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The Downfall of Rice Dream Frozen Desserts

I’ve been a lover of Rice Dream frozen desserts for almost a couple decades now and I must say, I’m deeply disappointed in the recent changes they’ve made to their recipe.

In the summer when the temperature in the desert is soaring in the hundreds sometimes I just have to have something creamy, cool and delicious that simulates the ice cream experience. Now since I don’t touch sugar the majority of the time, and that includes organic sugar, that leaves out most of the organic ice creams or healthy ice cream alternatives, because most of them use organic cane sugar as their sweetener. I prefer to eat foods, including sweets, that are in the whole and natural state as much as possible, but unfortunately that gets harder and harder to find. Everyone wants to add sugar.

Some use fructose, but I try to avoid foods that have any kind of refined sweetener the majority of the time, however I will indulge every now and then. The thing I loved the most about Rice Dream was that it allowed me to have my delicious cool treat without having to violate this rule. I don’t know the exact process they used, but their old recipe didn’t contain any sweeteners at all. They did something to brown rice that made it turn sweet without using any sweetener. I loved this because it didn’t do a number on my Candida or my blood sugar and it was something I could feel good about eating. Not only that I thought the old Rice Dream frozen desserts was very flavorful and delicious. It had a nice texture, tasted like a food and it had only a few ingredients in it.

Now last week at my local health food store I see that Rice Dream has a new label on their frozen ice cream treats that says they are organic. Well I thought that was going to be a great improvement, because that was the one thing I didn’t like about them before – they weren’t organic. However, when I read the ingredients I now see that the second ingredient is organic brown rice syrup and the third ingredient is rice dextrin and then a whole list of other ingredients. Later in the list is agave syrup. Dang, I was so disappointed. Why did they go and put all those sugars in there? Granted, brown rice syrup, rice dextrin and agave are definitely healthier than most sweetener choices out there and one’s that I will indulge in from time to time, but they are still a form of sugar, so I avoid them most of the time.

Well, I resigned to the fact that I could no longer eat my beloved Rice Dream frozen desserts as much as I usually do anymore because of all those sweeteners, but thought I’d give it a try and see how it tasted and dang, another big disappointment. Now, this new recipe is not anywhere near as tasty, rich and sweet as the old recipe was. This new recipe is flat and lacking in flavor and has an unappealing texture. So not only is the new recipe less healthy for you it also doesn’t feel or taste as good. My son who was also a Rice Dream frozen desserts lover felt the exact same way and we’re sad that we have to begin a search for something to replace our favorite dish for cooling off in the summer.

I don’t know why people can’t just leave things as they are. Rice Dream frozen desserts were great the way they were. They could have made it organic, but continued the same recipe. Why on earth do they need three different sweeteners? To answer my own question, because our society is so addicted to sugar that we can’t be happy with just one or delight in the natural sweetness of a product anymore. Everybody always wants to make something new and improved, and unfortunately, what that is coming to mean in our society more frequently is that you’re actually getting something of less value, lower quality and not as healthy. It makes me sad that I see more and more product lines in the health food industry succumbing to this marketing madness.

{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Trillium September 3, 2008, 8:11 pm

    I wonder if the brown rice syrup wasn’t what they always used except now their labelling is more accurate. The rice dream site says they periodically update their labels based on new analysis. I always wondered myself how 17 grams of sugar made it into my serving of vanilla rice dream ‘ice cream’ without the ingredients showing the culprit. I just assumed it was always brown rice processed in this way.

    Now if only Stoneyfield Farms would look for alternatives too! I used to love their yogurt back in my sugar days. I wrote them recently and made my request for, at the least, a low sugar alternative. They replied that very little of the sugar in a serving is organic cane sugar, but is mostly from fruit and dairy sugars. Considering cane sugar is rather close to the beginning of the list, I’m not certain how much is ‘very little’. They did say they would pass my request onto the developing team, but that may just be a courtesy.

  • admin September 4, 2008, 3:34 pm

    Hi Trillium

    No they didn’t use brown rice syrup. Rice dream used to be made sweet naturally by an enzymatic process of partially milled brown rice. I believe the end result is the brown rice starch is converted into rice dextrin.

    Yes, I love Stonyfield products too, but only indulge once or twice a year because of the sugar. They are marketing to the masses and unfortunately the masses want to see sugar in their products. Everyone thinks that organic sugar is healthier for you, and it is true to a certain degree. It doesn’t contain pesticides and it is healthier nutritionally. However, it still does the same thing to the body in regard to Candida, the immune system and blood sugar issues like hypoglycemia or diabetes. Additionally for those who have a sugar addiction problem, sugar is sugar, it doesn’t matter if it’s organic or not. Organic will set off the sugar addiction just as much as non-organic. I don’t know how Stonyfield could claim it only has a little sugar, when that is one of the primary ingredients.

    The new rice dream is healthy in that respect. It is now organic, and brown rice syrup, dextrins and agave are less destructive to Candida, blood sugar the immune system etc. than sugar. However I liked it much better before because the sweetness was derived naturally. It didn’t have any added sugars. My body didn’t find it as offensive as other natural sweeteners and I thought it tasted it much better. The new Rice Dream is very flat and lacking in flavor.

  • Bob Muson July 6, 2009, 1:45 pm

    Finally someone who had the exact duplicate of my experience when Imagine Foods sold out to Hain, and the Rice Dream frozen desserts morphed into pure garbage! I, too, loved the original recipe, and I had been eating it from the moment Imagine Foods put it on the market.

    The first time I ate the new and “improved” organic version I became sick to my stomach.
    I called the Hain company and complained extensively as any longtime good customer would. Alas, they didn’t give a damn about me as a customer or as a loyal customer who consumed the original product at least 3 times a week. I also put in a complaint with the Whole Foods store where I buy most of my food. I asked them to take that product off the shelf. They didn’t and haven’t.

    Here’s my theory on why the product was altered. Many times when I had people over for dinner I served Frozen Rice Dream for dessert. Most of those people had never tasted it before, and most of them remarked that it tasted like rice (without my telling them that it was made from rice). So my theory is that the people who took over Imagine foods added all those sweeteners into the product to once-and-for-all hide the taste of the rice. Now the predominate taste of the product has a sickly sweet flavor that predominates the product. Wanna sell more product to the destroyed american taste buds?…just add a ton of conflicting sweetners.

    My second theory is more widespread. It’s the theory of “More, Better, Different”. It seems that we as a species can’t leave well enough alone. The recipe goes like this: when something REALLY works someone comes along with their own “good idea” to fix it. This goes for any product. My question is: “when is enough enough?”, or “when is enough good enough?”

    That applies across the board from computers to cars, to food, etc. It seems that the human species just can’t stand it when things work. We simply gotta wreck them. Note what we are doing to the planet and our living environment.
    We just gotta screw it up with our good ideas.

    As a group tribe called Homo Sapien it seems we have yet to evolve ourselves into being organized around creating workability. More to the point, we seem to be organized around trashing ourselves out of existence.

    As Buckminster Fuller said in his book Critical Path, “It might be that, from the point of view of evolution, the human species is a failed experiment.”

    Judging by our track record, it sure looks that way.

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins July 9, 2009, 10:52 am

    Hi Bob,

    Yeah, they just can’t leave things alone. They’re marketing to the masses and unfortunately the masses want stuff that is excessively sweet and doesn’t taste like real food.

    Hey, I found a new delicious alternative for Ice Cream and it is called Coconut Bliss. It has agave in it, so it isn’t something I eat regularly, but it is nice for a special treat. It is very rich in flavor and is absolutely blissful. Agave is the only sweetener in it and agave is not very offensive to the blood sugar levels or Candida. The first ingredient is Coconut and because of this, it actually has a texture that is similar to dairy. So it also satisfies that creamy experience. You should be able to find it in your health food store.

    Cynthia

  • Grandma Judi March 11, 2010, 8:11 pm

    I agree with what is being said about the POOR QUALITY of the NEW product. SAD!!! SOO bad tasting and SUCH a disappointment!

  • bo'nana April 26, 2010, 1:56 am

    …plus, not to mention, the new formula causes me to become vaguely nauseous and if i have more than 2 bites it will all spontaneously regurg. how luvly. i too lament the passing of the Original Recipe…

  • LisaNYC July 5, 2010, 3:09 pm

    Today it is 100 degrees in NYC, and I long for the only desert that I was able to tolerate – Rice Dream. I can’t eat any sweeteners without a reaction, and the old Rice Dream was the only dessert on the planet that I could eat, due to its natural, high quality ingredients. What a shame it is no longer available. The suits had to mess with something that was previously so healthy and delicious.

  • Yvonne Townsley January 29, 2011, 12:50 am

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who can’t tolerate ANY of those sweeteners! It really is difficult to avoid them as they are in most everything. I’ve been meaning to try stevia since it is supposed to be a natural sweetener from a plant and low on the glucose chart. Anyone have any comments about stevia in comparison to brown rice syrup or any of those others?

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins February 11, 2011, 4:10 pm

    Stevia is completely safe. It has no negative impact on insulin, blood sugar, neurotransmitters, candida and the autonomic nervous system, unless one has a sensitivity to it. It is the safest and healthiest sweetener you can use.
    Cynthia

  • Yvonne Townsley February 13, 2011, 6:09 pm

    Thank you Cynthia, I appreciate your input. The forms of stevia I have bought have been truvia or pure via (pura via?) which have added sweeteners, so I’m not using them. I will find and try a form of pure stevia since it won’t elevate blood sugar. It would be wonderful to be able to have a dessert once in a while!

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins February 13, 2011, 6:28 pm

    You’re welcome. No, don’t use Truvia or other one’s you find in the mainstream grocery store. It is altered and unhealthy. Get it at the health food store. Another option is Xylitol, but be sure it is made from birch and not corn.
    Cynthia

  • Bob Muson August 27, 2012, 7:09 pm

    Did anyone out there keep a copy of the ingredients of the original Rice Dream ice cream before it disappeared from the stores????

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