I’m starting to think that I’m not liberal enough to buy BEN & JERRY’S ICE CREAM. I came home the other day with a new flavor — ONE WORLD — “made in limited batches.” I am not sure that “limited batches” is an accurate description. If I could buy ONE LOVE in MY local supermarket, you could probably buy the same flavor in Oregon without difficulty. That makes for a lot of batches. Just how are these batches “limited?” ONE LOVE refers to the title of Bob Marley’s wonderful song. Actually, I bought ONE LOVE based on my love for Marley’s reggae music, not because I necessarily liked — or even bothered to read the combination of ice cream flavors in it.
When I opened the carton (nanoseconds after I got home), I found that the dominant flavor was banana and the ice cream was filled with little chocolate peace signs. Peace signs? I have nothing against peace, but peace symbols are so 1960s, aren’t they? Do I have to wear my old tie-dyed jeans while I eat this stuff? The carton assured me that there were no growth hormones in the milk from the presumably happy cows. I was surprised that the ice cream didn’t also contain a caramel core in the shape of Bernie Sanders, a pledge to support free public college tuition and a 20 percent off coupon for the purchase of BIRKENSTOCK sandals. Eating BEN & JERRY’S made me feel as I was part of the “free love” generation. There is no such thing as “free” love today. Jeff Bezos and Robert Kraft found that out.
I got an inferiority complex from just opening the package. Do I hear Joan Baez singing? Am I progressive enough to even buy this ice cream? Do I have to pledge to wash out my peanut butter jar before I toss it into the recycle container? I am not worthy. I may have to switch to HAAGEN-DAZS or hang a pin-up of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in my office. Or both.
The eggs I purchased from LAND O’ LAKES cost me a small fortune, even with a discount coupon. When my wife questioned me about the high price, I said, “These brown eggs come from free-range hens.” By the way, what does “free range” mean? How far can you let chickens roam before they get lost? I understand that each of these elite-level chickens come from a farm where they get free passes to a spa and a two-week vacation in Puerto Vallarta, complete with conjugal visits from her favorite rooster. Fran hinted she’d like to work for LAND O’ LAKES as a hen in good standing.
Are brown eggs really better for you than white eggs? Do they taste better? I conducted a blind taste. Both color eggs tasted the same. My GOOGLE search tells me that both color eggs have the same nutritional value. Why the hell, then, am I paying more for brown eggs? It’s not that brown is a color that’s especially appealing to the eye. And who eats the shells? Yet, I have a nagging feeling that I’m doing myself and humanity a favor by buying brown eggs. Otherwise, why would I be given the choice? I have enough choices to make in my life. Like whether to buy fat-free milk or the 1 percent or 2 percent varieties. Is there that much difference among fat-free, 1 percent and 2 percent milk? I have an urge to buy “whole” milk because it makes me feel more complete. But then again, the “free” in fat-free also appeals to my libertarian instincts. I feel as if my decision will determine whether I’m truly a responsible citizen.
I very much want to be a responsible citizen of the world — or at least my neighborhood. I’m torn between being buying foods I like or wanting to make the world a better place. My meat should be humanely raised. But in the end, isn’t there still a mallet on the head and barbecue sauce in the animal’s future? My coffee not only has to be decaffeinated, but have FAIR TRADE on the label, a combination not always easy to find in my local store…at least at a price that I can afford. I was unnerved to find out that the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, is running for president. I am not supporting Schultz for president. Two years of Trump have taken the luster off, for me, of having a businessman for president. (Sorry, Howard). So, I wonder whether my purchase at STARBUCKS is helping Schultz’s campaign. Am I encouraging him? Should I switch to DUNKIN’ DONUTS coffee? Should just I start drinking tea? But buying tea also has its societal implications.
Take, for instance, my recent purchase of CELESTIAL SEASONINGS tea. This tea stands for something. Just read the package. CELESTIAL SEASONINGS tea has done everything but win the Nobel Peace Prize. This is a tea that could’ve proudly been endorsed by Mother Teresa. This is a tea that, by its very purchase, makes me feel like a humanitarian. It represents so many fine personal values that it could be a role model for your kids. All of us should be more like CELESTIAL SEASONINGS tea. It makes this planet a better place. I think the Church should canonize this tea.
One cup of this tea and I feel as if I’ve just liberated Venezuela.