Ben And Jerry’s Popular Flavors Are Now Endangered Thanks To Climate Change

These political ice cream producers are determined to open people's eyes.

Credit: Ben and Jerry's

Credit: Ben and Jerry’s

Ben and Jerry’s recently released a list of “Endangered Pints” to make a point about climate change: it’s real, and its effects are much closer to bringing everything we know and love crashing down than humans think.

The ice cream company has always been known for its philanthropic, fair, and environmental practices when it comes to running its stores and producing ice cream, so it’s no surprise that they released the list in an effort to let people know that climate change is very serious and pressing.

Many of the flavors rely on the same core ingredients, so when those ingredients experience a shortage all of the flavors (and the people who enjoy them) will suffer. The website explained,

“We rely on farmers all over the world for our ingredients, and when they don’t have the predictable weather patterns needed for farming, that can mean no cocoa, no peanuts, and no Peanut Butter Cup ice cream.”

Chocolate, peanuts, and coffee are all at stake here, and they are present in a number of the ice creams. Twenty-six ice creams were put on the list, including beloved flavors like Half Baked, Chunky Monkey, New York Super Fudge Chunk, and Cherry Garcia.

The point of the new list is not to merely scare people into realizing their favorite flavors will be gone but that climate change affects many facets of life and needs to be reckoned with now. As for how climate change is actually impacting the three core ingredients, it all comes down to rising temperatures affecting crops.

Credit: Export South America

Credit: Export South America

Cocoa beans require a very specific environment to thrive; though they require a bit of heat and humidity, the already-rising temperatures are causing the trees to die out as the rainfall lessens. The only way to combat this is for cocoa-growers to move to higher altitudes—except they can’t, because the area where they are primarily grown, West Africa, has a pretty flat terrain. As a result, cocoa production is estimated to drop 50% by 2050.

Nut trees also require the perfect climate to flourish, and the cold winters suit them perfectly. As winters begin to slowly warm up, the chances of trees that need winter-chill time surviving decrease. On top of that, peanuts are notoriously fussy, and need months of warm weather and just the right amount of rain. The regions that produce them are predicted to experience some serious droughts because of high greenhouse gas emissions.

Coffee is very vulnerable to the effects of climate change because, although there are a huge variety of beans that have adapted to different climates, the needs of each bean are extremely particular and specific to that region it’s adjusted to. The site said,

“Warmer temperatures, long droughts, extreme rainfall, more resilient pests, and rapidly spreading diseases are all taking their toll on coffee production. And – you guessed it – all those things are associated with climate change.”

When Ben and Jerry put it in this simple way—basically, make changes to benefit the environment or lose ice cream, nuts, chocolate, and coffee simultaneously—it’s almost easier to convince oneself to actually make adjustments. The effects of climate change are upon us, and do you really want to be the reason that the world doesn’t have these sweet treats in the future?

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