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News to Chew | Ben & Jerry’s

News to Chew

Taking a bite out of the world of food and food news
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Do your civic duty: vote, eat and rink for free.

November 04, 2008 By: admin Category: Food News

As Election Day 2008 is shaping up to be one for the history books, we Americans should all pat ourselves on the back for engaging ourselves in this Presidential race and responding by doing our civic duty of voting – in what appears to be record numbers according to news sources.

As tribute to our self-congratulatory psyche, several national chains are rewarding us for our good bahavior by offering up free food and drink as a gesture of capitalistic patriotism. According to the Associated Press, Krispy Kreme, Starbucks, Ben & Jerry’s and Chick-fil-A are handing out freebies to nosh on as we await the election results.

Starbucks Corp. is offering a free cup of brewed coffee to anyone who asks on Tuesday, while Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. is giving away star-shaped doughnuts. Ice cream maker Ben and Jerry’s is offering a free scoop as part of a celebration of the election.

All three establishments had originally planned to give the freebies to those who voted as a reward for their civic duty, but state and federal election laws forbid promotions that imply a reward for voting.

As the AP reports:

Seattle-based Starbucks had originally planned to give away the “tall” brewed coffees to anyone who reported that they voted, saying in an ad: “If you care enough to vote, we care enough to give you a free cup of coffee.” The company broadened its offer to all customers to ensure it was in compliance with election law, spokeswoman Tara Darrow said Monday evening.

Ben and Jerry’s, meanwhile, will be giving a free scoop to each customer at its shops from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday. The company said in a statement it had planned to give free scoops only to people who voted but learned that certain laws may not allow it.

Krispy Kreme is giving star-shaped doughnuts with red, white and blue sprinkles to anyone who mentions the promotion, said spokeswoman Ayana Hernandez, but they won’t be required to show an “I voted” sitcker as originally promoted on its company site.

Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country on a local voluntary basis will be offering free chicken items as well.

It is doubtful that when you add up the caloric intake of all the freebies that it will total the 538 electoral votes at stake today. But it just may equal the total number of votes being cast today: 130 million.

And that’s about as All-American as you can get! Eat up proudly, America, no matter how you vote.

Just some news to chew on.

Tastes Like Mother’s Milk: PETA Wants Ben & Jerry’s to Use Breast Milk in Ice Cream

October 03, 2008 By: admin Category: Food News, Now, that's really stupid

You know, some things are just too weird that they must be true, and this one ranks right up there. You might say it’s one succulent story – rich, creamy and mammarable. And we can thank the whack jobs at PETA for their pendulous concerns.

You see, last week, in their concern for the treatment, oops, ethical treatment of animals, the organization that wants to set all pets and zoo animals free announced their latest brilliant idea: PETA wants world-famous Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream to tap nursing moms, rather than cows, for the milk used in its ice cream.

Yup, that’s right. PETA wants our friends at Ben & Jerry’s – who are quite ethical, from what I gather – to substitute cow’s milk with breast milk. Uh huh.

Here’s what the Associate Press reported:

“If Ben and Jerry’s replaced the cow’s milk in its ice cream with breast milk, your customers – and cows – would reap the benefits,” wrote Tracy Reiman, executive vice president of the animal rights advocacy group.
Ashley Byrne, a campaign coordinator for PETA, acknowledged the implausibility of substituting breast milk for cow’s milk, but said it’s no stranger than humans consuming the milk of another species.
“We’re aware this idea is somewhat absurd, and that putting it into practice is a stretch. At the time same, it’s pretty absurd for us to be drinking the milk of cows,” she said.

To the surprise of no one, except maybe PETA, the idea got a cool reception Thursday from Ben & Jerry’s officials, the company’s customers and even La Leche League International, the world’s oldest breast-feeding support organization.

But let’s suspend disbelief for a second and pretend that this is a great idea. There would be some logistical hurdles to overcome – at least production-wise.

According to AP, it takes about 12 pounds – or 1½ gallons of milk – to make a gallon of ice cream. Ben & Jerry’s, which gets its milk exclusively from Vermont cows, won’t say how much milk it uses or how much ice cream it sells.

Now I’m no math wiz but my estimation is that it’s gonna take a helluva lot of lactating mothers – breasts heaving and pumps in hand – to come up with the volume needed to churn out those delectable treats we love so much.

Now, licking an ice cream cone is one of our most pleasurable and sensual experiences, but in the context of a cone of luscious mounds of creamy ice cream made from human breast milk – well, Sigmund Freud would have a field day with that imagery. And to most of us, it’s just plain creepy.

On the other hand, breast milk Ben & Jerry’s ice cream would spawn a slew of imaginative flavor names. How about some Nipplepolitan? Or 36 Double D Dipped Chocolate? Or Booble Gum Gummy Bear?

Got any ideas of your own? And what do you think about PETA’s suggestion? Just some news to suck, er, chew on.