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Why it’s OK to eat ice cream that doesn’t melt

Posted at 8:01 AM, Aug 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-18 08:01:50-04

It's the complaint heard around the world.

Our report a couple of weeks back on Christie Watson's ice cream sandwich that didn't melt has now been written about in the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, FOX News, Buzzfeed and even the London Daily Mail in England.

It all started when Watson says her son left a Walmart Great Value ice cream sandwich outside, and it barely melted after 12 hours.

"Monday I came out and looked at it and there was still ice cream there, so I thought to myself, 'What am I feeding to my children?'" Watson said.

When we followed up her interview with a test of our own, all-natural Haagan Dazs melted in minutes, while the Walmart sandwich and a similar Klondike Bar took their sweet time.

But a nutritional scientist and culinary professor now says there's nothing wrong with these sandwiches. "Stabilizers have gotten a bad rep because it's foreign and sounds suspect," Grace Yek said.

Yek says Walmart's stabilizers of guar gum and cellulose gum are plant-based, and the FDA considers them safe. "They are fine, for normal average consumption," she said. Without added gums, ice cream gets hard and crunchy after a few weeks.

"They do serve a purpose in that they give even high-quality ice cream that mouth feel, that creamy texture, and the minimization of ice crystals," she explained.

The Bottom Line

So that's why Watson's ice cream sandwich didn't melt, answering a question she and people around the world have been wondering about.

Bottom line: The ingredients list may be long, but the government says those ice cream sandwiches are okay to feed to the kids.

As always, don't waste your money.