114 comments


  • Kevin

    And now for the shameless plug of the day!

    Skip the Shamrock Shake and make yourself a Shamrock Shakeology! Tastes just as good as the “real thing” (in my opinion), and in staff of being stupid unhealthy, it’ll be the HEALTHIEST thing you eat that day! AND you can have them yet round!

    ***yes, in case you couldn’t tell, I’m a Beachbody coach. No shame here ;)

    March 03, 2015
  • Mindy

    Seriously? I am SO sick of being told to fear virtually everything! The contents in a bag of Skittles is probably chemically worse for you than a Shamrock Shake…….We pick and choose treats, as is our right. If you do want to indulge in a delicious, minty shake, just do it. Do you have ANY idea the quantity of ANY ONE of those ingredients you would have to ingest for ANY possibility of it causing cancer? Ridiculous drivel. Go forth and ENJOY.

    March 03, 2015
  • Cowbows

    For the people who are upset with the caloric value,
    you need to take a look at the calories in other shakes from other restaurants. Shakes have a lot of calories and are very fattening. It’s kinda sad that people are isolating this one shake because of this article.

    March 02, 2015
  • whatever

    who cares? if you don’t like them, then here’s a thought- DON’T EAT THEM! and don’t rag on people who might eat a few once a year. eating one every day might not be good for you, but this is so misleading. sure, the ingredients aren’t good in large quantities, but these shakes aren’t the only source of them. if you don’t think they are healthy, then just move along.

    March 02, 2015
  • Caryn

    Your alternative shake with the Coconut milk or Almond milk, and avocados will kill me. I am allergic to all 3 of those ingredients. If you want me to choose an alternate, make it one that’s not toxic to me. Until then, I will be drinking my Shamrock shakes.

    March 02, 2015
    • Kevin

      Seriously?!! Your getting all upset with a person for suggesting a healthier alternative? If you’re allergic, substitute those ingredients out. Give your head a friggen’ shake! The author is giving advice and you choose to jump down his/her throat? Do you even like your family?

      March 03, 2015
  • Susan

    I don’t need to worry about calories and actually have to drink them to put weight on. Everything is bad for you. Get over it.

    March 02, 2015
  • Kristin Johnson

    Is enjoying one now and it only comes once a year

    March 02, 2015
  • RMH Volunteer

    If you don’t wish to support McDonalds by purchasing a Shamrock Shake, that’s fine.

    BUT PLEASE support the Ronald McDonald houses. They get the money from the shakes. So, if you’re super-concerned about your health- skip the shake and send money, donate supplies, or better yet- your time and help needy families who are going through difficult times.

    And one shake every now and then won’t kill you. Everything in moderation.

    March 02, 2015
  • luck of the irish

    The awesome shamrock milkshake comes around only once a year! So therefore I don’t care how much fat and calories are in it! I also love mint flavored ice cream but can’t stand chocolate! The shamrock milkshake is the closest thing I can get to mint flavored ice cream without all the disgusting chocolate pieces in!!

    March 02, 2015
  • jackie

    With over 60% of adults now classed overweight or obese and our children are now more likely to die before us, i think it’s safe to say that most people are unable to do anything in moderation.

    March 02, 2015
  • peter

    the shamrock shake is on of the best invention. they are the best tasting drink available. I’ve have 3-shamerock shakes today, and 4-yesterday

    March 02, 2015
  • Chris

    As a biologist, I find it really refreshing to read a nutrition-related article that makes a point to acknowledge the definition of ‘chemicals’ as natural and ubiquitous. And then to make a point to essentially say, ‘I know chemical is a broad term but I mean these additives/preservatives, etc.’ is nice to read. A very rare find in the nutrition/dietary/popular-science-in-general world.

    March 02, 2015
  • Benny D

    Well I certainly wont be drinking one anytime soon

    March 02, 2015
  • JD

    Whoah whoah whoah… hold your horses. There is tons of sugar in the Shamrock Shake and that is bad for you? Whaaaaaaat? Next thing you are going to tell me is that I can’t eat a pound of bacon per day. What is this world coming to?

    March 02, 2015
  • Kelly

    In response to Robin’s strange artificial vanilla extract comment…

    In 2011, the Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) queried five companies that produce vanilla flavorings about whether they used any castoreum in their products, and all five replied that they did not:
    All five unanimously stated that castoreum is not used today in any form of vanilla sold for human food use.

    Read more at http://www.snopes.com/food/ingredient/castoreum.asp#X1xBP2cfVT1u59TS.99

    I agree that Shamrock Shakes are disgusting with all the added chemicals but we are not consuming Beaver secretions from their anal regions in any artificial vanilla flavoring…if someone wants to use this for vanilla they have to put the Beaver to sleep and “milk” it itself and it’s very unpleasant for both parties. There are much easier and less disgusting ways to make vanilla flavoring in the modern world.

    March 02, 2015
  • Nicole

    First off, look at the website this article is published on… A FITNESS BLOG! Obviously they are going to bash the Shamrock Shake because they probably haven’t touched a carb in years – good for them but for most of us this is unrealistic. I sometimes go on health binges, but I also go on un-healthy binges (aka Shamrock Shake). Yes, they may be filled with chemicals and preservatives but everyones right, they only come around once a year, and who could finish a large anyways?! It’s just like pumpkin spice, which we know everyone does the same thing for. I’m going to get a Shamrock Shake right now!!!

    March 02, 2015
  • Yum – yellow 5 and blue 1……SO good for you.

    March 02, 2015
  • Sarah B

    I agree with what some are saying that it’s not so bad in moderation (just order a small) . It’s only around once a year after all ;) I get that you’re trying to be healthy and all..but I think the alternative recipe sounds nasty. To me, a milk shake HAS to have dairy in it (or some form of it: milk, ice cream, and/or cream)

    March 02, 2015
    • Emily T.

      would you drink gasoline in moderation? No. Just because you consume something in moderation does NOT make it okay. Also, to say a milk shake HAS to have dairy is pure ignorance, because as the author said, a lot of his readers don’t consume dairy, probably due to allergy or choice. The recipe was for those people. You can easily opt out the coconut milk for cows milk. Don’t see why you would hurt a cow when you have alternatives…but I guess that’s a personal (selfish) choice.

      March 02, 2015
  • While I am not defending the fact that McDonald’s is serving up junk that detrimental to people’s health, I also think this article was more time than it was worth. 95% of the people who go to McD’s do so pretty much not caring about the health risks or are in the 2/3 of the entire population who cannot afford to do otherwise. Maybe if the health conscious food makers didn’t charge 10 X’s what junk food costs more people would care to make a change. For me I’m certainly not able to run out and buy the ingredients to make the alternative shake you included just to make the one, maybe two of these shakes that me and my family may have in a given year plus instead of chemicals your recipe may not have tons of ingredients but it certainly has enough alcohol that I don’t want my son to have period. Bottom line, it’s a milkshake that most people have sparingly if at all, not often enough to put that much weight into this article and those that do consume a lot of these probably don’t give a s— anyway. Healthy alternatives=lots of $$which is what’s wrong with this country. It should be easier and cheaper to go healthy but it’s not and never will be.

    March 02, 2015
    • michael

      I love how people say well its cheap to buy the MCD shakes haha is ur life worth so little lol way to value our life so low. I can’t buy a 20 dollars worth of ingredients to make a healthy drink for my body so ima stick with the 3 dollars shake since I value my life as worth 3 dollars hahahaha people these days seriously

      March 03, 2015
  • Chef Tony

    its just gross. And while far from a health nut, there is almostvNOTHING healthy in McDs or most fast food spots.

    It’s just easier for people to stick their heads in the sand and not take note of reality.

    March 02, 2015
  • Apache539

    The profits from Shamrock Shakes support the Ronald McDonald House charity which provides rooms for families whose child is in the hospital. All they ask is for $15 a night. They have volunteers who cook dinner every night.

    Anything not in moderation is bad for you. Maybe get a small or medium instead of a large. After all these shakes just come around once a year.

    And don’t forget to throw your change in the Ronald McDonald House collection box on the counter :)

    March 02, 2015
    • Lisa

      Sure, sugar in moderation is fine – but remember, a small still contains 73g, which is roughly 2x the daily TOTAL you are recommended to consume.

      March 02, 2015
  • Samantha

    You really think this will stop people from drinking a shamrock shake? People don’t go to Mcdonalds for healthy… They go to get something tasty/fast/cheap.

    March 02, 2015
  • Tammy

    you people will find anything to bitch about there worse than this out there

    March 02, 2015
    • kek

      What do you think youre doing right now? And yeah two thirds of the us suffers obesity because of your type of ignorance so uh, pretty important.

      March 02, 2015
  • Arlene

    If people believed everything they read and everything they hear no one would eat or drink nothing. Everyone is going to die one day anyway why not enjoy life to it’s fullest and you be the judge whether or not you want something or not, don’t listen to things you hear on the tv, internet etc…

    March 02, 2015
  • Allen

    I see the majority of commenters defending their shakes and one clown praising them as “free thinkers”. There is no thinking involved. Clearly. A little bit of thinking would bring the conclusion that millions of these are consumed every day and people are poisoning themselves. You’re paying one way or another with higher health costs. Who goes to mcdonalds and buys just a milkshake? Most will have a full meal of salt, grease and high fructose corn syrup and then top it off with one of these. And all those saying they “live life to the fullest”… Sitting on the couch and toilet for hours being fat and bloated is not living life to the fullest. Back to science. Calories are not the only thing that matter. A huge surge of high fructose corn syrup causes a major spike in blood sugar. The body’s response to this is insulin. Insulin causes sugars in the blood to be very quickly stored as fat instead of supplying energy. This is why there is a “sugar crash”. Insulin overcompensates and lowers the blood sugar too much causing drowsiness and hunger. It is easy to consume 800 calories in a few minutes and be hungry 20 minutes later and that’s where the danger is. A supply of refined sugary drinks is like a roller coaster ride for your hormonal system. Mood swings are not yolo material. Diabetes and insulin resistance are not fun. Nor is fatty liver disease. These are not conditions that only affect people after a certain age. You can become diabetic in your 20s. Sugar, especially high fructose cs is in everything. Moderation isn’t what it used to be.

    March 02, 2015
  • Jackie

    This is stupid. Yes, you’re right, Shamrock Shakes are unhealthy AF. They are loaded with calories and all kinds of artificial crap. I understand that when i purchase one and drink it. I usually have two-three large shamrock shakes each season. I haven’t always made the healthiest food choices, and I accept that. However, I feel like two to three shamrock shakes a year are not likely to give me cancer. And there is a breakdown on ingredients for ICE CREAM. So you are saying people should NEVER E VER EVER at ice cream because its got chemicals in it. And i’m sorry to say an avocado blended with mintss and coconut milk doesn’t make a milk shake. It might make some weird freaking pudding, but not a milk shake. That’s nasty. So people, enjoy your stupid Shamrock Shake. They come out once a freaking year. it’s all in moderation. Don’t drink three a day every day during March and you’ll probably be alright.

    March 02, 2015
  • Jean Knipe

    ????Why would you put avocado in a milk. Just curious?????

    March 02, 2015
    • Dawn

      I gives it a creamy consistency but you don’t taste the avocado.

      March 02, 2015
  • Josh

    This is eye opening however, practically any fast food item these days can be somehow linked to the different health disorders discussed above. Shamrock Shakes taste great though!

    March 02, 2015
  • rachael

    You know what I think. I think people need to get a life seriously. You guys sit up here and bash McDonalds but yet they are still getting business and people are still purchasing their food. Do you guys not have a better thing to do in your life? Grow up!

    March 02, 2015
  • Cate

    So I suppose none of are are ever eating apples again (malic acid), or sushi (carrageenan), or carrots (beta carotene), or any kind of citrus fruit (citric acid), or kale (vitamin E), or having dental work done (nitrous oxide). Because ~chemicals~.

    I mean, be afraid of sugar alcohol-derived emulsifiers if you must, but at least know what it is that you’re cowering from.

    March 02, 2015
  • Claire

    People need to relax. We all know McDonald’s IS NOT the healthiest place to eat. But, it ALLL goes back to eating with Moderation. Don’t eat McDonald’s three times a day. But, don’t feel guilty for treating yourself to a Shamrock Shake! They are amazing! Oh, and here’s a solution to not drinking 820 calories. Drink a small or a medium Shamrock Shake instead of a Large.

    March 02, 2015
    • Kevin

      That’s the problem: moderation is NOT the same as it was 20 – even 10 years ago. Sugar is in absolutely EVERYTHING. Even if you’re consuming it “in moderation”, I can nearly guarantee your eating too much. Ever look at the label on your skim milk? Your bread? How about your fat-free yogurt? Or if you’re into them, even protein bars?

      Sugar is in EVERYTHING due to it’s highly addictive traits. As a result there is no such thing as moderation anymore.

      March 03, 2015
  • dj

    Whatever. I have it once a year. Leave me alone and dont tell me what not to drink.

    March 02, 2015
  • Kim

    This is so sad how people can be so ignorant about their own health. Yes we only live once. But do you want to spend your 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s in good health and living in your own home living as you please. Or do you want to live in a nursing home waiting for someone to change your diaper and wipe the drool from your mouth. Don’t complain if you get cancer, diabetes, alzheimers or heart disease. You did it to yourself. I just hope your not selfish enough to do it to your kids as well.

    March 02, 2015
  • friendlyanon

    Everything in your “make your own” recipe not only is not going to taste like a Shamrock shake but also includes several ingredients so you can try to make yourself feel better by making a shake with “only 6″ ingredients but there are definitely more.

    March 01, 2015
    • Hi, I appreciate your feedback…and you make an excellent point! Thanks for bringing this to my attention and sorry for the confusion. You are correct, there are not 6 ingredients, but more. It looks like the total amount of ingredients for this homemade shake is 7, not 6. I have made some edits to make this more clear. I listed links to the actual ingredients and their food labels for you to check out – thanks again and have a great day!

      March 02, 2015
  • After church tonight mind you we went to our local McDonalds and mind you I had a happy meal not one of these shamrock shakes but after reading about it it makes me want to THROW – UP ! Seriously sorry don’t know when I go back to Mac- Fat -Donald’s again ! Hopefully NEVER .

    March 01, 2015
  • Kathleen

    The best thing to do with a McDonald’s Shamrock shake is to mix it with a McDonald’s chocolate shake! Oh…then for a special treat add a little hot fudge to it.

    March 01, 2015
  • Tom

    MODERATION. Have one for St. Paddy’s Day and have fun. Or…. listen to the food police. You decide.

    March 01, 2015
  • MaCayla

    I work at a McDonald’s and let me tell you that shake is the lesser of your problems, I happend to work a 3rd shift recently and I am never in the back during change over and needless to say. ITS GROSS dishes aren’t washed properly it’d nasty as all can be think about all the germs you are putting in your body just saying

    March 01, 2015
  • Ladyofthelake

    When I was younger I ate twinkles and white bread, lots of McDonalds, drank coke, and ate candy bars. It didn’t seem to bother me. I never had a weight problem. Years later my health went to crap and what I am doing to bring it back is to clean up my diet and life. It has been a long hard road. Sort of wish someone would have pointed out the dangers of what I was eating and how it accumulates in the body until illness manifests. But I suppose most people need to develop the digestive disorders, migraines, ADHD, blood sugar issues, etc before they realize that it really does matter. Only humans would believe in alchemy to the point of thinking they could sustain good health for many years into the future by eating substances that are not actually food. And then be naive enough to think they can go to the doctor if they do manifest disease from what they are eating and get a pill to resolve the damage that took years to accumulate. I am glad I woke up. Life is richer and more enjoyable as a result. Thank you for helping those who are ready to listen.

    March 01, 2015
  • Micah

    I heard they mix in a little frozen di-hydrogen monoxide into their shakes!!! Who puts that crap into their bodies!!! So disgusting! Shame on McDonalds!

    March 01, 2015
  • Common sense

    Everyone in the world knows that McDonalds is not a health food restaurant. We all also know that if you don’t eat McD’s three times a day every day you will be just fine. So go ahead and enjoy your Shamrock Shake. Everything in moderation.

    March 01, 2015
    • Spaz

      Everything in moderation. I have 2-3 of these per year in the smaller size. I love mint.

      I actually wonder how these milkshakes compare to a “typical” shake you get at your local ice cream stand using generic soft ice cream? I know there is a lot of grey area in “typical”, but I figured I’d ask Jen.

      March 02, 2015
  • Kim

    Oh my god, all you butthurt people sticking up for McDonald’s need to stop. Sure we can all indulge in food sometimes, but 800 calories is over half as much as most people should be eating in a day (yes, there are exceptions out there, but this is a generalization). There isn’t anything wrong with an article letting people know the shit their putting in their bodies- if they still choose to drink the shake after reading this article than fine, no harm done. But stop criticizing an article that may make some people go, “Oh, shit, I didn’t think it’s was that bad”. How is it “scapegoating” McDonald’s to tell people the actual content of a drink from there? #logic

    March 01, 2015
  • Samantha

    It makes me so sad to see all the comments people are posting who just shrug it off. Seriously? It’s your health!
    Let’s be real here, you don’t think anything is wrong with you because you’ve always ate crap. If you would eat good, you would realize how gross that crap really is. Also, no one has just 1 shake during the season usually (now this is on average so please don’t attack me). Next, maybe having junk on occasion is justifiable but if you keep eating crap, it’ll catch up to you when you get older and you will wish you had done something soon! (I work in a nursing home, I hear it all the time!) this article was a great way to spread the news about these bad habits. Other places will have them too, yes but this one is huge right now since it’s in season!
    Thank you for posting this!!!

    March 01, 2015
  • Ronald

    I applaud your healthy lifestyle, however you clearly have to remove the stick from your ass. Breaking News, you could get hit by a bus on Thursday. Lights Out. People with zero sense of adventure annoy me. Not saying this is you, but if you expect to live longer due to your no-frills diet, and a disciplined workout lifestyle, you’re sadly mistaken. I do what I want, when I want. And obviously, if I enjoy these treats…I’m well aware of the dietary intake.

    March 01, 2015
  • Grace

    This is bullshit. I’m sure there a plenty other foods out there just as bad as a shamrock shake, even worse. But yet no one has died from consuming a shamrock shake have they? If you eat 5 shamrock shakes a day I can see where it becomes extremely unhealthy and dangerous. But if I want to enjoy a shamrock shake one or two times in March I have nothing to worry about. Yeah I might be putting some gross things in my body, but I will most definitely not die from it and it won’t make me obese either. Everything in moderation. If you drink too much water in a day that can kill you too, yet water is not unhealthy. Stop food shaming people for wanting to enjoy a shamrock shake during the month of March, the only time they’re available.

    March 01, 2015
  • Mary

    A non dairy shake?! Really?! I get that the McDonald shake has some scary stuff in it (yet very tasty) but non dairy? That’s like making a non plant salad! Get out that vanilla ice cream, mint flavoring, and real milk along with a blender!

    March 01, 2015
  • Keith

    Shamrock shakes are bad for you? No shit!

    Let’s break down the complaints :

    High calorie – sure, but the substitute the proposes these ingredients:
    1/2 can coconut milk – 276 calories
    1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk – 15 calories
    Banana – 105 calories
    1/2 Avacado – 150 calories

    So we’re at 546 for 2 servings. Sounds better? Nope, the article compares this to the large shake, which is 22oz. Calculate the same size and it’s 750 calories; Hardly a difference.

    Ok, but chemicals!

    They give the Shamrock Shake the courtesy of breaking down the indredients, but don’t do the same for this version. I assumed natural extracts rather than artificial ones, but I bet a lot of people would use artificial ones and up the “chemical” count significantly.

    Coconutmilk (Filtered Water, Coconut Cream)
    Cane Sugar
    Natural Flavor
    Carrageenan
    Yam Flour

    Almondmilk (Filtered Water, Almonds)
    Sea Salt
    Locust Bean Gum
    Sunflower Lecithin
    Gellan Gum
    Natural Flavor

    Banana

    Avacado

    Vanilla extract
    alcohol
    corn syrup

    Peppermint extract
    alcohol

    18 ingredients, not 6. Eat whatever you want, just don’t overdo it.

    March 01, 2015
    • Hi Keith, thanks for taking the time to read my post and for sharing your thoughts, I appreciate it. As mentioned in my article, I am not so concerned about calories. It is the source of calories that concerns me. In fact, I never suggest that my clients count calories, unless there is a serious health concern that needs to be addressed. As long as you are eating calories from whole foods (which are not the calories found in fast food menu items), eat according to your metabolic type and stay active, you are good. When we severely cut back on our caloric intake we get ourselves into trouble…and hormonal health consequences are a result. I have explained this a little more clearly in another article I wrote, “Change Your Approach to Weight Loss – Stop Counting Calories” http://bamboocorefitness.com/change-your-approach-to-weight-loss-stop-counting-calories/.

      As for the ingredients in the homemade version of the shake, sure, you can buy poor quality products filled with additives and chemicals, this is true of anything, but it is also possible to purchase products free of this junk. I have edited my article and have provided links to versions of the coconut milk, vanilla extract and peppermint extract that do not have all of the craziness that you listed in your comment. Grand total of ingredients for this smoothie if you nix the almond milk (which I in general am not in favor of unless you make your own almond milk), is 7, not 18 like you have suggested.

      Thanks again for your feedback and for helping me be more clear. Take care!

      March 02, 2015
  • Greg D.

    I will continue to eat McDonalds food every once in a while, as I have been doing. I happen to like the taste of processed cheeseburgers and shakes. Humans inevitably die no matter what choices they make, and some have shorter lives mainly from genetics.

    March 01, 2015
  • jax

    As bad as this as this sounds it probably isn’t any worse than any other desert or candy bar that one may eat or drink once and a while. Now sure it is not a health drink but unless you drink one once a day…it is probably fine. I can bet you will not die of cancer by drinking your traditional once a year McDonald’s Shamrock shake. Don’t forget to ask for Oreos on top.

    March 01, 2015
  • Major Otis

    I’ve decided to eat as much processed food as possible and I am going to live forever! Shamrock shakes are awesome and who are you to tell people not to eat them? People like you make everyone miserable.

    March 01, 2015
  • […] the Shamrock Shake is a new beast even by the standards of McDonalds. Our friends over at BambooCoreFitness gave us a nice breakdown of the ingredients and man is this thing chock full of pretty much nothing an Irish person would actually want, have […]

    March 01, 2015
  • The Scientist

    A real milkshake has 4-6 ingredients. Ok, lets look at that. Milk, check. Ice cream, check. Ok we have a basic shake. But wait, milk usually has added vitamin D to help absorb calcium and I don’t know of any ice cream (or frozen yogurt at that) with less than 4 ingredients so I don’t know where you are getting this idea from.

    You claim that food is full of chemicals, and you are right. Except everything you can touch is chemicals. You are made of chemicals, water is a chemical, ammonia is a chemical. You keep using a word without its definition.

    Finally, you keep saying that many of these should be banned, but I am curious which ones? Which of these are so scary that you want them off shelves and why. And before you answer, remember that even pure water is deadly.

    March 01, 2015
  • so?

    Last time I checked I don’t have cancer, ADHD, hyperactivity, headaches or migraines, allergies, fertility problems, skin disorders, or gastrointestinal issues. And not to mention that I have at least 4 a week and I have not experienced any weight gain whatsoever, or changes in my physicality. People need to not freak out about some restaurant when there are far worse things out there

    March 01, 2015
  • Sean

    This is ridiculous for a number of reasons.
    1. You took the biggest size possible to make a point. Give someone a 22 oz kale smoothie and it’s going to be just as much a calorie bomb as this shake.
    2. You can easily ask to have no whip cream or cherry on top. Just do what they tell you in preschool – use your words. That alone eliminates hundreds of calories and the most egregious ‘chemicals’.
    3. Carrageenan is highlighted as if it’s something bad. Carrageenan comes from seaweed, something the granola crunchie hipster crowd is usually all over but hey, it’s not from organically grown shaded seaweed so it’s gotta be bad.
    4. Artificial vanilla is chemically no different than vanilla or natural vanilla. They are all composed of vanillin, just the route to getting there can be different thanks the to the magic of chemistry.

    Sincerely, someone who understands where food and food products come from and the science behind it.

    March 01, 2015
  • Patti

    I have one a year as I love the flavor. I already had mine this year so I won’t have anymore–until next year!!!

    March 01, 2015
  • Paul

    Ms. Regan,

    Thank you for your attempt at tarnishing one of the food industry’s most highly scrutinized companies. It is exceedingly refreshing when I have the pleasure to read of the “food-like-substances” that my soon-to-be profession prepares for everyone on a daily basis. Additionally, it’s wonderful to hear of the “chemical shit-storm” that you and I have always and will continue to consume (everything we eat can be brokendown into chemicals). These scare tactics are simply fuel to the fire of speculation and the know-it-all mentality that has been fostered by the general public in regards to food “knowledge.”

    Sarcasm toned-down: The food industry is proud to bring you foods that are safe, relatively inexpensive, and commonly of a high quality (sometimes higher quality than freshly prepared). Perhaps this food is not for you. But, I will say that our nation’s executive agencies and departments as well as our food companies are not out to kill their own consumers. Food ingredients face a hefty process in order to become approved for use.

    I challenge you to create the DIY Shamrock Shake for everyone in the country (possibly more?). You have to make sure that there is no pathogenic microbial contamination in any of the final products. It must have an ingredient shelf life that is long enough to get where it needs to be while retaining the same ingredient functionality/consistency in every batch. Your product must have the same widespread acceptability as thr current shake (do consumer testing). The revenue (roughly: the sales price – [cost of goods, production and transportation + production wages + marketing costs]) for each shake must be profitable enough to support the countless jobs that it’s sales support. However, the sales price must also be low enough for target consumers to spend their disposable income on the product. The “good-for-you” shake must also have better nutritional aspects than the Shamrock Shake. I will say that the DIY shake appears to have (I have not crunched any numbers) a great deal of fat from the avocado, almond milk and coconut milk. A substantial part of the fat contained in the “healthy” shake is saturated (from the coconut milk and avocados). Fat provides the most dense source of calories to our bodies (9kcal/g vs carbs/sugars 4kcal/g), so it is quite likely that a similarly sized “healthy” shake would have a very high amount of fat and calories. It will also have some sugar (not as much as McD’s shake), but it wouldn’t be as sweet as the true Shamrock Shake and may not be as acceptable with consumers. My educational background tells me that it will be extremely expensive and difficult to create a mass-produced shake similar to the DIY version. The avacados and bananas will have issues with browning unless you make some adjustments to the formulation which would alter the final product’s quality and cost. The color would also be affected by whatever method is used to ensure a safe product. There are no “natural” sources of green color that will give the hue/tint the consumer is looking for without the color dulling through a heating process (commonly used for safety purposes). My point here is that the production of something as simple as a Shamrock Shake, can be quite difficult.

    By all means, enjoy the “real food” at your own house. If I consumed them, I would prefer to pick one up with the classic taste of a Shamrock Shake and not have to deal with the allocation of ingredients, time spent preparing ingredients, and resulting cleanup. The ingredients used to create the DIY shake would still be processed and contain chemicals (say it isn’t so!).

    Although you may have your opinions (to which you are entitled), I want you to know that there are people like me who are on the other side of this “issue.” I’m certain that there are many who could argue my point more eloquently or with more factual evidence. But, please know that this type of article can be construed as offensive by some people. I personally see it as yet another edition of the muckraking campaign against the food industry. I write this from my smartphone and I am not a savant of the English language. With this being said, please pardon my grammatical errors.

    Best Regards- Paul (a Food Science student)

    March 01, 2015
  • kanyon

    I could pick any restaurant ever, especially fast food restaurants, and tell you all of the things that are in their shakes that you “shouldn’t” have, why do you have to kick McDonalds when everyone already uses it as a scapegoat for their own stupidity and lack of proper decision making. I worked at McDonalds for 8 months, during that time, it was the ONLY thing I ate, besides some ramen here and there at home, I am in fantastic shape, don’t have cancer or anything, you don’t blame a word that’s mispelt on the pencil, you don’t give a gun a prison sentence for shooting someone, you have to stop blaming one fast food place (of the thousands of places you could choose from, because it is your choice), or even fast food in general (as no one forces you to eat there). Back when people cared more about living their own life, or making a difference in the world than omg what am I about to eat, life was better in almost every way, I smoke cigs and get hit by a car, there’s going to be some idiot somewhere that says “see smoking kills” and people will listen, why don’t you focus on telling people what healthy choices are out there rather than bad talking someone/thing/place? This is worse than friggin politics these days, stop focusing on the bashing and just do your damn job

    March 01, 2015
  • Sharon

    I don’t think you will see much of a difference on any milkshake you purchase anywhere. Maybe the flavors and colors would vary. If the average consumer makes a milkshake from ingredients bought from the local grocery store, it would still be similar. You would need to shop organic and the price would double likely. Moderation is key.

    March 01, 2015
  • Lindsay

    As much as this article is true in saying all of the ingredients in the shamrock shake , think about all of the other things you eat every day that have a lot of ingredients! Chocolate, chips, some “healthy” cereals, any other “take out” you might order… I’m not saying the shamrock shake is healthy, but neither are most milkshakes! A lot of ice cream companies now add preservatives, or use high-fructose corn syrup in their ice cream. Unless you physically go to a dairy, you’ll find these “scary chemicals”.
    In regards to the nutritional info, I won’t dispute it, since it’s pretty accurate, but that’s in a large! Of course there will be 820 calories in a large milkshake! A small has 530. Not as scary? I think so. A medium has 620. Again, not as bad. If you’re drinking 22 ounces of any milkshake, you’re going to find a lot of calories! Milkshakes from Godiva chocolate, for example, have upwards of 700 calories per 12 ounce serving, which is the same size as the McDonald’s small!
    In the end, you be the judge. No, McDonald’s will never really be “good for you”, but stop using high calorie levels and long lists of ingredients to scare people, when there are plenty of ingredients in every day food and beverage that don’t come from a fast food chain. If you’re still worried about it, then don’t eat it! I seldom eat fast food unless I’m absolutely desperate and can’t wait to get home or to somewhere that has better options.

    March 01, 2015
  • nate

    I think you will all die from stressing over what you eat faster and an obese person who eats McDonalds twice a day. Stress is the number one killer in the world.

    March 01, 2015
  • robin

    Just a note, and this can be verified, one source of artificial vanilla flavor is the anal secretions of a beaver. Still want it?

    March 01, 2015
    • Maggie

      Please check your facts before commenting with such garbage.

      March 01, 2015
  • nate

    I think I’ll go buy one now! Because the number one killer in the world is stress. It tears apart our bodies from the inside out faster than anything else. (including poor eating habits)

    March 01, 2015
  • lindsay

    Honestly this is just like anything else that could be bad for you. You’d have to consume a lot in order for it to really have an effect on you.

    March 01, 2015
  • melissa

    Pretty sure that a banana mint avocado shake does not resemble a shamrock shake in the LEAST.

    March 01, 2015
  • Pam

    Super healthy mint milkshake
    1 cup unsweetened almond milk
    1 banana, frozen
    1 cup fresh spinach, packed
    1/4 cup fresh mint (or mint extract – just a drop or two)
    Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and green. Optional: drizzle chocolate syrup in bottom of glass before serving and tip with crushed or shaved chocolate
    Recipe courtesy of Happy Herbivore

    March 01, 2015
  • KK

    That shake is not only “6” ingredients. Just like mcdonalds each if those ingredients has more ingredients of it’s own. They may be healthier options but it’s not only 6 ingredients. Everything you eat has chemicals in it. Even the healthier shake. I don’t eat food from mcdonalds because as many people think, it’s gross. But I do enjoy the shamrock shake and will continue to enjoy them. Making the other shake would take some time and most definitely more money to make than just going to McDonalds every once in awhile.

    March 01, 2015
  • Craig

    Blahblahblah.

    1,000,000 grams of “tastes good as hell”

    March 01, 2015
  • Cat

    I’m gonna go get a shammy shake now. Yum.

    March 01, 2015
  • William

    It’s sad how many people passively accept and shrug off chemicals in food. It’s worse that many defend these “miracles” of foid science. They completely miss the point that with a little effort you can choose to not eat them. I see a political attitude that says “If McDonald’s wanted to serve wood alcohol, thay should have the right!”

    March 01, 2015
  • i have never consumed one of these, nor will I! It amazes me that people truly do not even care about what they are putting not only into their own mouths, but their family’s mouths! I am a Wildtree rep (Certified Organic and all natural food products) and it is sometimes difficult to see some just turn their cheek! I continue to at least plant the seeds, as you are doing, in hopes that eventually, it will sink in! Chemicals and toxins are found in so many things, but we DO have choices!!! Thank you for sharing!! Keep planting!

    March 01, 2015
  • Shake Lover 3000

    Thank you for posting this article. You have made me get out of bed and go get a shamrock shake. My advice is eat what you want and then just go work out. Thank you tree huggers. YOLO

    March 01, 2015
  • vk

    First of all, I love most of these comments! All of you glorious free thinkers! I’ve had 2small ones! And I’d lick my exhaust pipe before I’ll eat anything with avocado in it, Yuck! Even if i made a real shake, not your crappy one, it would still have more than 5 ingredients. milk, sugar(of course), cream, vanilla, salt, mint flavoring. And don’t forget the added chemicals in milk, vitamins a&d?, sometimes iodine in the salt…. I could go on. Just enjoy what you like and take a walk after, or play with the dog for 20 mins. Make it a balance!

    March 01, 2015
    • VK – thanks for taking the time to reply! Question – if you are so adverse to avocado, and would much rather lick car exhaust pipes, what do you think of eating seaweed? Is that better? Carrageenan, which is found in a couple of the ingredients of the Shamrock Shake, is extracted from seaweed. Just want to give you a heads up. Thanks for sharing your opinions!

      March 02, 2015
  • sam

    And usually the people bashing articles about health are the ones that feel bad about themselves.

    March 01, 2015
  • sam

    LOL I love the people saying that this article doesn’t matter and its from “fear mongers” how stupid can you be. I guess stupid enough to like McDonald’s. They’re counting on people like you. If you want to die at 50 from a heart attack keep being an idiot. You can’t argue with science and it says this shit is terrible for your health. No a few shakes won’t kill you but add that to your other bad diet choices and it’s a lot. I’m not saying you have to be vegan. Just try not to shove processed paste down your throats because McDonald’s is convenient and cheap and puts addictive ingredients in their food. I didn’t eat fastfood for a year and then had fries from burger King and was sick the entire day. That’s not a gold sign guys

    March 01, 2015
  • Bill

    I tried eating healthy once, landed me in the ICU with two blood clots in my lungs. It’s funny how a doctor had to tell me not to eat healthy leafy green vegetables, too much vitamin K would have killed me if i hadn’t gone to the hospital. Vitamin K = vitamin Kill. Diet is just die with a T at the end of it. Bottom line is eat what you enjoy, you only live once.

    March 01, 2015
  • Lisa

    I haven’t had one in what seems like forever, and decided to get one the other day. I use to love them. However, i had it and it was totally gross to me. It use to come out of the shake machine. Now they swirl the syrup around the cup and add vanilla mix to it. I ended up tossing it. Glad I don’t like them anymore! LOL

    March 01, 2015
    • Allie

      Hi Lisa,
      My husband and I own a McDonalds and this is not in the slightest how they are made. All over the country our shakes come out of the shake machine and no syrup is swirled around in the cup to make it green.
      If you first hand witnessed this I urge you to call the McDonalds 1800 number so that the owner operator of that store can be notified.
      And as a side note, I have been eating and working at McDonalds for over 35 years. Neither my husband or I have Cancer, we are both healthy people who are of normal weight and blood pressure. McDonalds in excess amounts, like anything else, is not the healthiest for you. But in moderation, it is fine.

      March 01, 2015
  • Kerri

    Fear mongering at its finest. You sound an awful lot like Food Babe, who is arguably the biggest idiot on this planet. You people need a new hobby. It’s people like you and Food Babe who cause Orthorexia. Way to go.

    March 01, 2015
  • Jaime Pinette

    I admit that I indulge myself every now and again. And drinks always seem less harmful than foods.That said, I always remind myself that no food/drink that is advertised can be good for me! I even question Halo & Cutie oranges lately because they advertise the crap out of them! I agree with your other commenter’s, everything in moderation!

    February 28, 2015
  • Tony Mack

    Yummy. …Get over it fear mongers..

    February 28, 2015
    • Robstercraw

      Everything is ok in small amounts… One of the oldest ladies who ever lived, lived in France and smoked an occasional cigarette. Did she die from cancer? I am going to agree with those who know about a shamrock shake eaten twice a year being an ok item on the menu. Moderation is key.

      March 01, 2015
  • Kelsey

    The reality of it is, EVERYTHING in excess is bad. Identifying your limits and enjoying this specific milkshake a few times a year won’t inhibit your fertility or cause cancer by its own power. If you look forward to it, you might as well take part in enjoying a Shamrock Shake during the limited time as part of a well rounded lifestyle. Indulging once in a while truly won’t do damage.

    February 28, 2015
  • Stephanie

    Of course it’s not healthy, it’s a milkshake. These days there’s chemicals in almost everything, so articles such as this no longer phase me. It’s a shame, but it’s the truth. I’ve decided not to let these facts get to me, and I will not deny myself simple pleasures in life due to fear.

    February 28, 2015
    • Benji

      Not almost in everything. There literally are chemicals in everything. Everyone uses the word so liberally that it becomes clear they don’t even know what it means. Meanwhile, scientists are laughing at you people who like to scare other uneducated people about chemicals. “But chemicals!” Afraid of chemicals? Don’t eat, or drink. At all.

      February 28, 2015
  • As usual Bamboo Core guru you are right on! Shamrock Shakes should probably be illegal but this is America and we are allowed to be as unhealthy as we like and cost the healthcare system untold amounts of excess money. Keep writing and I will keep reading and spreading the word! Wow – a new religion?

    February 28, 2015
    • Benji

      Illegal. Right. Because when we have much other pressing issues to worry about, everyone knows what’s most important is what people choose to consume.

      A shake is not inherently bad. Nor is anything else. What is bad is the lack of education in America about not only being healthy, but food in general. (Hint: Most people realize things are fine in moderation. America’s demonization of food makes things like the Shamrock shake seem SO good that it is hard for Americans to consume in moderation.)

      February 28, 2015
  • Oh McDonalds…I love the criticism you get for posting this….everything you get there is suspect…period…if you are interested in living a healthy long and vibrant life..McDs should not be included…Jenn does not need a soap box to tell you that!!!! Drive on girl

    February 28, 2015
    • Well said, Rob! I love how you wrote, “…If you are interested in living a healthy long and vibrant life…McDs should not be included…” Ahh…so very true! Thanks for the support!! (PS: The only box I am jumping up and standing on these days is a plyo box!) :)

      February 28, 2015
  • Fred

    I didn’t realize these were out already, thanks for reminding me I love them!

    February 28, 2015
  • DJ

    I wait for the shamrock shake every year and I have had mine this year! Everything in moderation. The things I eat are going to kill me, my cell phone is going to kill me, I am going to enjoy what I like.

    February 28, 2015
  • McScotty

    I just want to point out that while you sit in your soap box preaching against this shake, the Guinness you tell everyone to drink is made with flavor additives and chemicals. Also, corned beef is filled with chemicals and preservatives as well.

    Also, we all know that the shamrock shake isn’t good for you, but it is damn delicious. As opposed to your fake avocado peppermint concoction that you want me to drink.

    February 28, 2015
  • Elaine

    Every year I Waite to try this shake. I love it. Now I may not,, didn’t know about the contents. It’s a real shame people just don’t know what they’re eating or drinking. THANKS

    February 28, 2015
    • Hi Elaine, I agree with you – it’s a shame. I knew something like this wasn’t healthy – but I had no idea how many ingredients it actually contained until I dug a little deeper. The fact that we have to work so hard to stay on top of knowing what is in our food is frustrating and exhausting. I believe that many of these ingredients should be illegal.

      I am glad I was able to educate you on what a Shamrock Shake really is. Sorry for the disappointment – but I hope you are able to find an alternative…an equally tasty and satisfying treat. :)

      February 28, 2015
  • interesting that you did not say how many times you added sugar, fructose, corn sugar . more fructose . more sugar. more high fructose and many more lets be fair

    February 28, 2015
    • Hi Wayne, thanks for your comment and for bringing this to my attention. I had no intentions of exaggerating the truth. I forgot to mention that the main ingredients are “vanilla reduced fat, ice cream, Shamrock Shake syrup, whipped cream, and maraschino cherry” – and that each one of these ingredients contain 10 or more ingredients of their own. The repetition comes from the repeat of ingredients from each of the main ingredients. I have revised this post to illustrate this point and am hopeful that things are more clear and fair now. Have a nice day!

      February 28, 2015
  • There are only 32 ingredients as you kept repeating them over again like 32 isn’t already gross …. my point is you don’t need to make it look any worse by lying because if you kept it the truth, the truth is horrible either way.
    I don’t suggest drinking these or eating at Mc D’s to anyone because every thing that is on there menu is chemicals and very unhealthy for you. If you want a good real ice cream shake on the go find a DQ.

    February 28, 2015
    • Hi Venessa, thanks very much for pointing this out. After reading your comment I realized I was not clear in my description of the ingredients. I had no intentions of lying, because as you point out, the truth is horrible either way – and I completely agree with you! I have since revised this post and have made it more succinct. I appreciate you taking the time to read my article and am grateful for your comment. Take care and thanks again!

      February 28, 2015
  • McGross!!!
    Thanks for the great content. I am going to try the paleo suggestion for a Mchealthier option!!!
    McWonderful post – thank you

    February 27, 2015
    • Thank you! Please let me know what you think of the homemade version of the shake! :)

      February 27, 2015
  • Thanks for featuring my recipe! …and for spreading the word about McDonald’s version!

    March 17, 2014
    • You are very welcome! I checked out your blog and you have some great content. I will be sure to direct clients toward your direction when they are looking for some paleo, gluten-free recipe ideas. Keep up the great work and good luck with your wellness journey! :)

      March 18, 2014

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