Have you ever noticed that the bag or cup your Chipotle meal came is covered in words? Have you ever taken the time to read or even think about these words? If you did, you would have noticed that in each and every title of these Chipotle texts are the words “two minutes.” Why is that? Mainly because author Jonathan Safran Foer asked Chipotle founder Steve Ells if he would be willing to use the surfaces of the containers that hold his food and beverages to reach people with interesting ideas, and Mr. Ells said, “Yes.” So, Jonathan Safran Foer wrote and spoke to a number of famous authors, asking them if they would be willing to compose a piece of interesting writing that could fit on the side of a brown paper Chipotle bag or a white Chipotle cup, a piece of writing which he estimates, would take some one about two minutes to read.

Here at NOMS we thought we’d use some of these famously written Chipotle texts as mentors as we reflect on our own two-minute messages. Before we begin, however, let’s listen to Jonathan Safron Foer introduce the “Cultivating Thought” series sponsored by Chipotle.


So, now we have heard the case for not, in the words of the cultivating thought website, “allowing a cup, or bag [to] suffer an existence that is limited to just one humble purpose, defined merely by its simple function.”

In the spirit of Chipotle’s philosophy of using two-minute’s worth of words (roughly between 200 - 350 words) on their food packages to inspire customers, let’s take a closer look at some of these mentor texts and use them as models for organizing our own two minutes inspirations – NOMS style.

Closely read 3 of the following authors. Notice how each uses a specific structure for building their message or story. On your Google Doc or handout record words, phrases, or clauses that capture your attention (for whatever reason). Make any additional observations about their writing that interest or inspire ideas for your own work.


Aziz Ansari
"Two Minutes"

Judd Apatow
"Two Minutes of Rambling Wisdom"

Paulo Coelho
"Two Minute Transformation"

Sheri Fink
"Two-Minute Case Against Limits"

Jonathan Safran Foer
"Two Minute Personality Test"

Neil Gaiman
"Two Minutes to Run"

Malcolm Gladwell
"Two-Minute Barn-Raising"

Bill Hader
"Two-Minute Recipe for the Perfect Fountain Drink"

Walter Isaacson
"Two Minute Explanation of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity"

Barbara Kingsolver
"Two-Minute Cheer for the Home Team"

Michael Lewis
"Two Minute Minute"

Steven Pinker
"A Two-Minute Case for Optimism"

George Saunders
"Two-Minute Note to the Future"

Sarah Silverman
"Two-Minute Index"

Use this link to get the Google Doc you will copy, save, and use for your "Cultivating Thoughts" close reading! CLICK HERE!


Mrs. Bestor cultivated her thoughts below.