Penzeys Spices Is Pro-Science!

I mean, like, really pro-science. Like, write-a-manifesto/rant/call to action pro-science. The email at the bottom of the blog was sent out on March 3rd to members of the Penzeys Spices mailing list.

Penzeys Spices is a local (midwest) spice company. There is a location here in Uptown Minneapolis and I currently have six jars of their products in my pantry – which now gives me an extra happy.

This is a neat blend of someone doing the work they love and standing up for a cause in which they believe. One of their customer service reps confirmed to me that Penzeys did send out the letter below, and that they are still looking for subject matter experts in economics and restorative justice. She was unable to tell me what Penzeys is planning on doing with these collected stories and recipes, but my guess is that we’ll see them put together as the theme of their next catalog.

It is refreshing to such a pro-science stance from a business.

From: Penzeys Spices <[email protected]>

Date: Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Subject: We need your help

The Pi Day of the century, 3.14/15 is only a little over a week away. For a time now Pi Day has been all about fun and of course pie, but with the way in recent years, science and even reality itself have come more and more under attack, I’m thinking maybe this year it’s time for Pi Day to emerge as something more than just fun.

For so much of our history, the people of our country and the world have benefited greatly from the science-based reality that has shaped America’s future. Science may be based on numbers, but science’s actual value is in its humanity. It’s beyond doubt that through science and the honest representation of reality our lives have become safer, healthier and happier.

Yet today the very science that has done so much to reduce suffering in our lives is now under attack. From the climate, to vaccines, to Wisconsin’s own Governor Walker’s belief that there are more votes in denying evolution than there are in embracing it, clearly somewhere something has gone very wrong. There is more than enough blame to go all around for how we got here, but maybe this is one of those times that where we are is not nearly as important as where we need to be.

Maybe rather than a debate of our differences, what we need is a celebration of what we share. At Penzeys we think Pi Day could grow into just the holiday we need. There really is no time to lose to get on to celebrating the truth of science-based reality and the math behind it. And there is also no time better than now to get back to celebrating the kindness, compassion and the nurturing nature of our shared humanity that has always been behind the very best that science has brought to our lives.

In Pi, the number is all the value and beauty and wonder that is at the heart of the reality science holds. In the gift of a good slice of pie, the desert is all the kindness and compassion that our shared humanity encompasses. Pi Day really is ready to become so much more. And could there be a better day to relaunch Pi Day as the holiday we truly need than 3.14/15; the Pi Day of the Century?
So we are reaching out to our customers for help. We need your stories and a recipe or two. We already have good stories in the works for living with climate change, the value of vaccines, evolution, and the psychology/brain chemistry of why as humans we are so resistant to seeing the certainty of climate change.

Where we still really need your help is in finding an economist or two to speak to why our deficit spending has left our economy and our humanity in so much better shape than what Europe is facing today. And we could also use one more person with the knowledge to speak to the monetary cost and the human cost of sending to prison people who simply need treatment instead.
For recipes we are flexible. Pies are great but not necessary. Maybe you have another baked good you like to share. Or possibly you have a way you like to make some other circular item: a sliced carrot recipe, scallops are always popular, or even a beet salad that’s an old family tradition would do the trick. We really are flexible.

The important thing is if you have the science, or the numbers, or the knowledge that is needed for good policy making in the fields of economics or restorative justice please actually contact us. Don’t wait for someone else to do it. Just email a phone number where we can reach you and I will have one of our friendly writers give you a call.

It’s time to get off the sidelines. We can’t let science and all the goodness it can bring to our lives be a victim of our cultural wars. I don’t mean to be overly dramatic, but the future really is at stake here. With your help 3.14/15 could be the turning point the world so very much needs.
We realize we are looking for a needle in a haystack here, and on short notice. If you know someone who fits what we are looking for, please forward this email to them, or better yet, give them a call.

Bill Penzey
[email protected]

Penzeys Spices Is Pro-Science!
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6 thoughts on “Penzeys Spices Is Pro-Science!

  1. 1

    I don’t think this letter is real. I went out to the Penzey web page. There is a letter out there from Bill Penzey but only the first paragraph matches. Also only the far right out rage is making any noise about this.

    1. 1.1

      Yesterday when I was doing fact-checking I didn’t find *anything* on the website about this. However a nice lady at their customer service line confirmed that the letter was authentic. (And that they are still looking for submissions from economics and restorative justice subject matter experts, so if you know anyone who fits the bill…)

  2. 2

    A friend of mine posted on LiveJournal yesterday that she had heard from Penzey’s; she’s an economist by training, but not currently employed in the field.

    1. 2.1

      Following up to myself to say that my friend posted that she had spent an hour on the phone with them, and thought it was a good conversation; they asked her to send them a couple of recipes to go with the interview.

  3. 3

    The only sad thing to me is that the letter isn’t posted on the Penzeys’ site. But everything else about it is wonderful. One of my favorite stories of the year.

  4. 4

    I’ve had a soft spot for Penzey’s since their first issue of Penzey’s One magazine profiled, among other people, a gay couple. As I recall they got some disapproving letters, too, printed them in their next issue, and politely more or less told the letter-writers to eff off. Also, the spices are good.

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