Tag Archives: food

A Shock that will MELT Your Heart

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It is a hot sunny day and you just want to relax by the pool… you know what that means? Snack time! There is nothing better than an ice cold tundra-like snack to freshen up your burning hot body. As kids, the classic snack to have during these times are ice cream sandwiches of course! There is nothing better than a milky vanilla bar squished between two gooey chocolate doors! However, what if I told you that these childhood favorites are disgustingly unnatural?

Over this past summer, a shocking video was posted to Youtube concerning the naturalness of Ice Cream Sandwiches. This video was posted because a mother in Cincinnati was concerned once she saw that her son’s Walmart “Great Value” Ice Cream Sandwich did not melt after laying out in the boiling hot 80ºF sun for twelve hours (Pasulka 1). Twelve hours? What?!… What could cause the ice cream bars to not melt after such a long period of time in very warm weather? Isn’t ice cream meant to melt?

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After the video and news story went viral, Consumer Reports decided to tackle the subject and find out what is really going on with these ice cream sandwiches. They began an experiment and decided to test other Ice Cream Sandwich brands besides the Walmart “Great Value” brand. Consumer Reports used the following brands for their experiment: Klondike, Nestle, Walgreens “Nice!”, Blue Bunny, and Walmart “Great Value” (Reports 1). The group of scientists then lined up one bar of each brand outside in 100ºF weather and timed how long it took for each sandwich to melt. After 10 minutes, the Nestle brand melted; after 15 minutes, the Klondike brand melted; after 30 minutes, the Walmart “Great Value”, Walgreen “Nice!”, and Blue Bunny brands were softer, but they still held their shape; finally, after an hour, the Walmart “Great Value” brand was the only sandwich that had not melted (Reports 1). Clearly there is a huge problem with most of these brands, but what is it?

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After tasting all of the brands, the Consumer Reports Employees all found something in common. They all noticed that the ice cream part of the sandwich contained guar gums, “a carbohydrate consisting of mannose and galactose at a 2:1 ratio that can swell in cold water…one of the most highly efficient water-thickening agents… is widely used as a binder and volume enhancer” (Food 1). According to Consumer Reports Scientist, Linda Greene (A.K.A. my mother), ingredients such as guar gums, calcium sulfate, and mono and diglycerides are found in all of these products (Reports 1). These additives are all used to help slow the melting rate of the ice cream and to prevent large crystal formations when taken in and out of the freezer (Reports 1). “These ingredients… are added at very low levels… Manufacturers add them so that ice cream sandwiches don’t dribble down your arm when you eat them”, stated Linda Greene. With that being said, these ice cream sandwiches are not natural at all which is quite gross.

We must reconsider the possibility that this experiment could have been flawed. Walmart did shoot back saying that “Ice cream with more cream will generally melt at a slower rate”, which could be an understandable factor (Reports 1). Also, some of the ice cream sandwiches could have been more frozen than others or maybe these results just happened by chance.

In the long run, it is better to choose foods with fewer chemically sounding ingredients. An ice cream made from just milk, cream sugar and vanilla is a better choice than one with a list of many chemically sounding ingredients. In other words, just stick to the Creamery!

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Works Cited

“Food Gums – International Food Additive Council.” Food Gums – International Food Additive Council. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2014.

Pasulka, Nicole. “Here’s Why Those Creepy Walmart Ice Cream Sandwiches Don’t Melt.” TakePart. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2014.

Reports, Consumer. “Science Behind Walmart’s ‘Non-Melting’ Ice Cream | Consumer Reports.” YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2014.

Is Food More Addictive than Crack?

source: krispykreme.com

source: krispykreme.com

“Oh my god…this [insert delicious food] is better than crack.” Everyone from professional food critics to starving college students has used the phrase time and time again. Whether they are talking about nutella, krispy kreme donuts, or canyon pizza, everyone has experience a time where they believed they loved a food so much, that its magnitude was comparable to that of an addiction to an illicit drug—but most people aren’t serious when they make this statement because of the simple fact that most of them have not tried any illicit drugs.  I will admit myself that I have experienced desserts that left me awake at night, rapt in thought of getting up in the morning to speed off to the grocery store to buy all of them off the shelf. And when I think about it more, I began to question whether or not I was addicted to food, or if it was even possible to be.

 

I found two articles on Time Magazine’s website that deconstructed the idea of food addiction and what it physically looked like on a person’s brain. In the first article, Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, acknowledged that the idea is controversial since many people have rejected it, however, believes that food can be as addictive as drugs. She believes that understanding the similarities between food and drug addictions could offer insight into an array of compulsive behaviors. Volkow described a similarity found between the brains with food and drug addictions—similar dysfunctions in the areas that are connected to pleasure and self-control. The neurotransmitter involved is dopamine, which these brain areas rely on, and a reduction in the number of dopamine D2 receptors were found both in drug addiction and obesity. That is why when we eat food we tend to feel happy and more relaxed, because dopamine elicits those feelings.

The second article in Time references a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry that suggests that there might not be a clear distinction between addictive and normal responses, adding to the evidence that all “addictions” act on the same motivational system. The study involved 48 health women ranging in weight from lean to overweight or obese. Their objective was to test the hypothesis that elevated “food addiction” scores are associated with similar patterns of neural activation as substance dependence. Their independent variable was whether or not the participate received a chocolate milkshake or tasteless substance—so the experiment was neither blind nor double-blind. The dependent variable was the neural response after beverage consumption. The study’s conclusion stated that there are similar patterns of neural activation in addictive-like eating habits and substance dependence, such as elevated activation in reward circuitry in response to food cues and reduced activation of inhibitory regions in response to food intake.

So currently, the evidence supports the hypothesis that one can actually become addicted to food. I feel like this study could go more in depth though, like whether or not some foods are more addict than others and if there are any negative side effects to food addiction similar to those of illicit drugs.

http://healthland.time.com/2012/04/05/yes-food-can-be-addictive-says-the-director-of-the-national-institute-on-drug-abuse/

http://healthland.time.com/2011/04/04/heroin-vs-haagen-dazs-what-food-addiction-looks-like-in-the-brain/

http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1107239