Monday, September 29, 2008

The Breast is Best

I grew up in a family that adores ice cream. We literally had it every single night after dinner. In a cone even. One of my favorite childhood memories is of us kids sitting for hours on the front porch swing with our ice cream cones on the warm summer nights.

My dad makes his own ice cream. It's kind of "his thing." At every family gathering, we indulge in dad's ice cream. If he were extremely wealthy, he would open his own ice cream parlor. It's already got a name even ... John D's Ice Cream Parlor. (After my ice-cream-adoring grandpa.) For now, though, it's just a Tschamler family perk.

So it's to be expected that we are extremely picky when it comes to ice cream. We're what one might call Ice Cream Snobs. And we wear this label proudly.

Here's my personal ice cream score sheet: Haagen Dazs and Breyers are both good brands. I had Bluebell for the first time a couple weeks ago. It was good, but not the best I've ever had. (And certainly not up to the galactic hype that Texans always give it.) I'd put it in the same category as Baskin Robbins. Those stone slab places like Coldstone and Maggie Moos are totally overrated. And don't even get me started on soft serve.

Then there's Ben & Jerry's. Good ice cream, funky flavors. Definitely a good Plan B when you run out of Dad's ice cream.

Seems, though, PETA has a different opinion. They sent this letter last week to Ben and Jerry with a suggested ingredient modification.

September 23, 2008

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, Cofounders
Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc.

Dear Mr. Cohen and Mr. Greenfield,

On behalf of PETA and our more than 2 million members and supporters, I'd like to bring your attention to an innovative new idea from Switzerland that would bring a unique twist to Ben and Jerry's. Storchen restaurant is set to unveil a menu that includes soups, stews, and sauces made with at least 75 percent breast milk procured from human donors who are paid in exchange for their milk. 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.

Using cow's milk for your ice cream is a hazard to your customer's health. Dairy products have been linked to juvenile diabetes, allergies, constipation, obesity, and prostate and ovarian cancer. The late Dr. Benjamin Spock, America's leading authority on child care, spoke out against feeding cow's milk to children, saying it may play a role in anemia, allergies, and juvenile diabetes and in the long term, will set kids up for obesity and heart disease--America's number one cause of death.

Animals will also benefit from the switch to breast milk. Like all mammals, cows only produce milk during and after pregnancy, so to be able to constantly milk them, cows are forcefully impregnated every nine months. After several years of living in filthy conditions and being forced to produce 10 times more milk than they would naturally, their exhausted bodies are turned into hamburgers or ground up for soup.

And of course, the veal industry could not survive without the dairy industry. Because male calves can't produce milk, dairy farmers take them from their mothers immediately after birth and sell them to veal farms, where they endure 14 to17 weeks of torment chained inside a crate so small that they can't even turn around.

The breast is best! Won't you give cows and their babies a break and our health a boost by switching from cow's milk to breast milk in Ben and Jerry's ice cream? Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Tracy Reiman
Executive Vice President
Um, ewww.

10 comments:

nate said...

Hmmm...My wife breastfed all our kids...I've tasted it. It's not bad. Kind of like sugary skim milk. I think it is more trouble than it would be worth.

Suzanne said...

Ew!!!!!!!!!!

Amber said...

This would be a great flavor for Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Becky, I'm so glad I've found something where our taste is the same. I too am an ice cream snob. I agree Breyers is one of the better bought brands--more like homemade. Coldstone is absolutely craptacular chemical goo.

Please, as a fellow ice cream snob, let me convert you to the BEST ice cream in the country: Glacier Ice Cream in Boulder on 28th Street. Because they're hippies, everything is natural and creative. So, for example, all their caramel and chocolate chips and chocolate sauces are made on site. They don't use any artificial flavorings, so if a flavor is "Bananas Foster," they've actually made Bananas Foster and stirred it into their ice cream. THE BEST. Let's go sometime.

Mike Van said...

Sounds like a good "Breast Cancer Awareness" flavor. Put a pink ribbon on the carton. I'll buy a pint if it's in the store, if only as a conversation piece. My brother knows a German guy at his church who really likes breast milk. Anyway, this ice cream thing is the breast idea I've heard in a while.

Ellie said...

Before you get all excited, think of the practicality (or impracticality, rather) of it.

Breast milk flavor and content varies greatly depending on what you eat and your baby's current nutritional needs. This means that the women who are hired to do this would have to be on strictly regulated diets so as not to affect the flavor of the ice cream.

Not only that, but the PETA letter states that "after several years of living in filthy conditions and being forced to produce 10 times more milk than they would naturally..." blah blah blah. Well, while the women probably wouldn't be living in filthy conditions and probably woudn't be turned into hamburgers or soup (although I wouldn't put it past PETA), they would certainly be forced to produce a heckuva lot more than 10 times more milk than they would naturally. Naturally? A newborn eats between 19 and 30 ounces per 24 hours. How much ice cream would that produce? If we're quite liberal with our estimate, about a half gallon? That's being very generous. I'm too lazy right now to look up the amount of ice cream consumed by Americans on a daily basis, but I'm sure you can see what I'm getting at. Either half of the women in the country will need to volunteer their services, or each volunteer will be forced to produce WAY more than is natural (or Americans will have to slim down. Ha. Like that will ever happen) So where does that leave us? We'll have to load our milk-producing women with ludicrous amounts of hormones to increase lactation, thus nullifying any and all claims to the increased nutritional value of breast milk versus cow's milk.

And what would this amount of production do to a woman's body? Well, just ask a nursing mom what breastfeeding does to the breasts. Yes, men, an exponential increase in size . . . followed by . . . SAG. And just imagine, the small amount (for the fortunate ones) of sag that breatfeeding mom's experience after they stop breastfeeding would be increased in proportion to the unnatural volume of milk they were forced to produce throughout their stint as a heifer.

When Tracy Reiman volunteers her services for a few months then maybe people will look at her and realize how not awesome this would be.

Until then (and don't get me wrong . . . I dig animals), I'm stickin' to the udder.

Becky said...

Wow, little sister. You are very knowledgeable about breast milk.

Ellie said...

Thanks.

.: theChris :. said...

I really cannot believe that you didn't ask me to Photoshop an image for this particular post. A golden opportunity missed...

Carolyn said...

Dammit I just threw up my lunch. I paid good money for that.

alex mclean said...

oh man, there's so many ways I could go with this...