Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
We, the members of Students for Legume Rights and Privileges, hereby propose a campus-wide boycott of Black Bean Burgers (BBBs, or “beebs”) as a step towards ending legume abuses in the state of Pennsylvania. These abuses, widely reported in the mainstream press since 2010, are a blight on the state’s otherwise impeccable legume rights record and an affront to USDA standards and international law alike.
As the Northeast’s central hub of the international black black bean market, Philadelphia-based black bean traffickers have committed numerous acts of violence against legumes. In most black bean crime rings, dried black beans and other legumes are routinely stored in airtight containers in cool, dry, and dark places where they are kept for up to 12 months in a solitary state. The situation is no better for canned black beans, which are often exposed to toxic environments containing additives and resin-based material such as bisphenol A (BPA).
SLRP (pronounced “slurpy”) believes these practices are a consistent violation of the basic legume dignity of the black bean population, and must end immediately. To do so, we have identified boycott as the most reliable, nonviolent, and specialty bar-avoiding means to bring the makers of black bean burgers to the negotiating table, which for those of you who do not know, is located at D3 in the main room of Sharples.
The Philadelphia-based brand which produces the BBBs so beloved at Sharples and Essie Mae’s, Blackwater Blackbeans, has been implicated in several instances of legume cruelty. In December 2011, an investigation into Blackwater Blackbeans’ production methodology found the firm to be in violation of 13 counts of the USDA’s guidelines on free-range vegan commodities.
Swarthmore’s purchase of BBBs from Blackwater Blackbeans is a blatant breach of the college’s commitment to social responsibility. While Blackwater Blackbeans’ BBBs are one of the most sought-after grill items for Meat Eating (ME), Non-Meat Eating (NME), Non-Animal Bi-Product-Eating (NABPE), and Non-Eating (NE) identifying Swatties, boycotting this product will not be as problematic to harmonious relations among eating orientations as it may seem. And while black beans provide a cheap source of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and protein, we are confident there are numerous Black Bean Substitutes (BBS, or “bibs”) which will more than satisfy the college community’s nutritional needs.
We invite the college community to join us in this important cause. To support Legume Rights and Privileges, just remember this pneumonic poem:
Beans, beans the magical fruit
But BBS, not BBBs, make that point moot.
Don’t get burpy, stand with SLRP;
The silence speaks louder than toots.
Students for Legume Rights and Privileges is holding a BBBs Boycott (better known as B4) interest meeting on Sunday, April 1st at 9 PM in Science Center 128.