Additional Information on Ben Cohen

* Cohen was born at the same Brooklyn hospital where his future friend and business partner, Jerry Greenfield, was born just four days earlier. The two subsequently grew up near one another but did not meet until they were in the same seventh-grade gym class.

* Cohen attended Colgate University for two years before dropping out and moving to Long Island. From 1971-74, he attended the University Without Walls (at Skidmore College), where he took courses in jewelry-making and pottery. He subsequently worked menial jobs until 1977. These included jobs as a cashier at McDonald’s; a guard at the Saratoga Raceway; a night mopper at a Jamesway store and a Friendly’s restaurant; an assistant superintendent at Gaslight Square Apartments (in Rochester, New York); a pottery wheel delivery person; a pediatric emergency-room clerk at Bellevue Hospital; and a taxi cab driver. He also took courses in experimental sound recording at The New School, and in art therapy at New York University. In addition, Cohen interned as a craft therapist at Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx and at the Grand Street Settlement House on New York’s Lower East Side.

Claiming that “it can no longer be denied” that “the effects of climate change” caused by “man-made carbon pollution” are having an “increasin[g]” effect on “our fragile planet,” B&J declares: “The scientific evidence is settled; global warming is real and already impacting people around the world.” Adds the Foundation: “The cruel irony of climate change is that people in the developing world, who can least afford to adapt to climate change, will pay the steepest price for the 200 years of industrialization and pollution from the developed world. It truly is an issue of climate justice.” To address this matter, B&J launched a carbon-offsets program for its Vermont manufacturing facilities in 2002; carried out its first global-warming advocacy campaign in 2007; initiated a “Save Our Swirled” ice-cream flavor (to increase climate-change awareness) in 2015; and published a list of “Endangered Pints” in 2016—i.e., ice-cream flavors that, because of “the impact of global warming” on harvests of ingredients like cocoa and peanuts, could possibly become scarce or unavailable in the future.

After the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 U.S. states in 2015, B&J, claiming that “the movement for marriage equality is on an unstoppable roll,” celebrated the decision by introducing a new cookie-dough ice-cream flavor called “I Dough, I Dough.”

Announcing its support for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest movement in October 2016, B&J lamented that “systemic and institutionalized racism” was “disadvantaging and discriminating against people of color” nationwide, most notably in the form of “violence and threats to the lives and well-being of black people.” “All lives do matter,” said B&J. “But all lives will not matter until black lives matter.” One method by which B&J raised money for BLM was by selling T-shirts that read “Hands Up Don’t Shoot,” a slogan that had grown out of the false narrative which claimed that a white police officer’s fatal 2014 shooting of Michael Brown, a young black man in Missouri, had occurred while Brown was raising his hands in submission and pleading, “Don’t shoot.”

For a number of years, B&J has advocated in favor of requiring food manufacturers to indicate on their packaging labels whether or not a product contains GMO ingredients.

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