I turned to see a man holding a container of Breyers Butter Almond examining the packaging.
A look inside the freezer not only told me he was right, but many flavors across all brands had been labeled as frozen dairy desserts, as well. It was difficult to find actual ice cream.
When did this happen? Sure, I know McDonald’s menus referenced “shakes” and not “milk shakes” because they are made with a shake mix. I also know a lactose intolerant friend not bothered by Dairy Queen products because that isn’t real ice cream, either.
However, I expected more from Breyers, the brand I grew up with that advertised all natural ingredients you could actually pronounce, and who shamed other ice cream companies for using artificial ingredients. I didn’t realize that in 2006, they became part of exactly what they had advertised against as part of a cost-saving measure. Breyers reformulated many of its flavors with artificial ingredients, and now they no longer contain enough milk and cream to be legally labelled as ice cream. Shame on Breyers for deceptive practices, and shame on me for not being a better consumer.
A bit of research on the topic turned up a recent article that had one mom asking why the Walmart Great Value ice cream sandwich that her son left outside one hot afternoon did not melt. Her question urged the media to conduct a test on Great Value ice cream sandwiches, Klondike Bars, and Haagen Daz ice cream. Can you guess what happened? Only the Haagen Daz, made with natural ingredients, melted. Perhaps we can take little comfort in the fact that the ice cream sandwiches and Klondike bars contain enough milk and cream to be labeled ice cream, but the fact that they don’t melt is unsettling. If unnatural added ingredients prevent those products from melting — and not on purpose — what are they doing to our bodies?
On this next to the last day of July, a month known as National Ice Cream month in the U.S., and not National Frozen Dairy Dessert month, can we make it a point to buy actual ice cream and pass on the artificial stuff? That would send a loud message to the companies trying to trick us into buying their fake products.
Besides, I scream, you scream, we all scream for frozen dairy dessert just doesn’t have the same ring.