Grape Ice Cream and dogs

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Hi Spike here and I have an unusual story to tell.   It’s about grape ice cream, a girl and dogs.

You may be wondering why you don’t see grape ice cream or even grape sherbet around.  Urban legend says it all starts in 1876  when Robert Green tried to create grape ice cream. It didn’t work because grapes contain a special molecule Anthocyanin that prevents freezing.   Lots of companies tried afterward but the Anthocyanin problem proved too big a challenge.

That was until 1976 when Ben from ‘Ben and Jerry’s’ tried to make grape ice cream. Ben confessed in a People Magazine interview in 1984 that he had a huge crush on Becky (Jerry’s sister) and promised to create the flavor just for her. Knowing the history of grape ice cream, she requested it, thinking it would be impossible. Ben began to include the grape skin and juice to better see the differences between batches. It turns out that the grape skins were the key to his success in making the ice cream, but that victory took a turn for the worse.

“Becky jokingly gave her dog a lick from the cone. He liked it and took a couple of licks. Then he just gasped and dropped dead. He flipped down onto the floor and was just gone. I had no idea grapes are toxic to dogs. Specifically to the anthocyanin. Becky was devasted. I had invented a deadly dog poison, and I definitely wasn’t getting anywhere with her now.”

Ben then relayed the information to the pharmaceutical industry and in 1982 the FDA banned the ale of grape flavored ice creams or sherbets. They even banned the sale of artificial flavored grape ice cream due to pet hazards. The ban ends in 2028 and who knows if the FDA will renew that ban or not.

I’m glad he did this!  I hope this story will remind you not to feed your dog grapes and raisins.  Gotta run.  I think my master has some frosty paws out for me.

SIDE NOTE:  Spike,  I wanted to make you aware that your article on Dogs and Grape ice cream is true in the fact that grapes are  bad for dogs, but  the rest of the tale is not.  We have a friend who works for Velvet Ice Cream and he had told us about this story before being false.   You can read more at http://www.snopes.com/food/ingredient/grapeicecream.asp   (thanks Jeff)