The real reason why McDonald's calls its frozen drinks 'shakes' -- and not milkshakes

It may come as a surprise to many customers that McDonald’s does not, in fact, sell milkshakes.

Instead, the fast-food chain sells “shakes” — something that has lead to countless conspiracy theories.

Are the shakes actually dairy-free? Filled with potatoes? Stuffed with something disgusting like
styrofoam, seaweed, or cow eyeball fluid?

According to a spokesperson at the fast-food chain, customers have nothing to fear. While McDonald’s shakes can’t technically be called “milkshakes” in some states, the company isn’t sneaking cow eyeballs into your desserts.

“Our shakes contain milk from our reduced-fat, soft serve, which makes them thick and creamy,” a McDonald’s spokesperson told Business Insider. “Dairy regulations actually vary from state to state on what can officially be called a ‘milkshake.’ We like to keep it simple and refer to them strictly as ‘shakes.'”

A McDonald’s shake contains soft serve, “shake syrup,” and whipped cream. In May, McDonald’s announced it had cut all artificial flavours from its soft serve.

According to fact-checking website Snopes, there is one McDonald’s shake rumour that has a hint of truth. McDonald’s soft serve contains carrageenan, a natural substance which is derived a type of seaweed — a safe and all-natural ingredient that is commonly used by frozen treat makers.

NOW WATCH: Why almost every pair of jeans has a zipper that says ‘YKK’

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.