Baskin-Robbins' Death Shake: Drink Up!

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Question:
What yummy treat from a national ice cream chain contains this delectable list of ingredients?

Ingredients: reduced fat milk, heath bar crunch ice cream (cream, nonfat milk, caramel ribbon (corn syrup, sweetened condensed whole milk (milk, sugar), water, high fructose corn syrup, butter (cream, salt), propylene glycol, sodium alginate, salt, natural and artificial vanilla flavors, potassium sorbate (preservative), soy lecithin, annatto color, sodium bicarbonate, propyl paraben (preservative)) , heath® bar candy pieces [milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, nonfat milk, milk fat, lactose, soy lecithin (an emulsifier), salt, and vanillin (an artificial flavoring)), sugar, palm oil, dairy butter (milk), almonds, salt, artificial flavoring, and soy lecithin], sugar, corn syrup, toffee base (sweetened condensed whole milk, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, water, natural flavor, disodium phosphate, and salt), whey powder, cellulose gum, mono and diglycerides, guar gum, carrageenan, polysorbate 80), fudge topping (corn syrup, sugar, water, hydrogenated coconut oil, nonfat milk, cocoa (treated with alkali), modified corn starch, salt, sodium bicarbonate, disodium phosphate, potassium sorbate (a preservative), natural and artificial flavors, soy lecithin), jamoca ice cream (cream, nonfat milk, sugar, corn syrup, jamoca extract (coffee extract, sugar, potassium sorbate and methyl paraben (as preservatives)) whey, caramel color, cellulose gum, mono and diglycerides, carrageenan, polysorbate 80, carob bean gum, guar gum), caramel praline topping (corn syrup, sweetened condensed whole mil, water, sugar, modified food starch, butter, salt, propylene glycol, natural and artificial flavor, sodium citrate, xanthan gum, lecithin, potassium sorbate and propyl paraben as preservatives), hershey’s® heath® milk chocolate english toffee (milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, nonfat milk, milk fat, lactose, soy lecithin [an emulsifier], salt, and vanillin [an artificial flavoring]), sugar, palm oil, dairy butter (milk), almonds, salt, artificial flavoring, and soy lecithin), whipped cream (whipped cream (cream, milk, sugar, dextrose, nonfat dry milk, artificial flavor, mono & diglycerides, carrageenan, mixed tocopherols (vitamin e), to protect flavor, propellant: nitrous oxide).

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You'd be right if you guessed that magical list is what goes into a Large Heath Shake from Baskin-Robbins. But that's hardly the worst of it. Consumerist.com recently reported that a large Heath shake also contains 2310 calories, just slightly more than than daily calorie recommendation for an average sized woman, like me.

For a minute after reading this news I actually considered trekking down to my local B&R to order one, for the sake of journalistic research, especially since BR is offering a Buy One Get One (BOGO) deal on their frozen beverages this fall ("Parents looking for low-cost family fun need look no further than Baskin-Robbins, which offers a wide variety of treats for under $5." reads the PR.) But when I got to the fat content (64 grams of saturated fat, which is 320 percent of the daily recommended intake) and the 295 milligrams of cholesterol (98 percent) or the fact that the thing contains a half pound of sugar, I just couldn't bring myself to conduct the experiment.

The consumerist does raise a good question in their report: Is this monstrosity really necessary? Yeah, we can all take responsibility for our choices, but why does this particular choice even need to be on the map?

-- Gail Shepherd



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