By Bob McCauley
I wanted to title this blog, Ben & Jerry’s: “The Dangerous Health Product Marketed as Fun and Flavor” because that’s what it is. But to think of their employees who get to eat as much of it as they want, I reconsidered and gave it a more appropriate title.
I use to be a huge fan of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream back in the 80’s when they first got popular. It was a great product with novel flavors and cool colorful packaging. It was the first time I had ever eaten “gourmet” ice cream because now Ben & Jerry’s had made it hip. They had come out of nowhere and now were David challenging corporate giant Häagen-Dazs ice cream for freezer space. I liked Ben & Jerry’s so much I took my family to Vermont to see where they made it. I couldn’t believe there was such a socially conscious corporation in existence.
After I got into the health business 15 years ago I discovered how deadly dairy product are to our health, especially high fat dairy such as the kind of ice cream Ben & Jerry’s marketed. Co-founder Ben Cohen reportedly has suffered from heart disease for more than two decades.
Now Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream has at long last admitted that, not only is it not “All Natural” as they have claimed since their company’s inception, but that it actually contains deadly partially hydrogenated oils better known as trans fats. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream also contains alkalized cocoa, corn syrup and artificial vanilla (vanillin) or other ingredients that either don’t exist in nature or that have been chemically modified. All Natural: What a crock. Ben & Jerry are a couple of phonies, or at least the corporate giant, Unilever, these two hypocrites sold out to is. They screwed over their franchisees in various ways and many have concluded that Ben & Jerry’s has become just “another corporation”, a far cry from the “socially conscious” corporation it once was. Numerous blogs have denounced founders Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield as a couple of garden variety sellouts.
Ben & Jerry’s also claimed for year that their ice was bovine growth hormone, or BGH, free, which any dairy farmer will tell you is impossible to prove. So if you can’t prove it, make the claim anyway.
It’s bad enough that high fat ice cream has been marketed to the public as a relatively harmless treat, it is actually a junk-food product that contain trans fats and corn syrup, two of the worst ingredients that are commonly put into processed food that leads to disease on the fast track. Let there be no doubt about it. High saturated-fat foods put us at significantly higher risk of coronary heart and other vascular diseases. Ben & Jerry’s has always maintained that at worst, their colorfully packaged product simply adds a few pounds to the midriff and that can easily be removed by exercise. When I visited there, they stated that their employees got free gym memberships to “work off the extra pounds that their job sometimes can put on them. My conclusion is that offering your employees all the ice cream they can eat and then give them a benefit at a gym to work off those calories. High saturated fat ice cream, or any other animal product for that matter, is extremely dangerous to our health, which is why I have deemed it the Unhealthiest Employee Benefit Ever!