Is your ice cream faking it?

imagesJuly 30, 2014 – While grocery shopping recently, I overheard one shopper say to another, “The words ice cream aren’t even on the label.”

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.

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4 thoughts on “Is your ice cream faking it?

  1. This is a subject near and dear to my heart. I do look in stores for the good, old-fashioned ice cream I ate as a child. I thought when suppliers decided to shrink the cartons, they would at least keep the quality. But it appears both the cartons and quality have shrunk for most brands.

    Turkey Hill does have a “natural” line that I have been buying. Buyer beware.

  2. This is so true. I remember going to our local dairy farm, every suburb had them, fir real ice cream. Now there are very few around and the store brands are just not good for us. I’d live to know if gelato is getting the same feedback. I bet breyers is even killing this Italian favorite now

    • There are still farms and old fashioned ice cream shops that sell the real stuff. But I always thought the stuff in the supermarkets were real, too. My bad.

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