Horrifying 12-day Cool Whip Experiment

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Two years ago, I did a 12-day Cool Whip experiment to demonstrate to my daughter the impact of chemicals on food…and on us.

The outcome was so bizarre, it left quite an impression.

And, I shared the results in this very post. But, I felt the need to “refresh” the post and revisit the experiment after what unfolded yesterday.

Talk about the power of “seeing is believing,” last night—two years later—we were out a restaurant with the family. When our waiter brought my daughter a glass of hot chocolate with whipped cream on top, she gleefully dove in with a spoon. Scooping up a dollop, she noticed it was unusually thick. She tasted a bit.

Then turned to me and whispered,

“daddy, this tastes like Cool Whip”

…and promptly slid the glass away.

To understand why, you’ve got to see what unfolded in the original experiment…

It all started as a simple way to demonstrate to my daughter the difference between real-food and fake food. But, man-oh-man, did this thing go horribly wrong!

As the son of a mad-baker, I had a lot off whipped-cream growing up. But, not the kind you get from a can or a plastic tub. Mom used to whip it up fresh from heavy cream, vanilla and sugar. Okay, so we know that’s not the best thing for your body these day…but wait’ll you see this!

The Great 12-day Cool Whip experiment…documented in photos!

I decided to do a little experiment to see just how fake some food was and show my daughter, because pictures speak so much louder than words. So, I picked up a small tub of Cool Whip Lite whipped “topping,” and I also made up a quick batch of fresh whipped-cream. I dropped a big scoop of each into two little bowls and set them on the table.

Not surprising, within minutes, the real stuff began to melt away to nothing. An hour later, it was just a puddle of cream and sugar.

But, what unfolded next not only shocked, but horrified us…

The Cool Whip appeared unchanged…for 12 straight days!

Don’t believe me? See for yourself.

Day 1


Day 2


Day 3


Day 4


Day 5


Day 6


Day 7


Day 8


Day 9


Day 10


Day 11


Day 12


After Day 12, I finally got the guts to touch it and found that it had begun to harden into a plastic-like substance…

So, I decided to run two final tests on it…

The sideways gravitational-pull study…


and, the drawing-a-smiley-face-on-it study…


Sufficed to say…my little girl won’t be eating Cool Whip anytime soon!

So, can I get a nice, juicy, collective YYYUUUCCCKKKK in the comments?

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162 responses

162 responses to “Horrifying 12-day Cool Whip Experiment”

  1. Yuck is right. But… uh… you may have just taught your daughter that Cool-Whip is better. See how long it lasts?

    • Deb says:

      Well, hmmmmm. Yes that is disturbing and I use fresh whipped cream myself. But at the same time I grew up eating cool whip on everything because it was there and we were poor and that is all there was.

      And it didn’t kill me nor do I have cancer or any strange diseases! As my mother used to say “You probably have eaten worse and didn’t even know it”! LOL!!

    • T Feist says:

      Not to mention that food stays in your system for about 24 hours, not 12 days. Most likely most of this will go right through. This is anything but scientific.

      • Bob The Muster says:

        Of course its not scientific. But Cool whip certainly is not good for you. its made of hydrogenated vegetable oils – of all fats those are the worst – and corn syrup (both regular and high fructose).

        And it is kind of nuts that it doesn’t do what natural ingredients would.

      • Kim says:

        Duh it’s not saying that it’s bad because it will stay in your system for 12 days it’s showing how the chemicals in it cause it to turn plasticy and hard so yes it is scientific

    • Dawna May says:

      Cool whip lasted 12 days… so does other food but we do not condemn it because it lasts… apples and potatoes survive 12 days in my house easily… I eat ’em and am very heatlthy…

  2. Shana Albert says:

    Wow!! That is sooooo….. YUCKY!!!! (Aren’t I hip… I can talk like my 6 year old) 😉

    It is so amazing the amount of chemicals most foods have in them. That is the only way food would remain unchanged for that long…. chemicals!! Isn’t it the Twinkie that could remain unchanged for 30 years? UGH!!

  3. sharon says:

    get a couple of cans and make a snowman….it’ll last forever.

  4. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ James – funny, I thought of that, so I was trying to tell her it would stay like that inside her…forever! Okay, a little overdramatic, but, hey, just trying to make a point.

    @ Shana – Yeah, this really freaked me out!

    @ Sharon – Brilliant, experiement number 2 in the works, gotta figure out what to use for the face, though. Suggestions? (gotta be fake)

    • Jodi Kaplan says:

      @Jonathan: Licorice for the face?

      Twizzlers ingredients: Corn Syrup , Flour , Sugar , Cornstarch , Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil 2% or Less , Salt 2% or Less , Artificial Flavorings 2% or Less , Citric Acid 2% or Less , Potassium Sorbate 2% or Less – a Preservative , Artificial Coloring 2% or Less – Includes Red 40

  5. As the mad baker and hands-on science experiment person in my family, there is not much I will not cook, eat or try. This, I never thought of.

    I must thank you for an inspiring Monday… er… expose. Yes, that’s it. Expose. An expose that showed me that though Cool Whip is made of complex forever pharma chemo stuff, smiling is simple and almost anything can inspire a good smile.

    Now I am having a craving for roasted sweet onions on a bed of steamed organic kale.

  6. Lin Burress says:

    Aww man Jonathan! You’ve just ruined my favorite whipped topping! Actually, you used the “lite” version, so I would definitely have to say YUCK! Full calorie cool whip all the way for me! 🙂

  7. […] to add insult to injury, I have recently learned that Cool Whip is not food either.  Well, that is not exactly what it says, but really, take a look at the pictures and tell me that […]

  8. I am close to devistated by this… it was bad enough when I found out McDonald’s french fries weren’t made out of food.

  9. It reminds of the movie Super Size Me where the guy eats McDonald’s food for 3 meals a day, for 30 days. (If you haven’t seen it,talk about yucky!) In any event at the end they put various fast foods in separate jars to see what happens. Many of them, like your cool-whip, never changed.

    As nasty as it is to see mold grow on foods kept too long, it does make me feel a little bit better about what I’m eating.

    • Cecilia Long says:

      ACtually the one that goes around about the McDonalds hamburger has been shown that it merely dehydrated so no, it wont mold.. but then again a home made burger set up the same way did the same thing.

  10. Matt B says:

    You have a big great “yuck” from the South East of England. That’s as bad as the tooth dissolving in coke I saw on TV when I was a kiddie.

  11. Speaking of Coke, did you know that it makes an excellent toilet bowl cleaner?

  12. lisa schroter says:

    Hmm, I”m seeing art potential. You could paint with this stuff! Could be huge!

  13. LOL. Yuck! This brought back the fun my kids and I had with our “scientific” experiments. Congratulations on making such happy memories with your daughter.

  14. Jillian says:

    Reminds me of this story of a shopkeeper back in 1967 who did a similar experiment with margarine:

    “I put a cube of margarine … on a saucer and placed the saucer on the window sill in the back room of my store. I reasoned that if I made it readily available and if it was real food, insects and microorganisms would invite themselves to the feast. Flies and ants would be all over it just as if it were butter … That cube of margarine became infamous. I left it sitting on the window sill for about two years. Nobody ever saw an insect of any description go near it. Not one speck of mold ever grew on it. All that ever happened was that it kind of half-puddled down from the heat of the sun beating through the windowpane, and it got dusty – very dusty.”
    (Fred Rohe, PPNF Health Journal)

    All I can say is, no thanks!

    • T Feist says:

      That is because margarine in basicly whipped vegetable oil. Do you know any insects that would attack a bowl of oil? Yet your body needs oil.

  15. Patrick Badstibner says:

    Just think if you put enough together you could go tubing in mid July Florida weather.

    By the way Jonathon when I’m ready I’ll tell ya my story, I may even ask for some help.

    Thanks for the expose

  16. Patrick Badstibner says:

    Here’s is one even better, if you mix with Coke could you clean your Engine.

  17. Lisa S says:

    20 year old twinkies anyone?


  18. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Everyone – Oh man, I just clicked on Lisa’s link to the 20 year old twinkie story…that is NASTY!

    And, for anyone who’s favorite snack food I’ve unintentionally killed, um, sorry. If you’d like to avoid the need for embalming when you pass, though, just keep eating a spoonful a day! hehehe!

  19. Tzaddi says:

    That’s some pretty freaky stuff! It’s weird, when I saw your happy face drawing my immediate association was with the Kool-Aid character. But a quick google proved my brain wrong, they don’t look much alike.

    Good on ya for doing this experiment for your daughter, and sharing it with us.

  20. Naomi says:

    Oh, that is scary! I always make fresh whipped cream too. Not the best for you, but at least it’s natural, right?

    My grandpa has had a twinkie a day habit for many years. We would joke that we could make a bomb shelter and just stack it with his twinkies and survive a few years in there.

    • Dana says:

      Why do people think dairy cream is bad for you? No study has ever proven that saturated fat by itself causes any sort of disease. And the cream’s where all the good vitamins are.

      What vitamins are in Cool Whip that would have occurred there naturally? What’s the point of eating something that does not benefit you at all? At least when all our food was real you could expect to get nutrients from your desserts. Now they’re a nutritional wasteland.

      The worst part of natural whipped cream is the sugar you add to it. You could add stevia instead, or just skip the sweetener if what you’re putting the stuff on is sweet enough already.

  21. K Swanson says:

    speaking of margarine, I heard somewhere that if you changed one molecule in margarine, it would be plastic. eww. why does anyone even eat that stuff?

  22. JONxBLAZE says:

    ..and what is the point of all this????

  23. Bria says:

    Yo Jonathon whats up? I loved this expirement, i have a question when u drew on the face did it move at all or did it stay the same and you had to draw around the peaks of the wipped cream and stuff???
    Luv ya

  24. Jenny says:

    haha that’s nuts. i should give that a try and show it to my brotherinlaw.

  25. My Dad was a chef,.. he never let us eat anything pre-packaged. I wish I was as strict, but YUUUUKKK no cool whip for us!

  26. Nicole says:

    Everyone should read “Deconstructing the Twinkie” by Steve Ettlinger, it is literally an adventure in processed food manufacturing. I found it a bit bland and scientific, but a browse of each chapter is enough to make you want to avoid all boxed goods outside of Whole Foods.

    Did you know that Corn dextrin, a Twinkie ingredient, is also the glue on postage stamps and envelopes?

    Something tells me if I had a living Great-Grandmother she wouldn’t be that into Cool Whip either.

    • Dana says:

      Not to defend Twinkies, but you can make glue and paint out of casein (a milk protein) as well.

      Although, there are plenty of reasons to avoid eating *corn*, and never mind the dextrin–not the least of which is so much corn is GMO now, and they won’t label it.

  27. Nicole says:

    My mistake the correct title is “Twinkie, Deconstructed”!

  28. […] That’ll make you think twice about putting that stuff on your pumpkin pie. Horrifying 12-day Cool Whip experiment […]

  29. […] The Cool Whip Experiment (HT: Whole-Life) […]

  30. Janet says:

    I’ve always preferred whipped cream to Cool Whip as the latter has always tasted like plastic to me. But, the thing that bothers me here is that so many people seem to think that whipped cream is bad for you. Granted most of the cream sold in most grocery stores is probably bad for you. But, if you can get access to cream from a pasture-fed cow, it is loaded with vitamin A and D. And, if you can get it raw, so much the better. Check out the website of the Weston A. Price Foundation. It’s a real eye opener.

    • Leona says:

      Weston A Price Foundation is full of pseudoscientific rubbish. It’s been debunked and called out for lack of scientific rigor many many times.

      http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/debunking-diet-myths-weston-price-take-your-pseudoscience-elsewhere.html (from an ACTUAL doctor with, you know, medical credentials.)

      Grain of salt. WAPF is allll about selling folks on raw milk, animal fat and the supplements/products in their shop. They scaremonger and are absolutely hostile to those who don’t eat animals.

      Not a fan.

      • Dana says:

        That’s funny because I’ve checked up on some of their claims and was able to find real studies that backed up what they were saying. That is, actual research at actual research publications, and sometimes references to them at the Science Daily website. You are going to have to do better than a vegan advocacy group or a fake “skeptic” group to prove WAPF wholly wrong.

        I don’t think they *are* right about everything; for instance, they claim grains are healthy if you process them first, when Weston Price’s own data show that the more grain a traditional group ate, the more cavities they had. But if you take the time to do your own homework instead of depending on a middleman group with an agenda to interpret everything for you, you’d be surprised what you can learn.

        I had serious problems with heavy periods when my cycle came back after my daughter was born. I had no insurance at the time, so I went investigating whether there might be any natural way to deal with the problem–some change in diet, or whatever. Then I remembered WAPF had said that vitamin A is necessary for reproductive health, and that people with hypothyroidism and diabetes can’t convert beta carotene to vitamin A (a claim I checked, and it is true). I had been diagnosed with neither disorder, but I was also overweight, so *something* wasn’t right. I decided to try supplementing the real vitamin from fish liver oil.


        I have since heard from a friend of mine on Facebook who was having the same problem and who, after hearing my story, decided to try vitamin A for herself. She had the same result. I have since learned that vitamin A is a common treatment in developing countries employed by charity clinics trying to help women with painful and heavy periods. And when they’re trying to prevent blindness, they don’t do it with golden rice. They do it with vitamin A capsules.

        Also, since I started eating more animal fat and saturated fat (not always the same thing, I also use coconut oil), I find my mental-health status has vastly improved. I wasn’t looking for that to happen and it took me about two or three years to figure out what was going on. My fat intake has also improved my insulin response because even when I’m not being scrupulous about diet, if I eat a lot more carbs than I’m supposed to eat, I respond better to them. I don’t get the blood-sugar ups and downs anymore and I feel better overall.

        I’m certainly hostile to people who say it’s healthy to not eat animal. My experience says otherwise. The experiences of a lot of other people say otherwise. Try as you might you will never find real vitamin A in a plant. Clearly I cannot be healthy without consuming it. That means that a vegan diet will never be possible for me. That means that when vegans say no one needs animal foods, THEY ARE LYING.

        You’d be hostile too if someone was demanding you follow a diet that will make you sicker.

  31. Yelimar says:

    OMG!! Yikes. Imagine what it’s doing to the insides of people who are eating this fake stuff on a regular basis. Horrifying is right! @.@

    Thank you for the insight. I am not a fan of non-home made whipped cream, but this will certainly deter me from ever being remotely tempted to buy or eat the pre-made variety ever again. I can’t believe you where able to draw on it!

    Long time no see. I hope all is well with you and the family :). Take care.

  32. […] This experiment answers that age old question; “What happens to Cool Whip if I leave it out on the counter for 12 days?” […]

  33. Tara says:

    That is YUCK ! CW stinks !! But there is still hope for us whipped topping junkies becoz there are other products like Reddi-wip in the market that are made with REAL CREAM !!!! Not fake like CW. I did my own experiment and a dollop of reddi-wip in a few minutes does melt away. Ofcourse, its the REAL THING !!! And the cherry on top is that its only 15 calories !!!

    Jonathan – Maybe your daughter should try RW !

  34. […] 1. An experiment that illustrated what happens to Cool Whip (as opposed to natural whipped cream) when it is left out at room temperature for 12 days. To see that experiment CLICK HERE […]

  35. amina says:

    I like cream on my waffle .I hate the cool whip, which cream can be substituted for cool whip. I have grown up with just beating up whipping heavy cream.

    Thank you.


  36. Jason says:

    Wow, I wonder how many other processed foods behave like that. No wonder we are so sick.

  37. paisley says:

    would you please do the same experiment leaving the natural whipped cream uncovered in the bowl for 12 days and show us what it looks like???

    i am not advocating the use of cool whip,, i just think without the 12 day old whipping cream to compare it against,, it is literally impossible to decide which is more or less appetizing at the 12 day mark…..

    • lanz says:

      Good old preservatives, although cool whip prolly wouldnt make you sick if you ate it after 12 days, i dont think id want to eat 12 day old whipped cream. Yeah the fat in the real cream doesnt look so bad anymore. And to the person who said redi whip is ok, I highly doubt anything that comes out of a aresol can is made with REAL cream, its filled with various chemicals to keep it foamy in the can and propellants to get it out of the can.

  38. Cheri says:

    As a Cherokee, my dad, opposed embalming and “cast iron” caskets. We weren’t able to get permission for a wooden casket when he died, but we didn’t have to embalm him. Mortician told me that we didn’t need to embalm because he would have eaten enough preservatives in foods to preserve him. That was in 1984. Imagine now, when even produce is bio-engineered.

  39. Donna says:

    The only thing I use Cool Whip for is on pumpkin pie. I’m going to have to find something else. All natural vanilla ice cream?

    I eat really healthy, and sometimes I think a little “bad” food will be O.K., but I don’t think I’ll be touching Cool Whip again.

    Cool Whip is probably hating you and your experiment right now. Bad for their business. Good for our bodies.

    Thanks for the post!

    • nora says:

      @donna, it is actually super easy to make your own whipped cream – all you need is heavy cream, a little confectioners’ sugar and vanilla.

      even without a hand mixer or blender, it just requires a little exercise to whip it up until it’s fluffy… with a mixer, it’s even easier!

      • Ashley says:

        Why put sugar in it? The natural flavour of cream is enough without destroying it with ‘MORE’ sweetner. Vanilla is a plus or minus. It just will change the flavour.

  40. Shanna Ohmes says:

    I love that you did this experiment! It should open many eyes to what is in the foods we eat. I just found your blog today as I was finishing my newsletter. I included your blog link to pass on to my readers more visual examples of how our processed food is more plastic than real food. Your daughter will always remember this. You did a great job!

  41. Foley says:

    I did something like that, but it was on accident, on the 2nd day the cool whip becomes kinda crispy.

  42. Thaliah Vangoldsmen says:

    That is an interesting experiment. I did the same thing by accident the other day with the low fat cool whip. I accidentally left it on the counter over night, forgetting to put it back in the fridge, and in less then 8 hours it had melted down into a water puddle. Which leads to me wonder, just how cold is your house??? Or how honest was your experiment? Perhaps you were just trying to prove a point to you daughter to encourage healthy eating?

  43. […] the ingredients in Cool Whip  are scary and this guy did a 12-day experiment on the stuff. I think as long as you keep everything in moderation, all that butterfat is just […]

  44. Helen says:

    eeewwww yuuuuuuukkkkkkk!!!!
    (how’s that?)

    Grok on!

  45. Helen says:

    According to wikkipedia Cool Whip Original is made of water, corn syrup, hydrogenated vegetable oil, high fructose corn syrup, and less than 2% sodium caseinate (a milk derivative), natural and artificial flavor, xanthan and guar gums, polysorbate 60 (sorbitan monostearate), and beta carotene.

    So let’s see: waters okay but the next three ingredients aren’t even food – corn syrup, hydrogenated oil, HFCF. Bleck. The rest of it sounds pretty inedible too. I’ll stick to getting beta carotene from yellow veg thanks.

    “Sorbitan monostearate (also known as Span 60) is an ester of sorbitan (a sorbitol derivative) and stearic acid and is sometimes referred to as a synthetic wax.[1] It is primarily used as an emulsifier to keep water and oils mixed. Sorbitan monostearate is used in the manufacture of food and healthcare products, and is a non-ionic surfactant with emulsifying, dispersing, and wetting properties[citation needed].

    It is also employed to create synthetic fibers, metal machining fluid, brighteners in the leather industry, as an emulsifier in coatings, in pesticides, and in various applications in the plastics, food and cosmetics industries.”


  46. Tom Webster says:

    That Cool Whip may also be sentient 🙂

    BTW, my wife is a molecular biologist who teaches bacteriology. One of her “fun” experiments with grad/med students is to have them take baterical cultures from a toilet seat, raw chicken, and bagged, “pre-washed” salad. Guess which of the three lit up the petri dish the most?

    Beware packaged food, no matter how seemingly benign (lettuce) or obviously malevolent (COOL WHIP).

  47. Tracy says:

    On the one hand, ewwwwwwwwww.

    On the other hand, hasn’t honey, nature’s own bee-vomitty sweetener, been known to emerge from Egyptian pyramids a little crunch but still edible?

    I’m going to have to think on this one.

    • Dana says:

      Personally I don’t get all nutty over every single possible preservative. I saw someone go wacky over ascorbic acid once and I was like, “Dude? That’s vitamin C.” And herbs and spices (especially the latter) have preservative action, which is why people historically used them. Yeah, the flavor helped too, but when you don’t have a fridge and you need your meat to last… you know?

      Sugar’s definitely a preservative. I think it’s horrible for you for other reasons, though. Even honey is, and on top of that it’s also a processed sugar, no matter what the health nuts tell you. Bees do the processing, that’s all. But I’d rather use it than high-fructose corn syrup, if I had to use one or the other.

  48. YUMMY! After all this time, it still LOOKS good to eat. But, then again I don’t like eating anything with a face on it.

  49. Dave Soucy says:

    I think the next experiment should involve that spray cheez in a can. (When it comes in a can, I think you have to spell it with a ‘z’.)

    Looking forward to the results.

  50. Werner says:

    Isn’t that the stuff they use for insulation foam these days? 😉

  51. I’m certainly glad that I’m not a fan of this stuff, since I’ll be making it a point to not eat any!

  52. Kirk Kittell says:

    I don’t see what the problem is. That looks like some well-engineered food to me.

    Of course, I’m an engineer, not a human, so I might be grading this stuff on the wrong scale.

  53. Bret Piontek says:

    After seeing documentaries like “King Corn”, “Food, Inc.”, and “Supersize Me”, I’m not surprised at what passes as “food”.

    I was raised on a strict organic diet (before it was fashionable), and I wish it were more affordable. I suppose small investments in our diet now prevents long term illness.

    There’s a reason why we have so many health problems here in the U.S.

  54. jules says:

    I never buy whipped cream from the store anymore because real whipped cream is SO easy to make, and tastes much better.

    Thanks for sharing this nasty experiment with us!

  55. Debbie Ferm says:

    Awww…don’t tell me this! I love Cool Whip:) Now I feel the same way I felt when I found out that a pop tart has more sugar than a Snickers (both also delicious. yum)

    When I was growing up, we ate whatever was cheapest. I know convenience food is certainly not less expensive in the long run, but when you are trying to eat, a frozen pizza is way less than all the ingredients to actually make a pizza. Same case with a lot of things, which is why poor people eat so many carbs. It fills you up. It took me years to get over eating bread and butter with every meal. Old habits, especially fond ones from childhood, die hard.

  56. Jodi Kaplan says:


    I understand Wonder bread will last forever too.

    I said for years and years that butter was fine, but margarine would kill you. Turns out I was right! Ha!

    @Debbie, my grandmother ate bread with every meal. She lived into her 90s and was thin.

  57. Mick Morris says:

    WOW, such a simple experiment to demonstrate how we are potentially poisoning ourselves with our crappy food choices….if ever there was a message about eating REAL food this is it. Thanks Jonathon.

  58. Ooh this is such a good lesson you’re teaching her! I seriously wish I had learned this early on in my life. 🙂 Whipped cream with real cream is sooo much better, no matter what.

    Another fun (disgusting?) one is BionicBurgers… a guy who forgot a burger in his coat pocket for a year, and 1 year later it had not rotted at all. Major yuck indeed!

  59. Haha,
    Some of the time you have amazing business insights.
    Some of the time I’m caught off guard by a post like this.
    Either way, its all good =)

    The worst part though is I like Cool Whip! What to do…

  60. Topi says:

    Ewwwwwwwwwww, from Australia. I don’t think we have cool whip here, I think I’m grateful??

  61. When my brother was in high school he did a similar experiment with a small piece of ground beef and a glass of coke. After about a week, the piece of ground beef was GONE. Scary what we willingly put into our bodies without a thought (and I do love a icy cold coca-cola every so often). Haven’t thought about that in years!

    Thanks for the reminder J!

  62. I can’t believe so many people are shocked or even surprised by the results of this experiment. Did you really not suspect that Cool Whip isn’t real food?

  63. Krisenkindt says:

    Yuck, but only twelve days old… 😉 Do you know the FOUR YEAR OLD CHEESEBURGER (and fries) from this nutritionist lady?
    You can find it on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IGtDPG4UfI

  64. Alysson says:

    I shared this tale with my niece today. She was disgusted. And promptly slapped me for rendering her permanently unable to consume Cool Whip ever again. It was the doodled smiley face that pushed her over the edge. Mission accomplished! 🙂

  65. Prof.K.Prabhakar says:

    It is chemical food and diseases that increase our GDP about which our politicians are bothered about and economists worry about and managers bonus about. What is needed is a green way of living, home cooking, home loving and family people. Let us change economics.

  66. Eeeeewwww…

    In the Uk we do not have quite so much synthetic food as I recall seeing in the USA but tins of “whipped topping” abound. Never bought one myself I hasten to add.

    One other remarkable product I remember from a hotel was something called “Egg Beaters”. It was a carton (tetra-pack) of something that you could pour into a pan to make omlettes etc.

    Why on earth the chef couldn’t break a few eggs and whisk them for 20sec was totally beyond me. I never went near that stuff as I had no idea what else was in the carton.

    Perhaps the most amazing thing was how the Hotel was proudly advertising the fact that their freshly cooked, made-to-order, omelettes were made using Egg Beaters…

  67. Tom Bentley says:

    Jonathan, I have some marshmallow Peeps given to me at Easter 12 years ago. Other than stiffening a bit, their essential Peepness is still fully intact. (Of course, eating a fresh Peep is dining recklessness regardless.)

    However, somewhere, a Dorian Gray Peep rots and rots…

  68. YUCK! LOL I hardly ever hear anyone talk about “fake food” so I appreciate this. I don’t eat the stuff either. Not fake sugar, fake butter, fake whatever. Why? Hear, hear, for real whipped cream. Takes two minutes to make.

    Reminds me of “marshmallow bread” and a similar experiment my sister and I did, years ago. I think it was “Wonder” brand bread. Put a few pieces out side-by-side with home-made bread. In a few days, the Wonder bread will look something like your Cool Whip experiment. On the real bread, mold is happily munching it down. Which one would you rather eat? The one that even mold won’t eat?

  69. I remember being at a weekend retreat, talking about organic food while at the dinner table. One of the diners said she used to buy organic produce, but stopped because it rotted so quickly.

    Yeah, someone else pointed out, but you *want* your food to rot! You want to buy it fresh, and eat it while it’s still fresh. Lettuce is not *meant* to least for weeks!

    There’s a reason the conventional produce doesn’t rot: chemicals. Yum! (Not.)

    Basic rule of thumb, perhaps: the shorter the shelf life, the healthier the food.

  70. Shawn Bowman says:


    And here’s another “food” to add to the list: anything from McDonald’s that can last over one year (unrefrigerated) on a shelf without showing any real sign of decay:


  71. Diana says:

    YYYUUUCCCKKKK! And I am Lactose intolerant!

  72. Anne Galivan says:

    Some time ago my daughter and I saw a TV program which detailed the ingredients in Cool Whip (one of them was very similar to anti-freeze!) – we have never had Cool Whip since.

    And for the record, there’s nothing wrong with good old real whipped cream. You don’t even need to add sugar to it – it simply tastes wonderful.

    The real problem people have with weight, health, etc. is not from eating “whipped cream” but from eating way too much food and not exercising regularly. But then, I’ve always been interested in nutrition – when my oldest were little I even used to make my own peanut butter and mayo (though I figured out home-made ketchup doesn’t cut it and isn’t worth the trouble!)

    And another thing, if people would quit drinking soda (except for very rare occasions) – many of them could solve their weight and health problems right there!

  73. Patricia says:

    I had several toppings, over a span of just a few days, the same as which you experimented with and spent a day in agony, convinced I would die. In fact, dying might have been a relief. Why isn’t that product banned from the marketplace ?

  74. […] Horrifying 12-day Cool Whip Experiment – This is easily one of the grossest things ever. So gross that I actually called up some friends to find out if they had Cool Whip in their homes – and immediately told them to chuck it! When they asked why I sent them straight to Johnathan’s blog. […]

  75. […] food is not really food Check out this link, courtesy of my sister. By sdmcclurg, on May 31, 2010 at 7:29 am, under Bad Decisions?. . No […]

  76. lachen says:

    yyyuck. I live in Germany but I’ve been to the States a couple of times. I’ve never stumbled over Cool Whip so far but I guess I’ll have to try it some time if only to build my own opinion on it.
    Nice post!

  77. Xen says:

    Came across your site when I googled ‘what is Cool Whip’. Ive never tried it, and was curious when I saw my local grocer selling them. Your 12 day study has officially killed any curiosity I may have for tasting it. Thank you for the interesting experiment. Did you know there is one other product on the shelves which also doesnt change when opened and left out for days? Margarine. It horrible and I cant imagine why they still sell it as a subsitute for butter when the flies wont even touch it.

  78. […] Horrifying 12-day Cool Whip Experiment <<I believe it was Michael Pollan who first said, “If it doesn’t rot it isn’t food.” That means even bugs won’t eat it. (Jonathan Fields) […]

  79. Ken Leebow says:

    Don’t know if I should laugh or cry. Makes me think of Joan Gussow’s famous quote: http://bit.ly/duJBX3

  80. […] Horrifying 12 Day Cool Whip Experiment….thank you Jenn Posted in Uncategorized […]

  81. James says:

    I had thought about cryogenics after I passed on, but now I want to be covered in cool whip!

  82. Pierydys says:

    On one hand, ew.

    On the other hand… there are few other choices that are as readily available to the large contingent of lactose-intolerant and allergic people who still want some sort of whipped topping on their desserts. Lactose-free cream is pretty much non-existent in North America and specialty non-dairy products are still pretty rare and often require a trip to specialty food markets. Just sayin’. I’ve gotten sick a handful of times, even after taking lactase tablets, because of the siren call of whipped cream.

  83. […] * I know Cool Whip is easier to use, I do.  But if the fact that it is made out of about ten different kinds of chemicals does not convince you not to use it, maybe this will. […]

  84. Marion says:

    I was born and raised in Europe and do not use this product. Recently at a neighborhood event I was introduced to a dessert which featured Cool Whip. Frankly the texture and taste scared me. I am not a whole food/organic food freak but I try to be careful about what I eat within reason. I don’t understand why a nation of people who worry about cholesterol would dive into something made with Cool Whip or, worse, low fat, Cool Whip. Natural dairy products, in moderation, are so much healthier than this chemically created substitute and they taste better too!

  85. […] months ago by Jonathan Fields, a “fitness entrepreneur,” in which he described a “horrifying 12-day Cool Whip experiment” he had done with his daughter.  Check the blog for the details, but the short story is […]

  86. […] 12 day Cool Whip Experiment […]

  87. Corey says:

    My husband’s grandfather eats pumpkin pie with Cool Whip on it at least once a week. It’s his favorite dessert. He’s eaten it for decades. He’s 93 years old and fit as a fiddle! I love Cool Whip and I am still going eat it! Yum! (And since when are corn syrup and vegetable oil not foods? They are made from foods – corn and vegetables.) Oh well, I guess I like living on the edge. I drink Dr. Pepper too.

    • cupcake says:

      Thanks for keeping it real to the poster who said his grandpa eats cool whip all the time…yeah, granted things like cool whip are not “healthy” foods, but let’s not scare people to death about everything. It’s a lot of the genetic factors that determine how long and how well we live. I know people who ate “close to the ground” their entire lives and were still consumed by cancer. It’s about balance and common sense. Let’s keep some joy in life…that will help you live longer than anything!

  88. ducky5000 says:

    omg that’s soo gross and amazing my friend and i are doing a science fair project on cool whip! i ought 2 put that in my report!

  89. ducky5000 says:

    omg that is sooo gross and cool! i can’t believe i ate that stuff before! my friend and i are doing a science fiar project on cool whip… i should put that in my report!

  90. […] foul tasting medicine 3x/day for 10 days? i gave her a brief talk about cool whip not really being food and let her decide. she decided to try the cool whip (parenting […]

  91. Phydoux says:

    Sort of reminds me of the McDonalds experiment done at the end of SuperSize me (May have been an extra feature on the DVD). He put each item (about 7 or 8) in a glass jar and put the lid on it. After a certain amount of time each item grew moldy and eventually was tossed out except for one thing. The bag of french fries. I think he kept them for over 3 months and they still look like they had just come out of the deep fryer. No mold or discoloration at all. I did this same experiment with the fries and got the same results.

  92. Adrienne Larocque says:

    You said: “Mom used to whip it up fresh from heavy cream, vanilla and sugar. Okay, so we know that’s not the best thing for your body these day…but wait’ll you see this!”

    I’m assuming that, like most people, you’ve been indoctrinated with the whole “fat is bad” dogma. The truth is that it’s not the fat in whipped cream that is bad for you, it’s the sugar. Fat is actually essential for your bodily functions, yes, even that demonic saturated fat!

  93. gup says:

    nice, juicy, collective YYYUUUCCCKKKK

  94. […] Cool Whip and start the process all over again. And by the way, have you see the Cool Whip Experiment? Just disgusting! Something you should all look at since Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Until you learn […]

  95. Debbie J. says:


  96. […] Just for fun, check out this horrifying 12-day Cool Whip experiment. […]

  97. […] document.getElementById("ck_email")); Last week, a post of mine about a 12-day Cool Whip experiment started to take-off on Facebook, being shared more than 1,400 times and driving some nice traffic. […]

  98. You dont still have it do you? I would eat the 12 day old stuff! MMmmmmm!

  99. MaryKay says:

    This info may be in the comment thread but just in case it is not, I have another food experiment: The MacD’s Forever Happy Meal.

    It goes like this – buy a Happy Meal (any flavor will do). Dump the drink because the cup will disintegrate and make a mess. Take the rest of the meal sans beverage and place it happy bag and all in the pantry. Not the refrigerator, the pantry or I put mine in the laundry room.

    Check it in a week. Check it in a month. Check it in a year. You will see no changes. I’ve know people who’ve had them for over 2 years.

    Cured my kids from fast food – almost anyway. 🙂

  100. Ann Duncan says:

    If the lactose intolerant will start consuming raw dairy (start with very small amounts), their lactose intolerance will clear up. I’ve observed this in my husband, myself, and in countless others.

    Whipped raw cream is AMAZING!!!

  101. John Doherty says:

    Try the same thing with real butter and margarine. The margarine remains unchanged forever. One step away from plastic. Even things like ants will not touch it.

  102. Jonathan-

    That made quite an impression and I love the ingenuity you shared with your daughter. Brilliant! While, I am not a proponent of dairy at all (I’m a physician who advocates a plant-based diet) I like your approach and tact with which you presented this. I would love to share this on my blog with my readers… not that they eat dairy, but I think the lesson is good regardless. Would you mind if I did so? I would site your article and well as provide a link to your site. Thank you for posting I enjoyed this. Kindest Regards, Jenna

  103. […] that should be all but avoided: frakenfoods/edible food-like substances (coolwhip), gluten (for some people), dairy (for some people), trans fats, industrial chemicals (just look at […]

  104. Kara Caraway says:

    The cool whip maintains its structure because, unlike regular whipping cream, it contains thickeners like guar gum and xanthan. These are natural.

    If there’s one thing I can stand, its urban legends about food.

  105. Alison says:

    Let’s say I’m a rotten housekeeper. I left a walnut, a raisin, a piece of spaghetti, a dish of flour, another dish of tapioca, some barley, lentils, beans, a piece of bread (whole grain and organic if you want), and your dish of Cool Whip on the counter for a couple of weeks. The bread dried out. Just like your Cool Whip. The rest of ’em … all fine. Yeah, evil lentils. I won’t be touching them anymore.

  106. MS_CITIZEN says:

    I suffer from migraines. For the last month and a half I have been eating nothing but organic and natural foods from the Whole Foods Market. No genetically modified ingredients, no pesticides, no chemicals, no growth hormones, no steroids, no MSG etc.

    I am also having the silver amalgam fillings removed from my mouth. I have been migraine free now with the exception of one headache, it was not a migraine, I had it the day of the last dental procedure. It was not a migraine it was across the forehead like pressure. I am being tested now for mercury poisoning. Waiting on the results.

    We bought some organic strawberries last Saturday that are out of this world. I made a delicious cream cheese pound cake with all organic ingredients, even used fresh farm eggs. We have been enjoying eating the strawberries along with the cake and a little Breyers ice cream or real whipped cream when I have it.

    We ran out of ice cream and whipped cream. I thought I would pick up some topping and grabbed a tub of cool whip. Also got some real cream, just didn’t take the time to whip it last night.

    I woke up at 4:00 am with an excruciating migraine after eating the Cool Whip. I am still having symptoms so instead of trying to squint to read the ingredients I thought I would type them in Google and read them online. I typed in Cool Whip Ingredients and your article came up. I read it ant thought I would share.

    It is wonderful that we have the internet to voice our experiences to share with others. Nobody wants to talk about this stuff because nobody is schooled in the effects that these chemicals etc. have on our bodies.

    Thank you for sharing the experiment. I am teaching my daughter as well about the importance of good nutrition and she is seeing first hand what the chemicals can do to a once healthy body. My health is improving every day. Then I make a dumb mistake and bought a tub of Cool Whip…Needless to say, I will never buy another tub of Cool Whip or any other generic form of Cool Whip.

    Keep up the good work! Our children are our future and the uneducated ones that are being fed the chemicals, excitotoxins etc. are losing brain cells and we are going to have an entire generation of people that are suffering from degenerative diseases.

    The chemical companies, the big processed foods companies (ConAgra Foods), the (AMA) American Medical Association (doctors), hospitals, medical supply companies etc. will continue on the path to record profits.

    I asked a man yesterday as he was so distraught about his wife’s numerous conditions, she kept developing more and more conditions, I asked him what she ate. He looked at me so funny and I asked him a few more questions and he looked at me and said this is making more and more sense to me now, I gave him a few terms to research and I am sure when he looked up the information online he was shocked! I hope the information will in some way help his struggling wife.

    The Gerson Therapy reading will give you an insight into proper nutrition. They won’t let them practice it here in the United States as it would really put a dent into the profits of the chemical and medical business.

    Excitotoxins is a good subject to research. MSG is just one of them that is commonly used. I am sure there is one in the Cool Whip.

    Two good documentaries are The Gerson Way and It’s a Beautiful Thing…

    Thanks for posting this experiment…I hope more will follow in your lead!

  107. MS_CITIZEN says:

    Can’t help but add one more note to the people that posted negative remarks and will continue to eat the Cool Whip.

    This is America, the land of the free. We have choices and each and every choice that we make has a consequence, no matter how small or how big a choice we make. Sometimes the consequences are much larger than the choices.

    As you age the chemicals will take a toll on your body and continuing to eat foods laden with chemicals will eventually cause you to have dental issues, degenerative health conditions and cause you much pain and suffering lowering the quality of life.

    We only get one chance at this thing called life. I choose to educate myself as much as possible and let my goo conscience be my guide so that I can do the best things for my self and my family. Hopefully I will make the right decisions and we will have a good quality of life for many years to come.

    I only wish for you the best, but also remember if you have children the decisions that you make today will affect them and you for the rest of your lives.

    Happy Health to you all!

  108. Cole says:

    I think coolwhip tastes hot and I don’t care what y’all think.

  109. Jessica says:

    Here’s another shock of the food industry. Vanilla:made of vanilla beans, maybe some sweetener, and the typical food industry preservatives, right? Wrong! They actually use beaver anal gland and only have to list it as natural flavoring. But you have to wonder, who thought “hey, this will go nicely into my food…”?

  110. […] Horrifying 12-day Cool Whip Experiment, Jonathan Fields – I knew there was a reason we don’t eat that junk […]

  111. YYYUUUCCCKKK!!! I am a holistic health coach and I plan to share this with my followers. It’s just crazy what is out there disguised at food and people are clueless of what they are putting into their bodies….that is unless anyone sheds some light on it. Thanks Johnathan and I especially like your smily face.Very creative especially with the eyelashes!!

  112. […] Horrifying 12-day Cool Whip Experiment, Jonathan Fields – I knew there was a reason we don’t eat that junk […]

  113. […] one reason why I refuse to use Cool Whip. Horrifying 12-day Cool Whip Experiment __________________ Why is bra singular and panties […]

  114. Donna says:

    Oh, guys, this is just silly. If you mix egg whites with sugar, and beat it into a nice peaked froth, then bake it lightly, when you let it sit on the counter, it will turn into CEMENT, just like the Cool Whip did. Obviously, eggs and sugar are real food.

    Likewise, one of nature’s more interesting foods, pure honey, will never grow mold, etc, when left exposed. Pure olive oil, which is simply pressed from olives, will behave the same way the margarine did.

    There are REASONS for these things. Reasons why some foods spoil and grow mold, or attract insects, and others do not. Those reasons aren’t related to the nutritional value, purity, or ‘naturalness’ of the food.

    If you want to reject processed foods…do it for the right reasons. Address what the chemicals in them actually do, in the body, and why they aren’t healthy…don’t reject them because they dry out instead of melting, or don’t attract insects. Very good foods behave the same way.

  115. Jake says:

    Yes, yuck, but… Well, what do you expect when you leave it out for 12 straight days? Leave any food out for 12 straight days, see what it’s like then, and you’ll probably lose your appetite for that too.

  116. Abby says:

    This is kind of dumb. That stuff is supposed to be refrigerated anyway, so duh. Why would something that is supposed to be cold stay good if it’s not? Of course it is processed and I am beginning to reject processed foods. But this experiment holds no weight to me. I had cool whip in my refrigerator for a month or two and it grew a little mold which obviously means there’s something okay with it. This is nothing like the twinkie thing because twinkies hold their shape and taste for years… But hello, this hardened. If it didn’t harden, I would be worried. But it obviously went bad which completely backfires on the experiment.

  117. ausfoodi says:

    crikies! us aussies dont have anything like cool whip over hear. its always been whipped fresh cream and some use that fresh cream aerosole thingy. makes me wonder how people see aussies as backward 😉 lol

  118. Anna-Devi says:

    …I’m from England and Cool Whip features in a lot of American dessert recipes…

    So I decided to Google it to figure out what it is.

    Cool whip is made from petroleum, apparently.

    Disgusting. Thought I’d let you know!

    Scary stuff.

  119. Becca says:

    While I would never condone the consumption of anything like Cool Whip, I think it only fair to point out that they have changed their recipe, Wikipedia says “In 2010 both skimmed milk and light cream were added to Original Cool Whip.”– Not that it makes Cool Whip worth eating or anything.

  120. Brynn says:

    Not saying Cool Whip is good or bad…Just asking if you poured stomach acid on it at any time during the twelve days?…

  121. Ryan says:

    This is more fear-mongering. Cool Whip is not at all nutritious, and I wouldnt condone eating it regularly, but so what if it didn’t disentigrate after 12 days. Most other foods will last a lot longer tha 12 days sitting on your counter. Worrying about all these “bad foods” is probably a lot worse for your health than actually eating them.

  122. […] or any form of instant topping. There are so many creepy chemicals in it. Have you ever seen the experiment where someone left out Cool Whip for 12 days and nothing happened to it? ‘Nuff said. Make […]

  123. […] that should be all but avoided: frankenfoods/edible food-like substances (coolwhip), gluten (for some people), dairy (for some people), trans fats, industrial chemicals (just look at […]

  124. Juliet says:

    I understand how horrifying these results are, but is there really an alternative for those who are completely dairy intolerant? Not just lactose intolerant, I mean ‘can’t have milk solids at all’ intolerant. I can’t have coconut milk, or anything with dairy products in it at all so it’s very difficult to find a replacement for something like whipped cream.

  125. Hi,

    Petroleum is a natural product. Plus, would you eat homemade bread? It goes stale after twelve days for sure. You could draw many smiley faces 🙂

    But yeah, I always stick to the real stuff just because it tastes better.


  126. […] Cool-Whip ingredients– not nutritional info– (sorry, I don’t care as much about that): water, hydrogenated vegetable oil (including Coconut and Palm oils), high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, skim milk, light cream, and less than 2% sodium caseinate (a milk derivative), natural and artificial flavor, xanthan and guar gums, polysorbate 60, sorbitan monostearate, and beta carotene (as a coloring).[5] In some markets, such as Canada and the United States, Cool Whip is available in an aerosol can using nitrous oxide as a propellant. For a bizarre and somewhat frightening 12-day Cool Whip experiment account, click here. […]

  127. Brad says:

    Just stumbled on this post. I loved that you did this with your daughter. It’s amazing when you can put it out there for people to see what’s going on. If bacteria won’t eat, neither should we!

  128. Laura says:

    I am sorry to say but that is not true, I buy coolwhip and after it is opened and in the fridge it starts turning to liquid after just 2 days and it will mold.

  129. C Gillott says:

    I am sooo glad I live in a third world country where chemical foods are just too expensive to buy!

  130. Ana says:

    Well, coolwhip only has 20 calories therefore it’s awesome. I’ll eat whipped cream when I’ve given up on maintaining a healthy weight. Like eating cream which has 10000 calories and fat and sugar is better for your health. You can be elitist in terms of your tastebuds but I bet a doctor will tell you that even with all the chemicals, coolwhip is still better for you…

  131. […] Cool experiment: Check this out..hopefully this will convince you never to allow whipped topping into your home again! Show your kids, let them know why they shouldn’t eat it either! http://www.jonathanfields.com/blog/horrifying-12-day-cool-whip-experiment/ […]

  132. Libby Lu says:

    I’m glad I discovered your blog today while researching my Zanzibar project (see my blog for the story…) I look forward to exploring your writing.
    Libby Lu

  133. Alex says:

    As far as I know, cool whip keeps its shape because of ingredients that act like gelatin. Try making your whipped cream with gelatin and see how long it lasts.

  134. Mickey Danyluk says:

    I can’t eat Cool Whip– it goes right through me; I can always sense when it is hidden in foods too.. then I ask and sure enough– its in there… its horrible stuff! Public needs to know!

  135. ad says:

    I do not like the taste or texture of coolwhip, it is a real penance to eat especially if it is put on or in a cream puff or on an ice cream. It’s like putting a half a cup of margarine on top of a pile of marshmallows and eating it. That would be a terrible job to have.

    One way I look at foods is to think of the ingredients set in little bowls as a feast. Would I enjoy eating a bowl of water and another bowl of palm kernel oil and some margarine and another bowl of sugar, corn syrup and another of some chemicals? How about all these things sort of mixed together lightly?

    When I think of some heavy cream and sugar, I wouldn’t mind just drinking it straight. I think of all foods this way when reading the labels. The margarine type grease (especially the types that don’t come from normal food type things, like cottonseed oil and rapeseed oil and canola.. that are more cheap byproducts used because they’re cheap, not because they are good or taste good. sugar and chemicals and preservatives. Sugar I do like, but not when it drenches out the flavor of the food. I think well prepared natural foods have such a good flavor and too many people only taste the sugar and salt and that it’s something to gulp down.
    Now if you’ve been to a pastry shop in France or Italy and had a Napoleon or Cream filled pastry, you would see that natural cream based fillings and toppings are infinitely better than all the synthetic types of pastries we get in most places in the US. I’ve given up on finding any good pastry shops here. About the best you can find is half real cream products. But that’s another story. I have to make my own if I want good pastry..

  136. ad says:

    To Ana, you said you didn’t want to eat cream because of the many calories, well guess what.. look on the back of the can of dairy light cream whip in a can. One serving (2 Tablespoons) is 20 calories! Check it out!

  137. […] check out this article on Cool Whip. […]