An ingredient popular among ice cream and other processed-food manufacturers is also a favored ingredient in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the natural-gas production method that involves injecting huge quantities of sand, water, and chemicals underground to fracture (or “frack”) shale rock. Guar gum, derived from the guar bean grown in India, is the thickening agent that makes ice cream creamy and salad dressings thick. Natural-gas producers love it because it boosts the viscosity of their water-chemical solutions and cuts down on friction. But thanks to all this competing demand, guar gum has increased in price from $1 per pound to $12 per pound in the span of just 2 years, and you might see that increase reflected in your favorite ice cream brand.
Cheaper swap: Sorbet! It’s healthier than ice cream, because it’s made with fruit, and it isn’t going to contain processed ingredients used in oil and gas drilling.