of food-contamination crises is forcing the once-upstart chain to amend its fresh, local strategy

By Julie Jargon

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. has touted its use of local ingredients and fresh produce to help differentiate it in a crowded fast-food market. Now a string of disease outbreaks is forcing the once-scrappy upstart to act more like the big chains it long has derided.

Chipotle expects to lower its use of locally sourced ingredients and is centralizing the preparation of some vegetables as it seeks to shore up food safety following an E. coli outbreak that sickened 52 people in nine states and a norovirus episode in Boston. The burrito chain hopes the steps can help it regain consumers who have shunned its outlets, eroding sales.

Health officials haven’t been able to identify the source of the E. coli outbreak but say produce was the probable cause.

At an investor conference in New York last week, Steve Ells, founder and co-chief executive of Chipotle, described the chain’s new practice of dicing, sanitizing and hermetically sealing tomatoes, cilantro and lettuce in a central kitchen where they are tested for microbes and then shipped to restaurants.

Mr. Ells said the extra steps don’t change the quality of the ingredients and that whole avocados and jalapeños will continue to be brought into the restaurants. The new techniques minimize the number of people and surfaces coming into contact with the ingredients.

“You could bring fresh cilantro right out of the field into the restaurant and wash it there. I don’t think that would be any better than washing the cilantro in the commissary,” Mr. Ells told investors. “And if dried properly and then sealed in the bags, it’s a delicious product.”

Chipotle said it has long used pre-washed cilantro in its restaurants.

Mr. Ells apologized for the outbreaks on NBC’s “Today” show last week and said Chipotle is trying to make sure they don’t happen again. “I’m sorry for the people who got sick. They are having a tough time, and I feel terrible about that,” he said.

Chipotle had moved away from centralized produce preparation for taste reasons. For many years, the Denver company chopped and washed tomatoes in a Chicago kitchen and shipped them to restaurants in bags. Last year, it began chopping them at its restaurants in dicing machines, because executives said they tasted better when prepared on-site.

“They are still the same tomatoes, they are simply cut, washed and packaged before they get to our restaurants,” Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said. “Any difference in taste would be slight, if even perceptible,”

“Produce is the leading vehicle of single-source food-borne outbreaks in the U.S. Even if the contaminant was something else, like a spice, they still need to get it right with produce,” said Michael Doyle, director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia.

Chipotle has experienced five disease outbreaks since July, including a salmonella outbreak involving tomatoes that sickened 64 people in Minnesota.

The company has warned its fourth-quarter earnings would fall well below analyst forecasts and its same-store sales would drop 8% to 11% because of the incidents.

It isn’t clear which restaurants may be benefiting as Chipotle loses customers. A spokeswoman for restaurant-consulting firm Technomic Inc. said direct Chipotle competitors such as Qdoba Mexican Grill or Moe’s Southwest Grill may benefit, but upscale burger chains like Smashburger that offer fresh, made-to-order foods also tend to attract similar customers and may get a sales lift.

Melissa Arnoff, a senior vice president at crisis-management firm Levick, said Chipotle’s safer practices might actually create a new problem for the company by turning off customers who like watching their food being prepared in front of them. “Hermetically sealed tomatoes are 180-degrees from the image they want to portray,” she said.

“Our commitments to better ingredients—including meat raised without antibiotics, pasture-raised dairy, and local and organically grown produce—have not changed. None of the plans and programs we are putting in place call for diminishing the quality of ingredients we use,” Mr. Arnold said.

Though there is no evidence that Chipotle’s multistate E. coli outbreak originated with a local supplier—and it likely didn’t, given that people from Oregon to New York got sick—, some smaller farmers Chipotle has long praised may be unable to keep supplying the chain if they can’t implement the kind of sophisticated pathogen testing it now is requiring.

Chipotle, which has nearly 2,000 restaurants, has talked up its local growers ever since it began the sourcing program in 2008. By 2010, the company said it was buying more than 50% of at least one ingredient locally throughout the country, although it initially referred to “local” ingredients as those sourced from within about 200 miles of its restaurants and now defines as local those grown within 350 miles.

Until last week, Chipotle hadn’t disclosed the percentage of its produce that is locally grown, but Mr. Ells told investors that the total amount of locally grown produce Chipotle buys in a given year amounts to just about 10%—a figure that is likely to decrease, Mr. Arnold said.

The spate of disease outbreaks marks something of a comeuppance for a company that has satirized so-called factory farms in its marketing, criticizing their mechanized growing practices, as well as fast-food chains for using preservatives. In October, Chipotle produced a fake commercial in which a customer walks into a fictitious restaurant chain named “Cheapotle,” where she finds a slew of artificial ingredients going into her food.

Choosing how to communicate its food-safety changes poses a dilemma for the company that wants to assure customers that its food is safe without alienating those who share its “food with integrity” ideals.

Executives recently told investors that they will wait until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declares an end to the E. coli outbreak before launching an ad campaign about Chipotle’s food-safety steps.

Until that happens, once-loyal customer Sergio Pereira won’t return.

“With all the food poisonings there, I haven’t been to a Chipotle in the last three months and I won’t let anyone in my family go, either,” said Mr. Pereira, the 54-year-old president of, a division of Staples Inc. He added that if Chipotle told customers they are sanitizing produce off-site, it would help give him the confidence to return, but that he still wants to know more.

“The company needs to rebuild trust and they need to tell people that they’ve made very concrete changes,” he said.


Five Things to Know About E. Coli

Norovirus Confirmed in Boston Chipotle Outbreak (Dec. 9)

Chipotle Says E. Coli Outbreak Will Cut Deeply Into Sales, Profit (Dec. 4)

Chipotle Chief Apologizes, Reiterates Food-Safety Plan (Dec. 10)

  1. Coli Outbreak Linked to Chipotle Spreads (Nov. 20)

Chipotle Reaches Awkward Age (Oct. 19)

Startups Take Bite Out of Food Poisoning (Dec. 14)

Inside Chipotle’s Kitchen: What’s Really Handmade (Feb. 24)

Write to Julie Jargon at