Saturday, February 10, 2007

Vermont, Pies, and Politics

Maybe it's the New England air, the green mountains, or just something in the water, but the state of Vermont seems to me like a progressive place. A state that elected people like Jim Jeffords and Howard Dean, and legalized same-sex civil unions back in 2000, is certainly not a red state.

The progressive attitude goes beyond pure politics, as it overlaps into the way Vermonters do business. Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry's has started True Majority at, to promote progressive causes at a grassroots level. His animated short showing how to fund a better society is at

Another Vermont venture has a similar comparison on its website and on its product packaging. Vermont Mystic Pie Company ( not only makes a wonderful product, but has a pie chart on its boxes showing how the Pentagon takes about half of the budget of the United States. By reclaiming just 15% of the defense budget, we could do ALL of the following:
  • Rebuild our public schools
  • Retrain laid-off workers
  • Begin to reduce the national debt
  • Provide both health care and Head Start for every child in the U.S. that needs it
  • Feed every starving child in the world's poorest nations
  • Decrease our dependence on foreign oil
The company gives 10% of its profits to causes that support these goals. The Ben Cohen feature at the link higher up in this article, lays it out very clearly. I recommend you take a look.

All politics aside, the Vermont Mystic Pie Company makes a fantastic pie. Their products are Apple Pie, Blueberry with Apples Pie, and pie crusts. Their pies use wild Maine blueberries, apples from an ecologically-friendly orchard on Lake Champlain, and their wonderful flaky crust uses Grade AA butter from a farmer-owned cooperative. Best of all, not only are these the tastiest pre-made pies I have ever had, they are free of heart-clogging trans fats.

Let me add that I am in no way affiliated with Vermont Mystic Pie, but am pleased to recommend them, both for their pies and their activism. Check their website for a store that sells them near you. I got mine at Whole Foods.

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