Inspiration from Meghan

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Warning: May Cause Permanent Brain Freeze (And A Side Of Diabetes, Heart Disease And Gross Overload)!


For the past few weeks we've been discussing some of our summer faves and not-so-faves. I dissected the hot dog, the veggie dog (and faux-meat veggie everything else for that matter!), and today we're headed for the ultimate summer treat: ice cream! I'm not talking about just any plain cream and sugar ice cream. We're dealing with the mother of all summer party desserts, the Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake.

People love this stuff! And what's not to love? It's two kinds of ice cream layered in between fudge and some cookie-crunch-crust business. There's even icing, sprinkles, cookies, and chunks of chocolate bars on some of them. Sounds good right? The idea of it may sound good, it's just too bad it's made of processed food waste products. Treats are still food and therefore should still be made of food-  that means ingredients we know, would recognize and could buy at the store.

These ice-cream cakes are more closely related to a cocktail of cheap moisturizer and soda pop. We were going to go ahead and highlight the suspect ingredients, but realized that would be all of them, and instead I highlighted the real food ingredients.

Ingredients Of The Typical Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake:

Chocolate Crunch
Bleached wheat flour, sugar, vegetable shortening (partially hydrogenated oils: soybean, cottonseed), caramel color, cocoa, corn syrup, salt, baking soda, soy lecithin.

Chocolate Cold Fudge
High fructose corn syrup, condensed nonfat milk, partially hydrogenated coconut oil, fructose, water, cocoa (processed with alkali) and cocoa, algin, salt, mono and diglycerides, potassium sorbate (a preservative), dextrin, sodium phosphate, disodium phosphate, soy lecithin and artificial and natural flavors.

Chocolate Cone Coating
Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (soybean, coconut), sugar, coconut oil, cocoa processed with alkali, soya lecithin (emulsifier), salt, artificial flavor.

Vanilla Soft Serve
Milkfat and nonfat milk, sugar, corn syrup, whey, mono and diglycerides, artificial flavor, guar gum, polysorbate 80, carrageenan, vitamin A palmitate.


I hope Jacob and his family enjoyed that cake on his 2nd birthday!

When I first read these ingredients I thought, "Wow, I wonder how they get chemicals to look like a cake?"

I had to look up what the majority of these were because I honestly had no idea. In my opinion, not knowing the ingredients that comprise your food is pretty scary.

You know how much I love pulling apart ingredient lists. The fact that there are so many "unknowns" in this cake made my nutrition-nerdiness skyrocket. I'll just go through a few of the real gems here:

  • Cottonseed Oil: I don't know who decided that cotton was somehow edible, because it's not (got munch your sock for proof). This oil is a waste product of the cotton industry and therefore there is no cost associated with producing it. Because cotton is not a food crop, it is not bound by the same restrictions in terms of pesticide and fungicide levels as other crops are. To make matters worse, cotton is actually sprayed quite heavily. Cottonseed oil has also been attributed to male infertility due to a natrual toxin found within it.
  • Polysorbate 80: Don't you love it when a food ingredient contains a number in it?  This is a nonionic surfactant and emulsifier often used in foods. Basically, it makes the ice cream smoother and provents premature melting. You know what else it's used for? It's also an excipient in certain European and Canadian influenza vaccines. In addition to all this goodness, Polysorbate 80 is said to be harmful to people suffering from Crohn's disease.
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup: We've been hearing about this demon a lot lately. This is corn syrup that has been processed so that some of its glucose molecules are converted into frucotse molecules. This is done in order to acheive a sweeter product. HFCS is used in many processed food products and has even replaced sucrose (regular sugar) as the primary sweetener in the US food industry. This stuff is way cheaper to produce, is sweeter than sugar, and mixes better into various foods such as soft drinks. It has been attributed to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, as well as other health conditions. Furthermore, it is being produced from GMO corn crops.

Now we have a better understanding of these strange ingredients, but I still don't quite get why they are being used in the first place. I mean, why use Polysorbate 80 to make ice cream smoother when you can use real food ingredients and have it be its natural smooth self? I guess I'll never quite understand this logic.

Still want a treat? Me too! Check back here tomorrow for quite possibly the craziest, most delicious recipe Meghan has come up with yet!

Question Of The Day: What 'ingredients' have turned you off of a certain food?

14 Responses to “Warning: May Cause Permanent Brain Freeze (And A Side Of Diabetes, Heart Disease And Gross Overload)!”

  1. Kat said…
    Wow. Thanks for this.
  2. Anything I can't pronounce makes me go, "uhh... no." Then again, I rarely ever read ingredient lists because my foods usually don't have ingredient lists :) xo
  3. peace said…
    My current favourite ice "cream": Frozen bananas. That's it. Just bananas. Add anything else to tickle your fancy... I saw it on Claire Robinson's cooking show (bananas, peanut butter and honey) throw it in a food processor and it's done. I put the bananas through a slow juicer, wonderful! That coconut oil listed in the ingredients of the "cake" is refined too, non?
    • Jen Rotstein said…
      There's two types so I'm not sure - they list coconut oil and partially hydrogenated coconut oil. Even if they are using regular coconut oil, I'm going to venture a guess that it's not the extra-virgin cold pressed variety we're used to :)
  4. Andrea said…
    I loved that you explained what cottonseed oil is. Gross! Seriously unreal that companies can get away with putting that into foods.
  5. Pam said…
    Peace, add some raw cacoa to your banana ice cream too. It's fantastic! (I saw that recipe from Claire, and I have even made it. In fact, my daughter currently is on a liquid diet because of some dental work and so I just retrieved that very same recipe e-mail and re-sent it to her. Funny!) Pam
    • peace said…
      Oh me oh my! Watch out now, I just so happen to have raw cacao. Thank you for the suggestion *^_^*
  6. Hagan said…
    Here are the food products not on your list: Milk Cocoa Salt Sugar Flour whey guar gum If you care to look up guar gum, you'll see that it's a pure food used to thicken like cornstarch. I guess this article wouldn't be as shocking if you said, "We found 9! NINE FOOD INGREDIENTS!"
  7. Annie Summer said…
    As long as we're on the subject of real food, I would so love to see a post regarding salt. I was at the health food store recently, meaning to buy some healthy salt. There were no less than 18 mini bins of salt of various types. Of course, sea salt from the coast of Normandy was the most expensive. There was also Himalayan pink salt, which was half the cost, but I have read that there is a dangerous level of fluoride in this. Could you tell us the real deal? Love love love your stuff...keep it coming!
  8. Macy said…
    I am scared what you will think of all the Haagen Daz that will be served at my birthday party.
  9. [...] informed, and we’ll help you along the way. Jen already has been with her tales of ice cream, veggie dogs, hot dogs, and kids breakfast [...]
  10. [...] kick this ice cream dairy style. We took it up like 97 levels from any kind of nonsense Healthwashed Ice Cream and we created, maybe the most high vibe creation ever [...]

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