For the first time in its 42 year existence, the coveted Shamrock Shake is available at all 14,000 McDonald’s restaurants nationwide. Prior to this year, the shake was only available at select locations on or around St. Patrick’s Day.
But if you’ve ever wondered what gives the shake its famous green color, the secret is in the syrup. The Shamrock Shake syrup contains yellow 5 and blue 1, both of which have been linked to behavioral problems and hyperactivity in children. Blue 1 is also poorly absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract, and yellow 5 can be linked to cancer. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban the additives since 2008, and they have already been phased out in the United Kingdom. The syrup also contains — surprise — high fructose corn syrup.
Just so you know although the rumor is McDonalds shakes don’t actually contain milk they do– what they don’t contain is actual ice cream. We wrote about Micky Ds ingredient list in What’s In A McDonald’s Chicken Patty? More Than Just Chicken and you can download it yourself there too.
And if you thought for a second that the minty flavor of the Emerald Isle-colored beverage came from actual mint, sorry to disappoint you, but there is no mention of mint anything on the ingredient list. But there is carrageenan which, aside from being used in desserts, beers, and fruit gusher snacks, can also be found in personal lubricants. Yummy.