It’s one of the most frequent questions I’m asked. “If I can’t afford to buy everything organic, what should I buy organic?” My response: it depends on what you eat most often.
And in summer, when I declare ice cream “the divine right of children,” ice cream becomes a basic food group. (Particularly on days like today, when my car’s therometer hit 106 degrees.)
But the $5.69 price tag on a half gallon of organic ice cream can cause the most devoted organic fan to pause. I wondered if I was really spending my money wisely, so I decided to take a closer look at the prices and ingredients of some popular ice cream brands.
My neighbor is a big fan of Edy’s. It’s what she served at a recent Cub Scout picnic (you remember – the one where the parents covertly drank wine from water bottles). I wondered if I was a fool for shelling out $5.69 for Alden’s organic ice cream, when the kids seemed perfectly happy with the $2.69 per gallon Edy’s (And they do have a really cool spumanti flavor). So I took a closer look at Edy’s ice cream ingredients, and in addition to the usual milk, cream, and sugar, here’s what I found:
- corn syrup;
- mono and diglycerides (what the heck are they?);
- partially hydrogenated oils (you know, transfats!); and
- Yellow #5 and Blue #1 (also known as artificial colors).
Ick. Corn syrup’s bad enough, but artificial flavors and trans-fats are on nearly every Mom’s “avoid” list – organic fanatic or not.
And think about it. That’s just what they’re required by law to list. No where will you see that the milk came from cows treated with hormones or the corn from pesticide laden fields – we can just infer that, because it’s not organic.
What’s in the organic ice cream I love? Nothing I can’t pronounce. Just simple, wholesome ingredients that are organic – which means there’s no hormones, no pesticides, and no Genetically Modified Organisms.
And a bonus discovery was learning that instead of being owned by a controversial global conglomerate, Alden’s is family owned. It’s part of the Oregon Ice Cream Company, which has been making ice cream for 80 years.
Now here’s the really good news. When I was at Whole Foods River Road in Bethesda on Friday, Aiden’s was on sale for $5.19 a gallon, until July 27th. So now’s the time to try.
Of course I’m not a total zealot. My kids buy ice cream from the Good Humor man. And I do buy other brands of ice cream from time to time. But let’s talk about that in my next post, when we’ll look at how organic ice cream stacks up to my childhood favorite, Breyer’s, and cult favorite Ben and Jerry’s.
Meanwhile, stay cool in this heat wave!
Copyright 2010 OrganicMania
Disclosures: I am one of those endangered species of bloggers that actually blogs about things I buy with my own money. No one sent me ice cream. A PR rep didn’t pitch this story. I’m not consulting for any of these companies. I just love ice cream, love organics, and love blogging about both and thought I’d share with you!
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