So, I bought the big gallon vat of cheapo ice cream at the supermarket. I had Paul read the ingredients. Ew--er--I mean--how interesting. We looked up "xanthan gum" on Wiki and came up with this as part of the entry:
In the oil industry, xanthan gum is used in large quantities, usually to thicken drilling mud. These fluids serve to carry the solids cut by the drilling bit back to the surface. Xanthan gum provides great "low end" rheology. When the circulation stops, the solids still remain suspended in the drilling fluid. The widespread use of horizontal drilling and the demand for good control of drilled solids has led to the expanded use of xanthan gum. Xanthan gum has also been added to concrete poured underwater, in order to increase its viscosity and prevent washout.
So, we ate it.
On the other hand, I am no longer buying bread, and by baking so many things from scratch these days, what with my new range and all, I have drastically reduced my shopping costs, and I am certain we have upped our nutritional food intake. So if we ingest a viscous pentasaccaride from time to time, I think we are excused.