BY MIKE BARRETT
In another bizarre food experiment showcasing the many abnormal traits of modern processed food, a Walmart-brand ice cream sandwich survived for 12 hours in the sun without melting at all. This led Christie Watson, a suburban Cincinnati mother of two, to replicate the experiment to see if what she was seeing was in fact real, comparing different ice cream brands. Not surprisingly, the Walmart brand still kept its form, while other more expensive ice cream brands melted at least partially, if not completely.
Walmart responded quickly to protect itself from public ridicule, claming that the lack of melting was due to the heavy cream content of their ice-cream sandwich. However, Sean O’Keefe, a professor and food chemist at Virginia Tech, gave a different answer, explaining that more cream-content should see ice cream melting faster.
As expected, the reason for this bizarre outcome revolves around processed ingredients used to make the sandwich. Various thickeners and food stabilizers such as guar and cellulose gum, carrageenan, and more are the reason the ice cream didn’t melt.
While food manufacturers state many processed food ingredients are safe, research says otherwise. Many chemical preservatives have been linked to cancer, allergic reactions, and more.
In numerous animal studies carrageenan has been found to cause gastrointestinal issues and inflammation, and cancer. In addition, diets high in carrageenan have been linked to the development of intestinal ulcers and other digestive issues. The Cornucopia Institute (a nonprofit which supports food research and “justice for family scale farming”) recommends anyone with inflammatory digestive issues like chronic diarrhea, IBS, or inflammatory bowel disease, to eliminate carrageenan from their diet altogether.
Refined sugars and other carbohydrates are another issue that lead to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and much more. Processed foods are also robbed of their nutrients, fiber, water and natural enzymes, making them more difficult to digest.
Ice Cream (Milk, Cream, Buttermilk, Sugar, Whey, Corn Syrup, Contains 1% Or Less of Mono-And Diglycerides, Vanilla Extract, Guar Gum, Calcium Sulfate, Carob Bean Gum, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan, Artificial Flavor, Annatto For Color)
… Wafers (Wheat Flour, Sugar, Soybean Oil, Palm Oil, Cocoa, Dextrose, Caramel Color, Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Flour, Food Starch-Modified, Salt Soy Lecithin, Baking Soda, Artificial Flavor).
This is similar to a McDonald’s burger not ‘aging’ at all, even after years of sitting out.
Purchased by David Whipple way back in 1999 on July 7th, the burger looks (and even smells) virtually the same as the day he bought it. In fact, there is no visible mold development or decay of any kind. Whereas you would begin smelling a real homemade beef burger within a matter of hours if it were to sit inside a hot closet, the McDonald’s burger went completely unidentified for 14 full years as it did not even put off any kind of smell. Whipple actually found it by accident when going through his closet assortment.
One might deem this the way of the future, where we can enjoy a nice ice cream sandwich without it dripping on our clothing. For companies like Walmart, it comes down to preservation and, ultimately, profits. But do we really want food to allow such food-altering ingredients to be used so a mega-corp can make more money or to prevent a little drip?