Sunday, April 22, 2007

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream ... Cooling You Off While Killing The Planet


Ever since Ben & Jerry's started churning out their uniquely named frozen delights I've heard the same thing over and over again: "It's addictive!" People everywhere flocked to the ice cream stand, and the grocery store to pay way too much for ice cream that was easily 200-300% more expensive than the competition. I personally have never been a fan of the Ben & Jerry's brand, and this was long before I knew about their politics.

I was only a kid on a date when I figured I would impress her with splurging for Ben & Jerry's at one of their shops. After all, everyone loved Ben & Jerry's ... I couldn't lose. As I fought through the agony of paying $10-$12 for two smalls (at the time I could have had 3x as much ice cream for $1.25 elsewhere) my date slowly relished her treat. I, on the other hand, found the flavor to be bland by current standards, and vowed to never make that mistake again.

I never could understand why so many people would say that Ben & Jerry's was addictive, and I often joked that they put crack in their ice cream to keep people coming back for more. Perhaps they did, or maybe it was just the kooky names that kept people interested, but it was not the flavor. No one pays several times more for ice cream that has less flavor than the competition ... no one. I figured once everyone realized that Ben & Jerry's wasn't worth the extra money they would say they tried something new, and return to 31 Flavors or, better yet, Thrifty. No such luck.

While I still don't have a handle on why Ben & Jerry's survived, and excelled, in the ice cream wars ... they have improved. They have more unique flavors now, and have begun to add flavors together that were previously only a creation you made yourself. I have long known about their politics, and every now and then I will try Ben & Jerry's again to see if my tastes have changed. Still, I find it bland with little texture. Same as when I was a kid.

I recently decided to try the Vermonty Python flavor, and I will admit it's the best of theirs I've had, but not worthy of buying again. I happened to notice on the container a message about how they oppose rGHB (recombinant bovine growth hormone), and was a little surprised that they were putting activist messages on their product label. Not that there is anything wrong with this particular message, but I decided to look a little further at their company's activism. This was really in response to Ben & Jerry's opening a new manufacturing facility here in Nevada for environmental reasons.

As Ben & Jerry’s grows, locating additional production closer to our western markets is a responsible environmental decision that reflects our values,” Ben & Jerry’s CEO Walt Freese said in a statement.

As you recall in my piece The Ultimate Scam companies are selling methane credits. They're like carbon credits, but for flatulence. You can buy methane credits for your farts, your grandma's farts, and even your pet's farts. In case you didn't know ... methane is a greenhouse gas, and the greenies say that farting is helping to destroy the world. They often blame mankind's use of farm animals as a major reason. To be succinct ... farts cause global warming, and it's all man's fault. Got it ... good! That's important for later. is an interesting website to say the least, and it has a wealth of information. Not only does it have the typical data on the company and its products, but it has a ton of information on global warming.

Exhibit A:

It's not everyday that you see a global warming link on a desert's website. What do you do when you come to a series of bricks? Follow them, of course. That's where I found ...

Exhibit B:

I decided to take a look at the partners to Ben & Jerry's global warming quest, and found nothing out of the ordinary. A couple of big names (1 or 2 active in eco-terror), and a lot of smaller names.

Exhibit C:

From here is where I start to find amusement in my playing around on their site. As you can see Ben & Jerry's is clearly devoted to the global warming cause. Most of us knew that already, but it gets better so bare with me.

Remember we talked a little about carbon credits earlier. Carbon credits allow you to continue to pollute, but feel better about yourself for polluting, by giving a company some money so they can "invest" in eco-friendly technology. Just so we are clear ... these companies are a scam, and provide little to no proof that they have actually reduced your greenhouse gas emissions. Most of their claims are factually impossible, and are frauds.

Exhibit D:

You'll notice the top link to reduce your carbon pollution on the top left above. When you click it you get to ...

Exhibit E:

Ben & Jerry's even has a link to a petition to support two environmental bills in Congress.

Exhibit F:

It doesn't appear that Ben & Jerry's read either of these proposed bills because it would require them to make some pretty hefty business changes. You can even find an environmental impact study on themselves on their website.

So why am I harping on Ben & Jerry's ice cream for global warming, and carbon credits? Am I going to tell you that there manufacturing causes global warming? No, they've already admitted, and addressed that. It appears to me that Ben & Jerry's is looking into reducing their "carbon footprint" via methods other than the fraudulent carbon credits. Even though they are promoting the credits they have actively sought ways of improving their infrastructure. No, I don't know if they have any investments in a carbon credit company, but I wouldn't be surprised.

The reason I'm addressing Ben & Jerry's is because they are active in the global warming debate to the tune of devoting most of their website to it. While some believe carbon is the primary greenhouse enemy ... others believe methane is. Al Gore even said methane is 23x worse than carbon dioxide. Ben & Jerry's ice cream is knee deep in methane contribution. While they may be encouraging their customers to buy carbon credits ... they aren't doing anything about their serious methane problem.

I told you to remember The Ultimate Scam, and the methane credits being offered by some companies. The arguments by these companies, and others, is that farts cause global warming. Therefore you need to send them a check so they can magically remove your farts from the atmosphere. So what causes farts? Surprisingly, a number of ingredients in Ben & Jerry's ice cream. The following ingredients in my pint of Vermonty Python have all been shown to cause methane expulsion, and thereby contributing to global warming.

  • lactose
  • sugar
  • wheat flour
  • corn starch
  • soy lecithin
  • guar gum

One ingredient is known to cause serious effects, and there is an attempt to get it banned. That ingredient is carrageenan. I'd never heard of it before writing this, but it has caused colonic ulcerations and gastrointestinal neoplasms (possible cancer).

Most of us know that ice cream isn't good for you, and we shouldn't expect it to be. However, most of the ingredients in Ben & Jerry's ice cream are directly related to methane production. If Al Gore is right and methane is more dangerous to the environment than carbon ... Ben & Jerry's will have a significant "footprint" on the environmental impact caused by methane.

Perhaps Ben & Jerry's believe as I do that methane is not destroying the world, and they don't pay it much attention. That seems very unlikely, however, given their website. So why in the world would they peddle a product that causes an excessive amount of greenhouse gas emissions if they are so in tune with the environmental cause? It's like someone who supports a ban on guns owning a bullet manufacturer.

If they are successful in their mission to get those two emissions bills passed in Congress ... Congress may require Ben & Jerry's to remove many of their ingredients in order to meet the extreme emission goals set in those two bills that Ben & Jerry's has supported so vigorously. Again, I don't even know if Ben & Jerry's supports the methane argument, but if they do ... how do they sleep at night?


5 comments to "Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream ... Cooling You Off While Killing The Planet"

Anonymous said...
1:53 AM

Ben & Jerry's icecream is the best! I think i might just go get some thanks for reminding me!

Anonymous said...
3:45 AM

is B&J any worse that any other ice cream?

methane my be worse per kg than CO_2, but there is a lot more CO_2 around. so GW is more caused by CO_2.

Anonymous said...
12:21 AM

oh boy if only you could guess the most abundant greenhouse gas.... WATER. thats right folks CO2 only makes up about 0.05% of the atmosphere. H2O is around 4%, and has a thermal conductace way above CO2. So everyone better stop their water vapor production to save the planet! This anti-CO2 propaganda is a load of bollocks.

Anonymous said...
6:02 AM

Yes it is worse.

Jim said...
9:36 PM

B&J sells a product which kills people by clogging their arteries. Their product produces methane and guess what? It is made from cows milk. Think about all those farting cows making ice cream which makes you fart. It's time to expose B&J for the environmental destruction that they are causing. Their "environmental activism" is just a ruse and it's time that government steps in and shuts them down before B&J kills us all.



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