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And for once I was SuperMom

Friday, September 9, 2011

Is this really better?

The ‘ice cream’ that my husband brought home from the grocery store is called a ‘Frozen Dairy Dessert.’ Nowhere on the package are the words Ice Cream written as it would if you were to label it. It looks like a carton of ice cream. It has a fun flavor of ‘Peanut Butter Cup,’ but apparently it is not ice cream. I wondered why this is, so I looked at the ingredients figuring that was probably the problem. I am guessing that the Ice Cream Council took one look at the product and its innards and said,
“Uh huh, Edy’s, no you didn’t.” And labeled it ‘Frozen Dairy Dessert.’

This got me thinking, is it really easier to get all these crazy ingredients like ‘whey,’ ‘coconut oil,’ ‘whole milk powder,’ ‘ maltodextrin,’ ‘partially hydrogenated palm oil,’ and ‘propylene glycol,’ rather than just blending together cream, sugar, milk and vanilla? Is this really a better option? Ice cream needs little to no preservatives, right? I mean it’s frozen. You make it frozen, you keep it frozen. Freezing things preserves them. Am I wrong? I know that sometimes it can change textures and the integrity of a food, but ice cream is made to be frozen. You do that do it on purpose.

If I think about it the texture of this ‘Frozen Dairy Dessert’ is not as nice as the more all natural brands. There is a weird fluffy texture, and a funny after taste.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m gonna eat it. Oh, I’m gonna eat it all. But maybe next time we’ll make sure it’s actually ice cream that we buy.

My mother in law came back from Whole Foods with a jar of vodka sauce, it was from a local farm and had ingredients like, 'tomatoes, cream, onions, garlic, and vodka.' The sauce was fantastic. I picked up our can of pasta sauce that we had on hand and was again met by ingredients with chemical names and the ever present high fructose corn syrup. I thought again, 'Do you need preservatives in canned sauce?' I mean you can things to preserve them, right? If you can tomatoes at home you just can them, you don't put anything in them, other than a little salt.

I'm sure that companies add these preservatives because they are shipping that can of sauce from Ohio to Colorado. I'm sure that the tomatoes went from California to Ohio. The peppers may have been Canada. And the jar itself from Mexico. I am sure that it is extra insurance against spoiling.

But is all this really better? We have this system that is predicated on the usage of trucks on huge interstates. How did we do this sixty years ago, when those didn't exist? Is shipping products huge distances to the consumer really better? Is pumping said products full of chemicals so that they don't spoil really better? Even products that in theory don't need preservatives?

1 comment:

Sarah Bethuel said...

reminds me of the Breyers ice cream commercial with the little girl reading ingredients. "milk, Sugar, vanilla!"