Home-made Cool Whip?

Every once in a while, a passing comment made by others sticks in my brain and sort of burrows around until I have to write about it. When we were in New York, we stayed at a pretty swank boutique hotel. It was directly across from Lincoln Center and only a long block from where my daughter’s violin camp was being held. (Camp is sort of misnomer since there were no tents and no cabins, midnight raids or canoes.)

Small pool, but still welcome in the very hot August heat.

I chose the hotel for its location and because it has a pool. If you’ve ever traveled to New York, you will have learned that hotels with a pool are rare and far between. Hubby didn’t want me to give Donald Trump our business, so the only other choice within walking distance of the camp was the Empire. So, here we are…on the rooftop of the Empire hotel enjoying a swim in our bath-tub sized swimming pool. At a table close to the pool is a mom and two children who have just been served a dessert from room service. Piled on top is a fluffy white mound of billowing fresh whipped cream.

The kids poke at it. Taste it. Wrinkle their noses and ask,”What is this?” Mommy picks up a spoon and takes a bite and says, “Mmmm….yummmy.” She encourages them to eat more and says, “Oh…it’s good. It’s like home made Cool Whip.” The kids remain unimpressed. The mom continues to eat the whipped cream making the requisite mommy-enjoys-this-you-should-too sounds.

It’s been two months, and I’m still disturbed by the whole concept. I mean…these children prefer Cool Whip to honest-to-god-real-whipped-cream?!?!

When people find the very taste of chemical laden, faked ingredients more palatable than clean wholesome versions of food, we have a problem. Here are the ingredients as posted on the Kraft website:

Ingredients: WATER, HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (COCONUT AND PALM KERNEL OILS), HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, SKIM MILK, LIGHT CREAM, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF SODIUM CASEINATE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, XANTHAN AND GUAR GUMS, POLYSORBATE 60, SORBITAN MONOSTEARATE, BETA CAROTENE (COLOR). CONTAINS: MILK.

Real Whipped Cream

“Home Made” Cool Whip, also called Whipped Cream is usually made with…cream, vanilla and a bit of sugar. I’m willing to bet the recipes with the most egregious amounts of sugar don’t even come close to the amount of corn syrup found in the familiar blue and white tubs.

I don’t know why this mom had never given her kids real whipped cream before, nor do I know how she could even utter the phrase, “It’s like Home-Made Cool Whip.” I think that’s why I keep coming back to it. It boggles my mind. I have been buying local and organic as much as possible. The school my kids go to has a real emphasis on healthful foods and a rather strict lunchbox code. Maybe I’m living in La-la land. I think we’d all be better off if we had food with fewer chemicals, simple ingredients and cooked at home, not in a factory.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Home-made Cool Whip?

  1. Joe P

    Those “natural” and artificial flavors are there for a reason — nobody would prefer it over the real thing otherwise. Kraft spent a lot of money to find which artificial flavors (which includes so-called “natural” flavors) would stimulate taste buds the most; why shouldn’t the kids prefer it? I mean, besides the fact that it’s the lowest-quality comestible possible under the definition of “food” …. arguably better to go hungry, in terms of nutrition. But then: who eats Cool Whip for nutrition …. (is it any wonder child obesity is still on the rise)

  2. There are very few overweight children at my son’s school. They provide plenty of out door time, request we send wholesome lunches, and ask us to keep our kids away from television and computers during the school week. Given that a vast majority of the people there also avoid junk food entirely, I can’t help but think it’s the combination of healthy eating and lots of movement. I wonder if the lack of HFCS has something to do with it…

  3. Jocelyn

    Oh, yes, fake whipped topping is an aberration, but some of us can’t (or don’t want to) tolerate dairy. I actually do know of a home-made whipped topping recipe that I’ve been wanting to try as a whipped cream and store-bought whipped topping substitute. The ingredients are simple: milk, flour, butter, sugar and vanilla, and I hear it actually works. Well, the gal who shared the recipe and said it works used milk products, so for me, the trick will be to see if it works both dairy-free and gluten-free! Maybe I’ll finally try it for the holidays. I do agree with you both about how sad it is that kids don’t know real food, and how twisted American diets can be.

  4. Food allergies and sensitivities are a different ball-game all together. I read that Cool-whip products, by and large, now have some amount of dairy in them, so beware! I think we tried the rice whip or soy whip recently and found it to be edible. I don’t understand why you would use milk and butter as a substitute to whipping cream because whipping cream is…well…milk with the butter already combined. At any rate, good luck with the home made dairy-gluten free version. If you find a good recipe let me know, because my daughter doesn’t do dairy.

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