As long as I can remember, Breyers Ice Cream has been in my freezer. My Dad loved Breyers All Natural Butter Pecan and Neapolitan Ice Cream. As kids, if we were going to have dessert, it was often a scoop of Breyers that was offered up. Now some may argue that ice cream is bad for you, but I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with having an occasional scoop of real, all natural, ice cream. So Breyers had earned my trust, and literally was one of the few brands I have had a life-long loyalty to, until now.
A couple months ago, a good friend of mine shared with me an article entitled, Is Your Favorite Ice Cream Made with Monsanto’s Artificial Hormones? In it, John Robbins, son of the founder of Baskin-Robbins, revealed that Breyers All Natural Ice Cream and most other major national brands of ice creams are made with rBGH milk and cream. Nary a mention of this genetically engineered hormone originally developed by Monsato is made on the label, not even in the footnotes, even though many countries have found rBGH so dangerous that they have outlawed it.
I know this ingredient news surprised me, and I consider myself more educated than most in the field of food, especially after working in the industry for almost twenty years and writing FAT PROFITS, a thriller about a corrupt food company. Instances like this confirm my belief that some corporations have made it exceedingly difficult for your average consumer to really know what is in his or her food. After all, if we apply common sense to the phrase “All Natural,” who in their right mind would think dairy products from cows treated with a genetically engineered growth hormone could fit within its definition? Thanks to Monsanto’s lobbying efforts the FDA, Unilever (the makers of Breyer’s Cream), and numerous other ice cream manufacturers seem to disagree with me. And despite my emailing and writing a letter to Unilever to complain about their deceptive labeling practices, I’ve never heard back a word. Wow, now that’s a great way to handle loyal, die-hard consumers–ignore them. Fortunately, now armed with real information, I can choose a rBGH-free variety of ice cream at my local Trader Joe’s or even better, make my own organic ice cream at home.
So what do you think? Do you really know what’s in your ice cream? Do you trust food companies anymore? How have you changed your diet to respond to concerns over food safety and quality?