Originally published August 13 2008
Harmful Chemicals Turn Ice Cream From a Treat to a Threat
by Nancy Piscatello
(NaturalNews) 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 day (she served this new delight to visitors during White House functions).
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 of eggs, 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 soy lecithin.
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 Fallon:
* 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.)
About the authorNancy Piscatello has a healthy foodie blog at www.nourishingnancy.com and also writes for Examiner.com as the NY Healthy Food Examiner: http://www.nottheexaminer.com/healthy-food-i.... Nancy is studying Holistic Nutrition at Clayton College of Natural Health and an accomplished singer for the New York based band Millennium (www.eastendorchestras.com). She is mother of three children living on the east end of Long Island with her husband.
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