On a swelteringly hot summer day, there's nothing
that comes to mind better to cool things down than some old-fashioned
ice cream. Just some wholesome ingredients like cream, egg
yolks, a sweetener, and some vanilla extract, right?
How about propylene glycol, ethyl acetate, and yellow dye
#5? Seems the recipe has changed a bit since Dolly Madison's
Many commercial ice creams today are simply chemical concoctions
presented in appealing packaging designed to sell a product
that is not fit for human consumption. Everything from hydrogenated
oils, high fructose corn syrup, and dry milk solids are used
to produce something still allowed to be called ice cream.
Many ice creams are also filled with air to double the volume.
Not a dangerous practice, just less fulfilling.
Some pretty frightening sounding chemicals
like caroxymethyl cellulose, butyraldehyde, and amyl acetate
are additives in some commercial ice creams. How about some
diethyl glycol -- a cheap chemical used to take the place
which is also used in anti-freeze and paint removers.
Aldehyde C-17, flavoring for cherry ice cream, is an inflammable
liquid used in dyes, plastics, and rubber. Piperonal, used
in place of vanilla, is a lice killer. Ethyl Acetate, a pineapple
flavor, can also clean leather and textiles.
Unfortunately, this doesn't work out to be like any natural
substances like lemon that can be both eaten and used as a
powerful cleaner. Ethyl Acetate's vapor has been known to
cause chronic lung, liver, and heart damage.
There are quite a list of other unsavory ingredients littering
many of today's most famous grocery store ice creams. Here
are just some of them: Mono and diglicerides, disodium phosphate,
benzyl acetate, mono stearate, propylene glycol, sodium benzoate,
polysorbate 80, potassium sorbate, modified corn starch and
Now, just because most of these additives are on the GRAS
(generally recognized as safe) list by the FDA, doesn't prove
they aren't harmful and besides, the real question is: Are
any of these ingredients desirable or even necessary to an
originally wholesome treat? Remember, the FDA does not require
ice cream makers to label all of their ingredients. Oh, boy.
Ice cream can be a delicious way to get healthy fat, calcium,
enzymes, vitamins, and minerals (if using real raw cream,
egg yolks, and pure maple syrup) into children that are sometimes
not big milk drinkers. Making your own ice cream is relatively
simple with an electric ice cream maker... and the kids love
to help make it!
Even if you don't have the time, or desire, to make your own
ice cream, reach for the best high quality ice cream you can.
Look for the ones that use simple, wholesome ingredients (cream
as a first ingredient is a good sign). The cost may be a bit
more, but you can't beat the taste.
And stop worrying about the fat content; it's some of those
dubious vegetable oils you should be concerned about. Next
time, fore go the antifreeze, oil paint, leather cleaner,
and lice killer for something that resembles food. Food is
supposed to taste good, just keep it simple and healthy!
Here's a recipe borrowed from "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally
* 3 egg yolks
* 1/2 cup maple syrup
* 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
* 1 tablespoon arrowroot
* 3 cups heavy cream, preferably raw, not ultrapasteurized
Beat egg yolks and blend in remaining ingredients. Pour into
an ice cream maker and process according to instructions.
(Remember to choose the highest quality ingredients you can
find like raw cream, eggs from pastured chickens, or at least
organic eggs, and organic (grade B, if you can find it) maple
syrup. Pure vanilla extract and arrowroot powder or flour
can be found in most health food stores.)