Ben & Jerry’s is exhorting you to taste “sweet justice” by indulging in a new flavor: “Colin Kaepernick’s Change the Whirled.” (Change the world, get it?)
Technically speaking, it’s non-dairy so they can’t call it ice cream. According to the Ben & Jerry’s website, it’s a caramel non-dairy “frozen dessert” with fudge chips, graham cracker swirls and chocolate cookie swirls. The flavor “honors Colin’s activism in pursuit of racial justice” and will be a permanent addition to the company’s line-up.
The dessert flavor doesn’t include bacon, even though Kaepernick famously wore socks with pigs dressed as cops on them.
Kaepernick played quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. During the 2016 season, Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality.
After leaving the NFL, he was given a lucrative Nike deal.
According to the company, Ben & Jerry’s was “so inspired by Colin Kaepernick’s bold activism for racial justice” that they “whipped up a euphoric flavor to honor his work.”
Euphoric flavor. Apparently Kaepernick isn’t the only one who knows how to turn up the hype.
The Ben & Jerry’s website also includes this jewel of a line: “Follow the graham cracker and chocolate cookie swirls as you dig into this cara-melt-in-your-mouth vegan dessert masterpiece and consider how you, too, can help change the whirled.”
Vegan does not mean healthy
The Ben & Jerry’s website says that the new flavor is vegan, “because Kaepernick is a committed vegan.”
Just because something is vegan does not mean it’s healthy. Let’s look at that nutrition label:
A single serving size is 2/3 of a cup, which is 400 calories and includes 31 grams of added sugar – that’s 62 percent of the daily recommended allowance based on a 2,000-calorie diet. It also contains 12 grams of saturated fat, which is 60% of the daily recommended allowance. This vegan frozen dessert is mostly empty calories that provide little-to-no nutritional value.
And if you’re the type who eats the full container in one sitting, well, that’s 1190 calories and 93 grams of sugar – 186 percent of the daily recommended allowance.
The vegan dessert is also loaded with oils (the ingredients list specifies coconut oil, canola oil, and soybean oil).
Ben & Jerry’s website says that Kaepernick’s share of the proceeds will help fund his Know Your Rights Camp, “an organization he founded to empower Black and Brown youth and elevate the voices of the next generation of racial justice leaders.” The Know Your Rights Camp is organized around 10 fundamental rights, including that “You have the right to be HEALTHY.”
The Ben & Jerry’s website also says that “COVID revealed to everyone what Kaepernick and our other friends and partners challenging anti-Blackness have been saying for decades: White supremacy is a threat to public health and a threat to public safety.”
You know what’s also a threat to public health? Sugar. It’s ironic that Ben & Jerry’s is talking about COVID, given that overweight people are more at risk of dying during the coronavirus pandemic.
Here’s an idea for Ben & Jerry: if you want to do something to help the world, stop poisoning it with sugary, nutrition-free desserts. Sugar is one of the drivers contributing to the nation’s obesity epidemic that is ravaging the health of poor and disadvantaged communities and making the coronavirus pandemic worse.