Ice Cream for Breakfast Day is Finally Here! And This May Be the Last Year to Make it Organic!

February 5th, 2011

Yes, it’s true…that big Superbowl football game is on tomorrow.  But today? It’s another fantabulous, once-a-year event: International Ice Cream for Breakfast Day.

Held the first Saturday in February, Ice Cream for Breakfast Day is exactly what it sounds like: a  great excuse for a party! What began as a small gathering in upstate New York is now a worldwide event, but still very much under-the-radar.


And this year, it’s a rather poignant occasion. With the USDA’s decision last week to allow unrestricted planting of genetically modified alfalfa, the ability of America’s local farmers and USDA organic producers to guarantee GMO-free foods is severely compromised. Why? As surely as the wind blows, seeds and other particles from GE alfalfa will cross-contaminate neighboring farms. Of particular concern is the impact on dairy farmers, who use alfalfa as dairy feed (hence my warning about this being the last organic ice cream for breakfast day).  And as reports, GE alfalfa could “contaminate organic honey supplies, since bees forage in alfalfa and create nectar that in turn becomes honey for human food.”

Why the concern about GMOs?  Where to start? The risks – to autism, allergies, infertility and more – are so well documented that surveys going back five years or more show that most Americans would prefer to avoid GMOs if given the choice. But since GMOs are not labeled in this country, the only sure way to avoid them is to buy organic – one of the main reasons I buy organic, as I’ve blogged here here and here.

Here are a few good primers on the risks of genetically engineered foods:

About GMOs, The Non-GMO Project

Six Reasons to Avoid GMOs, The Non-GMO Project

GMO Dangers, Institute for Responsible Technology

Monsanto’s GMOs and Autism, Wellsphere

Safety of Genetically Modified Foods: Approaches to Assessing Unintended Health Effects, National Academies Press, 2004 (Read the section about the potential for increased allergies!)

Scientists Speak: Say No to GMOs

The Dangers of Genetically Modified Foods: Autism Hope and Healing

The Trouble with Monsanto and GMOs: Dr. David Suzuki Spells It Out: Red, Green and Blue

What’s a GMO and Why Should You Care? Allergy Kids, Robyn O’Brien

What can you do? Contribute to the legal fight against this outrageous decision. Let the White House know you don’t appreciate having your kids treated like lab rats in the giant GMO science experiment. And in the meantime, cherish the remaining delicious stock of American made organic dairy, before rushing to buy European treats.

Boo with Aldens Organic Ice Cream Con

Meanwhile, enough of the politics and back to the fun of Ice Cream for Breakfast Day!

Here’s more on the story from the “official” Ice Cream for Breakfast Day website.

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Ruth and a little boy named Joe. Ruth and Joe grew up in the
back of beyond in New York state where it was very very cold. Every winter between New Year’s Eve and
Passover, life in up-state New York got extremely boring, so their parents invented a holiday to brighten
up the dreary days of winter. It was called Ice Cream For Breakfast Day. This was a wonderful holiday for
children and parents alike because to celebrate you had to eat ice cream for breakfast on the first Saturday in

Well, Ruth and Joe grew up and went away to a university. They made many friends and taught them all
about Ice Cream For Breakfast Day. After college Ruth had a roommate named Barry to whom she also told
about this tradition. Many years later, Barry met Itzah C. Kret in Washington, D.C. and converted him into an
Ice Cream For Breakfast Day observer.

Nobody has kept precise track but through word of mouth ICFBD has been celebrated in many homes, states
and countries all over the world. Some people give parties with musical instruments, others simply
celebrate with family members. There is no right or wrong so long as you follow the 3 plus 1 simple Ice
Cream for Breakfast Day Rules

(1) Eat ice cream
(2) for breakfast
(3) on the first Saturday in February

(4) spread the word

The rest is up to you!

As for me, I’m fortunate to be invited to the famous Barry’s party!

Let me know if you spring for Ice Cream for Breakfast Day! (And yes, make it organic!)

Have fun!

– Lynn

Copyright OrganicMania 2011

Keeping Cool with Ice Cream: How to Save, What to Buy (Part 1)

July 24th, 2010

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.)

Boo with Aldens Organic Ice Cream Con

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:

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.

When I went to Edy’s web site to double check the ingredients list, I found another fun fact: Edy’s (along with Dreyer’s) is owned by Nestle, a company whose products many of us try to avoid.

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.

Alden's organic ice cream on sale at Whole Foods

Alden's organic ice cream on sale at Whole Foods

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.

Stack em up: Alden's Organic vs. Breyer's All Natural vs. Ben & Jerry's rGBH free ice cream

Stack em up: Alden's Organic vs. Breyer's All Natural vs. Ben & Jerry's rGBH free ice cream

Meanwhile, stay cool in this heat wave!

— Lynn

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!