We’re starting to get those lovely warm days and are easing into the heat of the summer season. For me, the thought of hot days ahead always brings to mind the perennial summer treat, ice cream! As a child, when the ice cream vendor would come driving slowly through our neighborhood playing his music loudly enough for all of the children to hear, I would run into the house begging my mother for permission and money for the cold treat. I’m smiling again at the thought of it now. Ice cream will always hold a special place in my fond memories of summers gone by.
Alas, what has happened to the innocence of an ice cream treat? Many of us, especially those parents with small children, must read the labels ever so carefully for so many food items, including the most favored ice cream. Now we are on the lookout for possible allergy triggers and other possibly toxic ingredients. We must look for the obvious such as dairy, soy or nuts for whomever we are planning to feed. Now, we also look for artificial preservatives, flavorings and colorings. And, shall I mention the obvious? Sugar…………
In years gone by, sugary treats were just that – treats. It was never an everyday occasion and was often a reward for an accomplishment well done. The main ingredients in ice cream were made from cow milk, fruit and sugar. The cow milk had no growth hormones or toxins. The fruit had no pesticide sprays. The sugar was not genetically modified.
The number of both adults and children with food and chemical allergies was so much less in the past. Allergies have attained epic proportions in the recent years. Most schools now do not allow children to share their lunches and snacks with others – everyone is to eat their own food or what the school has provided with parental permission. At more and more potlucks, people are including a written note with an ingredients list to place next to the dish they brought.
Still, we do have choices with what we eat, even our ice cream. Have you tried ice cream made from coconut milk, goat milk or almond milk? How about making your own ice cream at home and you choose what you put in? I, for one, am most grateful that we have so many wonderful ice cream products to choose from that are free of toxins and provide many tasty non-dairy alternatives.
Dawn Dolan, MA, ACN is an advocate for integrative healthcare, consulting with medical doctors, chiropractors, acupuncturists, psychotherapists, body workers, massage therapists and other healthcare professionals. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.