I love ice cream. I love Cold Stone’s Signature Creation, Mud Pie Mojo (coffee ice cream, Oreos, peanut butter, roasted almonds and fudge). There is something about those two spades mushing up my gooey concoction on a freezing marble slab that makes me happy.  I’m a label-reading-freak and yet I somehow seem to turn a blind eye when out for an after-dinner treat. Just a quick look at this “creation” tells me that I’ll be eating a boatload of sugar along with a highly likely dose of hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. But what about the ice cream itself?

I am appreciative of all the food companies and chain restaurants out there that post their ingredient lists online (are you listening Starbucks??). While nutritional information is required, the ingredient list is not. I won’t go into it too much now, but I’d argue that an ingredient label is 10 times more important than the nutritional facts. After a quick search on Cold Stone Creamery’s website, I found their Product Information & Ingredients page:

“Your Health - Just as Important as Taste. At Cold Stone Creamery®, it’s no secret that our customers crave the great taste of our super-premium, smooth and creamy ice cream. We take great pride in the fact that we make it fresh, every day, right there in our stores, using only the finest quality ingredients…”

Hmmm…interesting. Let’s just take a looksie at the actual list. It appears that most of their ice cream flavors start with Sweet Cream Ice Cream and then they add things to create a certain flavor.

SWEET CREAM ICE CREAM:

Cream, Nonfat Milk, Milk, Whey, Sugar, Corn Syrup, Guar Gum, Cellulose Gum,
Carrageenan, Mono & Diglycerides, Polysorbate 80, And Annatto Extract

While not all of these ingredient are “bad” for you, it’s not quite what I had in mind when I read “finest quality ingredients.” Do we really need anything beyond cream, milk, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a basic vanilla ice cream? Let’s check out what’s in their very popular Cake Batter Ice Cream.

CAKE BATTER ICE CREAM:

SWEET CREAM ICE CREAM (Cream, Nonfat Milk, Milk, Whey, Sugar, Corn Syrup, Guar Gum, Cellulose Gum,
Carrageenan, Mono & Diglycerides, Polysorbate 80, And Annatto Extract), CAKE BATTER
(Enriched Flour Bleached (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic
Acid
), Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Aluminum
Phosphate, Aluminum Sulfate, Monocalcium Phosphate) Corn Syrup, Dextrose, Food Starch-Modified,
Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin, Propylene Glycol Monoester, Mono-Diglycerides), Salt , Xanthan Gum, Natural
And Artificial Flavors (Contains Milk Derivatives), Annatto (Color), Turmeric (Color))

Wowzers. If you like Cold Stone Creamery, do yourself a favor and take a look at the ingredient list. Not sure if your ice cream is healthy? Take our test with this handy flowchart. I think my craving for Mud Pie Mojo is melting. Haagen Dazs 5 Coffee anyone?

Image: spablab via Flickr