Ben & Jerry’s Churns Climate Change Concerns Into Its Newest Flavor

Saving the world, one ice-cream flavor at a time.

(Photo: Twitter)

May 27, 2015· 1 MIN READ
Samantha Cowan is an associate editor for culture.

Known for its punny titles and imaginative ingredients, ice-cream innovator Ben & Jerry’s has added a taste of politics to its newest flavor, Save Our Swirled.

The raspberry ice cream flecked with marshmallow and raspberry swirls and dotted with mini dark- and white-fudge ice-cream cones, which hit stores on Wednesday, is part of the Vermont company’s climate change campaign, developed in conjunction with environmental advocacy group Avaaz and Tesla Motors.

Each pint directs consumers to an online petition calling on global leaders to nail down concrete steps to curb global warming at the December climate change summit in Paris. The petition’s lofty goal is to keep the global temperature from rising 2 degrees Celsius by demanding leaders to work toward 100 percent clean energy and completely phase out carbon pollution by 2050.

“If it’s melted, it’s ruined,” reads the campaign’s tag line—which is as true for the planet as it is for ice cream.

The company didn’t skimp on flavor to make its point, but if you look closely while eating the ice cream, you’ll see that it makes a statement while tasting good: As the ice cream melts, the tiny fudge cones appear to drown in a sea of creamy goodness, a reminder of the difference a couple of degrees makes.

Metaphors aside, rising temperatures have a wider impact on how crops grow worldwide, affecting future flavor options and the bottom line of the company and its farmers.

“We work with specific small co-ops in Uganda and Madagascar, and if the climate changes, that may make growing vanilla and cocoa really hard,” Christopher Miller, Ben & Jerry’s social mission activism manager, told Yahoo Food.

Along with this awareness campaign, the creamery is working to make its own production increasingly green. From transporting and storing products to harmful methane emissions from dairy cows, manufacturing ice cream can leave a rather hefty carbon footprint. Ben & Jerry’s continues to work on using renewable energy sources in its major freezers and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. But it’s just one company, and to effect large-scale change it needs some help from the world’s top environmental experts and leaders to implement international regulations.

As the campaign heats up—and, hopefully, the planet cools down—pints of Save Our Swirled will head to Europe in September and Asia by year’s end, so each world leader can have a scoop before making any big decisions at December’s summit.