April 3, 2013

ELIOT: Save the Scoop Shop

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With the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington last November and the popularity of the television series Breaking Bad, it seems like America’s “War on Drugs” is nearing its end. So naturally, there must be a replacement. Over the past couple of years, it has become increasingly apparent on what this war will be waged. We are living in the midst of America’s “War on Ice Cream.”

Everywhere you go, there are more and more frozen yogurt shops while the classic mom and pop scoop shops (internal rhyme — see you there) and your big box equivalents — Cold Stone, Marble Slab and Baskin-Robbins — seem to be disappearing. Why are we waging war on one of the world’s staple desserts, when it is the frozen yogurt that should be the enemy?  I don’t typically take particularly strong stances in my columns, but I am a single-issue voter, and the one issue that really gets me really riled up is the soon-to-be Supreme Court case (I’m sure it’s on the docket): Ice Cream v. Frozen Yogurt.

Jerry Greenfield, of Ben and Jerry’s, gave a talk in Statler Auditorium last night. The thing that stood out to me most from his presentation was that the threat on ice cream is a very real thing. It is also important to note that I am writing this column for Thursday on Tuesday night for my Wednesday deadline —  before the Wednesday night Jerry Greenfield lecture. That is to say, I made up the lesson from the Greenfield talk. I do think though, that frozen yogurt is a real threat to one of the world’s staple desserts.

Frozen yogurt is un-American. Think of your experiences purchasing this poor substitute for a frozen treat. Is there any semblance of the artistry that you find in a typical ice cream shop? Do the employees work hard and exercise their forearms scooping the right amount of ice cream from the large buckets under the glass? No. What do you find in a frozen yogurt shop? Typically it is a lot of odd, Jetsons-esque décor and a disinterested teenager whose only function is pressing a button to weigh your disgusting substitute for ice cream and then take your money. If there is one thing that I do not want to see more of in this world, it is lazy teenagers who try to take my money. Ice cream shop employees sing for you to thank you for a tip. Yeah, it might be a little weird and awkward, but at least they’re trying.

You know who liked ice cream more than frozen yogurt? George Washington. George Washington casually dropped $200 just on ice cream in the summer of 1790 (true) — which is about $5,000 (or 1,219,200 calories) of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream today (true). At that point, you would basically bleed ice cream. So what if he didn’t have a choice between the two? He ate ice cream, and he is a historical figure. I think that alone should be enough. Frozen yogurt is sugar-free, calorie-free and all other things good free. Most people don’t know it, but the cake that Marie Antoinette told “them” to eat was sugar-free. That’s what “they” got so mad about (not true). It just isn’t natural for things that taste good to be good for us — similar to how nothing that we should do (exercise, studying, etc.) is fun. Ice cream is full of fat and cholesterol and calories that do very little for us AND it is delicious — that is the most natural thing in the world.

I get it. Frozen yogurt is a healthy alternative to its fatty counterpart, ice cream. You can customize it by adding gummy bears, Reese’s cups, chocolate sauce or fruit (… I guess ….) to your liking. It has all the makings of something that could be “cool.” Pinkberry is from California, and California is cool. But it was Andre 3000 who asked, in his 2003 hit single “Hey Ya!” “What’s cooler than being cool?” The answer: Ice cream.

Christo Eliot is a sophomore in the College of Engineering. He may be reached at celiot@cornellsun.com. The Tale of the Dingo at Midnight appears alternate Thursdays this semester.

Original Author: Christo Eliot