By Staff Writer Eric Sousa.
On October 30th, Ben & Jerry’s released a politically charged pint of ice cream called Pecan Resist. Now you may ask yourself, how exactly does an ice cream become politically charged? Well, Ben & Jerry’s laid the groundwork down for us.
First step, get a mélange of flavors ranging from white and dark fudge chunks, an ensemble of nuts, and chocolate ice cream. Then cram them all into a pint-sized package that STATES it is for multiple servings, but we all know these puppies are one-and-dones.
Second step; design a carton that is more eye-catching than any of the artwork we have hanging up in the library. However, make it prominently diverse. Include caricatures of people from all nationalities, without being feature-specific enough to necessarily fit the profile for anything defining. Make it actually aesthetically pleasing, including bright bold colors.
Third step; give it a name. There is a lot of power in a strong name. That is why Cleopatra and Napoleon were strong leaders in their time, and not people named Janice and Craig. However, the name of the ice cream needs to still have a sense of whimsy, maybe in the form of a pun? Cashew on the way out? No. Almond my own business? No, that’s the opposite of the message. Pecan resist? YES, that’s the one!
Pecan Resist is a frozen treat that is standing up against regressions in our country. For example, the ice cream comes with the statement, “We can peacefully resist the Trump administration’s regressive and discriminatory policies and build a future that values inclusivity, equality, and justice for people of color, women, the LGBTQ community, refugees, and immigrants.” That is a lot to stand up against; luckily Pecan Resist is full of inherent calcium for the metaphorical backbone it is displaying.
This ice cream was released a few days after the mid-term election, where even in Massachusetts a law protecting the transgender community from discrimination was under threat of repeal. Clearly, this political gesture isn’t irrelevant.
A lot of folks are asking; does Big Ice Cream have any right making a stand in the political field? Or does Ben & Jerry’s have the right to monetize such an issue as a slogan for a product?
Here’s the kicker to that latter question; the company lists four organizations it supports; Color of Change, Honor the Earth, Neta, and Women’s March. Each organization was given $25,000, received a shout-out, and a percent of Pecan Resist proceeds go to them. This is what we like to call, “doing the right way.”
Now, for the former; is Ben & Jerry’s overstretching with this? It is fairly controversial; they have received backlash from pro-Trump communities already. Don’t go to Youtube and watch reviews of people criticizing Pecan Resist. Not even for a writing assignment for the Torch. Your ability to smell rain will diminish and your sense of joy will nosedive.
Ben & Jerry’s did not plan on stopping here, either. Seven more politically charged flavors were released, in support of progressive candidates that are opposing Trump-supporter run positions. B & J is not being meek about their stance; they are staunch supporters.
But are they correct? Is it an overreach for this laid-back, normally goofy company to make a political statement?
Hell no. In my opinion, these issues can use every ounce of support they can get. Complacency is the bedmate of regression, and Ben & Jerry’s vocalization against complacency is refreshing. (Almost as refreshing as a pint of Pecan Resist ice cream)
It also sends a crucial message in this day and age. Everybody has a voice, an impact, and a part in this. At this point of our devolving country, those voices cannot afford to remain passive. It is inspiring, in a way. If massive companies can put their reputations behind change and against Trump’s policies, why can’t we?