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Be a Patriot: Eat Ice Cream!
July is National Ice Cream month- as if you needed an official excuse to eat all the different types of frozen confections there are on the planet this summer. But that is why we are here: to occasionally post a blog that you can point to and say: “I’ve been given permission by this extremely science-oriented blog and eco-friendly company!” Plus, it would be unpatriotic to not eat ice cream today.
This recognition month isn’t some unofficial ploy by Breyers or Dreyer’s (why are the names so similar?) to deceive you into purchasing ice cream. National Ice Cream Month and the included National Ice Cream Day -always the third Sunday in July- were proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. He signed it into law saying “...I call upon the people of the United States to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities.” He even said ice cream is “a fun and nutritious food.”
According to the USDA via the International Dairy Foods Association, in 2011 approximately 1.53 billion gallons of ice cream and frozen desserts were produced in the United States with the majority of ice cream being made in the U.S.’ central region- 726 million gallons. 9% of the milk produced by our dairy industry is used for ice cream. In total the industry generates over $21 billion in annual sales.
Now here is where we are going to rain on your holiday parade but just for a short time: ice cream has a middle of the road but still shocking carbon footprint.
The bestselling book, How Bad Are Bananas?, written by Mike Berners-Lee, founder of Small World Consulting, estimated ice cream’s carbon footprint. For the book’s purposes he uses carbon to represent all the GHG emissions and footprint as a metaphor “for the total impact that something has.”
50 g CO2e: a 60g popsicle from the supermarket eaten on the day of purchase.
500 g CO2e: a big dairy ice cream eaten from a dairy van
The popsicle has a smaller footprint than the dairy product obviously because it’s not made from milk which comes from cows. The popsicle is likely kept in an efficient freezer at the store. But do notice Berners-Lee only listed a single popsicle: who buys a single popsicle to eat that day? Everyone knows popsicles come in boxes of 20 or so -and what about your home freezer: is it as efficient as the one at the store?
The “big dairy” from the ice cream truck with a not as efficient freezer estimate did come with a disclaimer
“I’ve guesstimated from a broad understanding of the footprint of different food ingredients and transport impacts and from knowing a little bit about mobile refrigeration.”
1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.
1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.
2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.