Saturday, 20 February 2010

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry's is an American division of the British-Dutch Unilever conglomerate that manufactures ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, and ice cream novelty products, manufactured by Ben & Jerry's Homemade Holdings, Inc., headquartered in South Burlington, Vermont, United States, with the main factory in Waterbury.

In 1977 lifelong friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield completed a correspondence course on ice cream making from the Pennsylvania State University. On May 5, 1978, with a $12,000 investment the pair opened an ice cream parlor in a renovated gas station in downtown Burlinton, Vermont. In 1979, they marked their anniversary by holding the first-ever free cone day, now a nationwide annual celebration.
The founders were able to combine ice cream making with social activism by creating a three-part mission statement that considered profits as only one measure of success. Their mission statement has three parts: a Social Mission, a Product Mission, and an Economic Mission. Their Social Mission describes the company’s need to operate in a way that recognizes their influence on society, and the importance of improving the quality of life all over the world. Their Product Mission states that they will always strive to make the finest quality products, working to use natural, wholesome ingredients. It also states that they will advertise business mannerisms that respect the Earth. Their Economic mission describes their promise to operate their company on a “sustainable financial basis of profitable growth, increasing value for [their] stakeholders and expanding opportunities for development and career growth for [their] employees.” "Underlying the mission of Ben & Jerry’s is the determination to seek new and creative ways of addressing all three parts, while holding a deep respect for individuals inside and outside the company and for the communities of which they are a part."
In 1980, Ben and Jerry rented space in an old spool and bobbin mill on South Champlain Street in Burlington and began packing their ice cream in pints. In 1981, the first Ben & Jerry’s franchise opened on Route 7 in Shelburne
, Vermont. In 1983, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream was used to build “the world’s largest ice cream sundae” in St, Albans, Vermont; the sundae weighed 27,102 pounds. In 1984, Haagen-Dazs tried to limit distribution of Ben & Jerry’s in Boston, prompting Ben & Jerry’s to file suit against the parent company, Pillsbury, in its now famous “What’s the Doughboy Afraid Of?” campaign. In 1987, Häagen-Dazs again tried to enforce exclusive distribution, and Ben & Jerry’s filed its second lawsuit against the Pillsbury Company. In 1985, the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation was established at the end of the year with a gift from Ben & Jerry's to fund community-oriented projects; it was then provided with 7.5% of the company’s annual pre-tax profits. In 1986, Ben & Jerry’s launched its “Cowmobile”, a modified mobile home used to distribute free scoops of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in a unique, cross-country “marketing drive”—driven and served by Ben and Jerry themselves. The “Cowmobile” burned to the ground outside of Cleveland four months later, but there were no injuries. Ben said it looked like “the world’s largest baked Alaska.”
In 1988, the pair won the title of U.S Small Business Persons Of The Year, awarded by U.S.
President Ronald Reagan. Also this year, the first brownies were ordered from Greyston Bakery, which led to the development of the popular Chocolate Fudge Brownie flavor. In 1992, Ben & Jerry’s joined in a co-operative campaign with the national non-profit Children's Defense Fund; the campaign goal was to bring children’s basic needs to the top of the national agenda. Over 70,000 postcards were sent to Congress concerning kids and other national issues.
In April 2000, Ben & Jerry's announced its acquisition by multinational food giant Unilever. Unilever said it hopes to carry on the tradition of engaging "in these critical, global economic and social missions." Although the founders are still engaged with the company, they do not hold any board or management position and are not involved in day-to-day management of the company
In 2001, Ben & Jerry's U.S. completed transition to "Eco-Pint" packaging, which packaged all pint flavors in unbleached paperboard Eco-Pint containers. The use of brown-kraft unbleached paperboard was a critical first step toward a totally biodegradable pint made without added chlorine. However, due to what they described as increasing supply, quality, and cost challenges, Ben & Jerry's discontinued their use of the Eco-Pint in 2006, transitioning to a pint container made out of a bleached paperboard that they said was more readily available with superior forming characteristics."Ben & Jerry's Social and Environmental Assessment 2006".
On Earth Day in 2005, when a vote in the U.S. Senate proposed the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, Ben & Jerry's launched a protest by creating the largest ever Baked Alaska, which weighed 1,140 pounds, and placed it in front of the US Capitol Building. In March 2009, "CyClone Dairy" launched an advertising campaign and a website to promote its milk products, which purportedly came exclusively from cloned cows. On April 1, 2009 (April Fool's Day), Ben & Jerry's announced that it was behind this fake company. Ben & Jerry's had created the tongue-in-cheek hoax to raise awareness of the increasing presence of products from cloned animals within American food, and to campaign for a tracking system of cloned-animal products. The hoax was revealed on April Fool's Day with the message: "We believe you should have the right to choose which foods you eat – and not to eat cloned foods if you don’t want to. And that's why Ben & Jerry’s believes we need a national clone tracking system, so people and companies can know where their food is coming from." For the month of September in 2009, Ben & Jerry's temporarily changed the name of one of its best-selling ice creams, "Chubby Hubby", to "Hubby Hubby", in celebration of the legalization of gay marriage in its home state of Vermont. The new "Hubby Hubby" tub features a picture of two men getting married as well as a picture of a rainbow.

Ben & Jerry's has collaborated with a large number of organizations, including many NGOs. The company has worked with the World Wildlife Fund and explorer Marc Cornelissen to open the Climate Change College. Its aims are to educate normal young people on what they believe are the science, the politics and the campaign strategies behind climate change so that they can then produce a successful campaign of their own. Students become ambassadors for preventing global warming and do their own research in the Arctic.

Free Cone Day
Free Cone Day is an annual event held in late April or early May, in which Ben & Jerry's scoop shops give out free ice cream cones. The 30th annual Free Cone Day took place on Tuesday, April 29, 2008, and the most recent event took place on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 which celebrated the company's 31st anniversary.
Over one million free cones are given away each year, prompting the company's ad slogan "Be One In A Million." Charitable organizations are often present at the stores each year and enjoy a significant amount of fundraising success. Oftentimes, local celebrities show up at various stores, promoting the day and the charities there.
Sometimes the event is scheduled to coincide with Earth Day and sometimes volunteers are on hand with clipboards and voter registration forms to help those who would like to register to vote. (Pictured left: Girl in cow costume promoting Free Cone Day outside a Ben & Jerry's shop in Stockholm, Sweden).
The first Free Cone Day was held on May 5, 1979 by Ben and Jerry as a customer and staff appreciation event for the one year anniversary of their store's opening.

Cultural significance and reach
Ben & Jerry's was the first brand-name ice cream to be taken into space aboard the Space Shuttle. Most of the cruise ships of the Royal Caribbean International have a Ben & Jerry's scoop shop on board.
Ben and Jerry appeared on the Colbert Report on March 5, 2007 to plug their new ice cream flavor "Stephen Colbert's AmeriCone Dream" and their "grassroots education and advocacy project" TrueMajority.
The pictures of the cows on Ben & Jerry's ice cream cartons were painted by Woody Jackson.
They renamed a flavor, Yes Pecan, in reference to Barack Obama's winning the presidency. They also decided in January 2009 to donate all proceeds made on the sale of that flavor to the Common Cause Education Fund.
In 2009, in partnership with Freedom to Marry, the company renamed the flavor "Chubby Hubby" to "Hubby Hubby" in support of marriage equality for same-sex couples.

Rumors have suggested that Ben & Jerry's supported the defense of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted in 1982 of killing Philadelphia Police officer Daniel Faulkner. Despite several appeals, Abu-Jamal's conviction has been upheld. As a result of this alleged support, the National Fraternal Order of Police has publicly called for a boycott of all Ben & Jerry's products. The Ben & Jerry's website denies that the company has had any connection with the case; however, it adds that Cohen did sign a petition as a private citizen to have "the system of American justice be followed fully in the case."

(Pictured right: Ford Kuga advertising Ben & Jerry's ice cream).
The company raised controversy in 2006 after releasing a flavor of ice cream called "Black and Tan." It had named the flavor after the alcoholic drink made by mixing stout with pale
ale. However, outrage stemmed from the fact that Black and Tans was also a name given to the irregular force of British ex-servicemen recruited during the Irish war of independence and renowned for their brutality. On September 25, 2008, Tracy Reiman from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield suggesting that to prevent cruelty to dairy cows that Ben & Jerry's should use human breast milk in their ice cream products. Ben & Jerry's spokeswoman Liz Brenna replied that while the company applauds PETA's novel approach to bring attention to this issue, the company believes a human mother's milk is best used for her child. Ben & Jerry's has been heavily criticized by the photography community for their policy that no one is allow to take pictures of the restaurant while they are inside, except for the walls. The management claims this is because of problems with corporate espionage, but are unable to answer how preventing photography in the store prevents anyone from just buying a product, walking outside, and taking pictures anyway. Photographers caught taking pictures within the store are set on by the management, and ordered to cease or leave. They also do not allow any photography of their production floor during factory tours.

Animal Crackers

Dog tired!

Japanese Traditions

The code of etiquette in Japan governs the expectations of social behaviour in the country and is considered very important. Many books instruct readers on its minutiae.
Some conventions may be very regional practices, and thus may not exist in all regions of Japan. The following are generally accepted modern customs in Japan. Some customs have changed over the course of history.
Shinto is a very ancient religion. It does not have a founder or sacred scriptures.
"Shinto gods" are called kami. They are sacred spirits which take the form of things and concepts important to life, such as wind, rain, mountains, trees, rivers and fertility. Humans become kami after they die and are revered by their families as ancestral kami. The kami of extraordinary people are even enshrined at some shrines. The Sun Goddess Amaterasu is considered Shinto's most important kami.The Four Affirmations' of Shinto.
1 Tradition and family must be honored.
2 Love of nature Most shrines are built in groves on the edge of the village, near a waterfall, near a distinctive rock on the seashore.
3 Physical cleanliness
4 Festivals and ceremonies must be honored. Japanese festivals are joyous occasions. These events are intended as entertainment for the benefit of the kami as well as for the participants.

Making payment
Instead of handing a cashier cash from one's hands to the cashier's hands, it is a commonplace practice in Japan to place the money onto a small tray that is placed specifically for the purpose near the cashier machine. Not following this rule is considered rude in Japanese culture, however convenience store, or "kombini", normally do not stick strictly to this rule. It is important to note that when anything is given directly from hands-to-hands, for example money or a business card, that both the giver and receiver hold the article with both hands.
(Pictured left: Mt Fuji).
Eating and drinking
Meals in Japan traditionally begin with the phrase itadakimasu (
いただきます?) (literally, "I humbly receive"). The phrase is similar to the phrase "bon appétit," or grace, used in the case of some individuals, at every meal. It is said to express gratitude for all who had a part in preparing the food, and in cultivating, ranching or hunting edible food of plants and animals. This originates in the consideration that living organisms are giving their life to human beings as Dāna. Upon finishing a meal, the Japanese also use the polite phrase Gochisosama-deshita (ごちそうさまでした, Gochisōsama-deshita?) (lit. Thank you for good meal- it was) or - more informal/simple - Gochisōsama. Gochisōsama is also based on the religious belief where chisō (馳走;ちそう?) means running with efforts (by riding a horse, thereby indicating expedience) to cater foods for the guest, then linguistically altered to express gratitude to their efforts with adding go and sama as the form of teineigo (丁寧語). To join one's hands in the namasté gesture while saying these words is good manners. (See also Mottainai as Buddhist philosophy.)
It is considered polite to clear one's plate, even to the last grain of rice; children are especially encouraged to do so. It is impolite to pick out certain ingredients and leave the rest. One should chew with the mouth closed.
It is acceptable to lift soup and rice bowls to your mouth so that you don't spill food. It is also appropriate to slurp certain foods, especially ramen or soba noodles, though this is not practiced universally.
Rice is generally eaten plain or sometimes with nori (dried-pressed seaweed) or furikake (various seasonings). Pouring soy sauce onto plain white rice is not a Japanese custom, nor is it common to pour soy sauce directly over sashimi or sushi. Instead, soy sauce is poured into a small dish that is provided, and the food dipped into the sauce. Furthermore, to pour an excessive amount of soy sauce into the small dish is considered greedy and wasteful. When eating nigiri-zushi, one should dip the sushi topping side down into the sauce; leaving stray grains of rice floating in the sauce is considered uncouth (but rather hard to avoid for those who have difficulty with chopsticks). In sushi-only restaurants, it is acceptable to use fingers instead of chopsticks to eat the nigiri-zushi.
It is still uncommon for Japanese people to eat while walking about. Some consider it rude to eat in public or on trains, but this is not a universally-held belief.
Many Japanese restaurants provide diners with single-use wooden chopsticks that must be snapped apart. Chopsticks taper toward the bottom; the thicker top part, which will be snapped apart, will have small splinters. One should never use the thick, splintered end to pick up food. In order to remove the splinters, it is acceptable to rub one chopstick against the other; however, the common Western practice of placing both chopsticks between the palms and vigorously clattering them together is extremely rude, especially when one is seated at a sushi bar, as this signals the waiter that one thinks his utensils are cheap.
In Japanese restaurants, customers are given a rolled hand towel called oshibori (お絞り?). It is considered rude to use the towel to wipe the face or neck; however, some people, usually men, do this at more informal restaurants. Nonwoven towelettes are replacing the cloth oshibori.
When using tooth picks, it is good etiquette to cover one's mouth with the other hand. Blowing one's nose is considered rude in public, especially at a restaurant, and a cloth handkerchief should never be used for the purpose. It is polite to cover one's nose with the hand, or excuse oneself to the restroom first.
Visiting someone's house
It is considered an honour to be invited to one's home in Japan. Many Japanese regard their homes to be too humble to entertain guests. Wooden geta are provided for short walks outside when entering the house. Since the floor level is often higher than ground or entrance level or even the same height, Japanese don't want the floor to be stained by soil, sands or dust that may be attached to bottom of footwear. It is generally considered polite to wear shoes instead of sandals, but sandal wearers may carry a pair of white socks to put over their bare feet or stockings, so that their bare feet will not touch the slippers that the host offers. The shoes are turned around so that the toe faces the door after taking them off. During the winter time, if a guest is wearing a coat or hat, the guest will take it off before the host opens the door. When the guest is leaving, he or she does not put on the coat or hat until the door has closed.
Regarding seating arrangements, see kamiza.
Greetings are considered to be of extreme importance in Japanese culture. Students in elementary and secondary schools are often admonished to deliver greetings with energy and vigor. A lazy greeting is regarded with the type of disdain that would accompany a limp handshake in parts of the West. (Pictured right: Kami)
Simply walking off without saying anything is frowned upon. When parting, instead of simply saying goodbye, it is common to make a wish to meet again.
The most common greetings are ohayō gozaimasu (おはようございます?) or "good morning", used until about 11am but may be used at any time of day if it is the first occasion that day the two people have met; konnichiwa (こんにちは
?) which is roughly equivalent to "good day" or "good afternoon" and is used until late afternoon; konbanwa (今晩は?) or "good evening"; and oyasuminasai (お休みなさい?) or "good night". Different forms of these greetings may be used depending on the relative social statuses of the speaker and the listener.
Since many Japanese homes are very small, entertaining is traditionally done at restaurants and other establishments. Entertaining at home is not unheard of however, and hosts will often go to great lengths to be hospitable.
Generally, as in many other cultures, the guest takes priority. He or she will be seated in the best place, served the best food and drinks, and generally deferred to. If staying overnight, the guest will also be offered the first bath, and the hosts may even give up their own beds.
Japanese hosts generally try for the ideal of being busy so the guest can relax. As opposed to Western hospitality styles where the host presents a relaxed front to the guests or may encourage guests to "make themselves at home" or "help themselves," Japanese hosts will often present a busy front to guests. The general aim is to cultivate the idea among guests that everything is being taken care of so that they may relax and be at ease.
Letter writing materials
Personal letters are traditionally written by hand using blue or black ink, or with a writing brush and black ink. The preferred paper is washi (Japanese paper). Letters may be written vertically (tategaki) or horizontally (yokogaki), but vertical is the traditional, and therefore more formal, direction.

Today's Smile


Thought For Today

After dinner, rest; after supper walk a mile.
Arab Proverb