A few weeks ago Walmart made the news for an unusual reason. A boy in Cincinnati accidentally left a Walmart Great Value ice cream sandwich outside. When his mother, Christie Watson, discovered the bar 12 hours later, she was shocked. It had been 80° that day and the ice cream sandwich hadn’t melted. What did Christie do? She contacted a local radio station.
A local WCPO reporter, John Matarese, decided to do his own experiment. He took a Walmart ice cream sandwich, a Klondike Bar and Haagan -Daaz ice cream and left them outside in the sun for 30 minutes. What happened? The Haagan-Daaz ended up in a liquid pool and the other two bars….well, here is the video link.
Why the Ice Cream Didn’t Melt
According to Sean O’Keefe, a professor and food chemist at Virginia Tech, the more ice cream (i.e. fat) that is in the product, the faster it will melt. Now, that is interesting. If the Walmart bars didn’t melt in 12 hours, does that mean there isn’t really any “ice cream” in these “ice cream bars”? I don’t know about you, but I find this just a little disturbing.
So, what exactly is in the Walmart bars? Apparently a lot of ingredients that don’t melt. Walmart’s bars (as well as the Klondike ones) contain quite an array of ingredients including corn syrup, guar gum, cellulose gum and carob bean gum, just to name a few. The Haagen-Daaz ice cream, which melts quickly, only contains cream, sugar, milk, eggs and vanilla.
I understand why many parents can’t afford Haagen-Daaz ice cream for their families. Heck, I’m single and I can’t even afford it for myself. It does cost about a gazillion times more than other brands of ice cream. How sad we live in a world where a “food” (using that term loosely) that contains a ton of ingredients, costs way less than a natural product, with few ingredients.
Astronaut Ice Cream
While researching on the Walmart story, I came across a site that sells “ice cream” that is not refrigerated and has a shelf life of 3 years! It is called Astronaut Ice Cream. Apparently their products are similar to what is given astronauts in space. The list of ingredients in the Astronaut Ice Cream is pretty scary, even worse than Walmart’s. Here is the link to their website. I wouldn’t recommend you buy anything though.
What’s next -chocolate that doesn’t melt? Ah, apparently yes….. See my next article.