August 17, 2000
5:03 PM   Subscribe

Another corporation shoving dioxin-contaminated food down the throats of unsuspecting consumers. In this case, more than 2200 times the amount allowed to be in a refinery's waste water. Obviously, Ben and Jerry's must be stopped.
posted by aaron (12 comments total)
Oh great, and I just stuffed my face with a pint of new york chocolate brownie fudge super chunk a coffee coffee buzz buzz.. Uh oh.
posted by dabitch at 6:24 PM on August 17, 2000

Huh? Of course Ben and Jerry's ice cream is going to have a lot of dioxin in it -- that's true for *any* dairy product. That's probably why B&J chose to focus on the issue in the first place. The real question is: where does the dioxin come from? Answer: waste water from chlorine-using paper and pulp mills, as well as air pollution from the incineration of garbage and medical waste. The only way you're going to get dioxin out of dairy products is to eliminate sources of dioxin in the environment at large.
By the way, the study mentioned in the article was coauthored by Steven Milloy of the Cato Institute, who rejects the mainstream scientific view -- endorsed by the EPA -- that everday exposure to dioxin causes cancer.

Here is a useful summary page that presents the EPA's evolving position on dioxin.

The bottom line: until industrial production of dioxin is outlawed, one of the only things you can do to mitigate the risk of dioxin-induced cancer is to forgo consumption of animal fat.
Sorry Unilever ! ;)
posted by johnb at 7:11 PM on August 17, 2000

In other words, go vegan.
posted by sudama at 8:51 PM on August 17, 2000

People do seem to always be especially interested in slamming Ben and Jerry's for perceived eco-fuckups - seems strange when they're such an environmentally responsible company in so many ways. Remember when some group protested because they advertised that their ice cream was Bovine Growth Hormone free? Their issue was that although B&Js used *only* milk from local farmers who pledged not to use it, the company used chocolate bits and other chocolate products that may have been made with milk that contained rBGH. Seems sort of ridiculous to me...
posted by Skylark at 10:50 PM on August 17, 2000

Got Prostate Cancer?

"There's no reason to drink cow's milk at any time in your life. It was designed for calves, not humans, and we should all stop drinking it today."

-Dr. Frank A. Oski
Former Director of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University

Milk Sucks
posted by johnb at 1:15 AM on August 18, 2000

Enough of yo' jibbuh jabbuh! I pity the fool that don't drink Milk!!
posted by Nyarlathotep at 8:42 AM on August 18, 2000

go vegan

NEVERRRR!!!! I'll never turn to the dark side.

"There's no reason to drink cow's milk at any time in your life. It was designed for calves, not humans, and we should all stop drinking it today."

What about the fact that I like cow's milk? That's a reason! Mmmm... Ben & Jerry's... Mmmm... cheese... Mmmmm... milk.

Oh, and does this guy believe in intelligent design, too? He says the cow's milk was "designed." But by whom? (Yes, I know that's not how he intended it, it's a joke, people.)
posted by daveadams at 8:53 AM on August 18, 2000

Um, dave? I believe you meant to type "by Whom?"

posted by baylink at 10:59 AM on August 18, 2000

I would go vegan but I loves the cheese.
posted by chaz at 10:59 AM on August 18, 2000

I believe you meant to type "by Whom?"

Whoopsie. Well, actually if I'd typed it that way I would be implying an answer, wouldn't I? I think Dr. Oski probably believes Dr. Spock designed cow's milk.

I would go vegan but I loves the cheese.

Don't they make soy cheese? GAG
posted by daveadams at 11:56 AM on August 18, 2000

OK, so there are some generally liberal-minded people who are not ready to give up dairy products. What to do? Here's an idea: support a tax on animal products.

And why should an "opponent of Big Government" like Aaron support such a measure? Because it would cut billions of dollars from the federal budget in health and environmental costs:

"These health and environmental costs are paid by all of us, both those who eat meat and those who don't. If people choose not to eat meat, as more and more Americans are doing, they should not pay for the negative effects generated by the meat industry. Our country has federal excise taxes on other products which harm human health (tobacco and alcohol) or the environment (gas, air travel, and luxury vehicles). Raising animals for food causes more detriment to human health and destruction of the environment than any other U.S. industry."
posted by johnb at 1:18 PM on August 18, 2000

And I personally take the fact that strict vegetarians have trouble getting all the nutrients they need without vitamin supplements as fairly good evidence of that.

Actually, a diet consisting wholly of vegetables is deficient in only one nutrient: vitamin B-12 -- and this is not an issue if you also eat some grains, nuts etc. This fact is easily verified by a casual analysis of the USDA nuitrient database.

Indeed, the vast majority of nutrition scientists testify to the healthfulness of a vegetarian diet. Picking an example at random, according to the Mayo Clinic :

"Vegetarians have lower rates of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and non-insulin-dependent diabetes. A study of nearly 2,000 vegetarians and part-time vegetarians conducted by German cancer researchers found eating little or no meat cut death rates from heart and circulatory disease in half and deaths from cancer by 25 to 50 percent. Vegetarians are also less likely to have gallstones, kidney stones and constipation and they weigh less on average."

You choose not to support your rather sweeping claims with citation of the scientific literature. That is presumably because only fringe "scientists" at conservative think tanks would agree with you.
posted by johnb at 6:45 PM on August 18, 2000

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