September 23, 2007

Monkeylicious? Say It Ain't So!

I love coconut cake as much as anyone, and you don't ever want to stand between me and a box of Chessmen cookies, but I don't know if I can stay on board the Pepperidge Farm love train in light of this purported "flavor feature" that I noticed on the company's website.

"Harvest helpers: In Thailand, specially-trained macaque monkeys pick coconuts from trees."

Is this a charming anecdote, or are the purveyors of my beloved Mint Milanos admitting to profiting from forced monkey labor? And if this is their acknowledgment of putting our simian cousins (for whom I have, admittedly, a well-documented fondness) to work in their deliciousness factories, can they assure us that coconut picking is the extent of what's expected of our little not-quite-uprightly-bipedal friends? Don't make me imagine little cotton-topped tamarins sweating over ovens and sprinkling coconut shavings on cakes under the stern gaze of cruel, whip-cracking human masters -- I mean managers.

Seriously, Pepperidge Farm. What's going on here? If I flip over the coconut cake box and the nutritional information includes a little asterisk that says something like "product may contain mixed monkey parts," my love for you is dead.


AHP said...

I suppose animal labor is better than child labor, and monkeys are probably faster and less likely to end up as pieces parts in your cookies. I also love Mint Milanos, had to give them up in college.

By the way, it's tamarin, not tamarind which is a sour fruit used in Indian and other ethnicity cooking for seasoning. :-)

Bella Rossa said...

You are correct! "Tamarin" it is. Edited to adjust. It's nice to have Indian friends to point this stuff out to me. :)

Bubs said...

It's ok--when the monkeys are done harvesting they give them smokes and little bicycles to ride around on to relax. It's very humane.

Bella Rossa said...

Hey, Bubs! Monkey chunks are my favorite part of Chunky Monkey ice cream, so maybe I should stop pretending to be so concerned about their welfare.

Chancelucky said...

The last time I heard a reference to Macacque monkeys it was in relation to the Allen-Webb senate race in Virginia when George Allen decided to call a young Indian man Macaca.

Now I know the former senator was just thinking about Pepperidge Farm Goldfish or Brussels at the time.
It's easy to get hungry on the campaign trail.

Bella Rossa said...

And it's surprisingly easy to be more racist than usual when you're hungry.