Carrageenan is an extract from a red seaweed called "Irish moss," making it vegan-friendly. After processing it with alkali, food manufacturers, including plant-based companies, add food-grade carrageenan to their products as a thickener, emulsifier, or stabilizer. “Carrageenan has a long history of being effective in improving the texture of processed foods without adding calories,” says Joanne Tobacman, M.D., associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. “It’s biologically reactive, available and not very expensive.”
Although you’ll find it in numerous animal-based products like processed meats and dairy products, you’ll…
How consumer advocacy prompted the rise of carrageenan-free organic products.
The debate heats up over the additive derived from seaweed.
A controversial additive found in the beverage is likely to blame for this stomach issue.
When you think of eating seaweed, you probably think of spicy tuna rolls alongside a steaming bowl of edamame.
But surprisingly, a common food additive, carrageenan, comes from seaweed and is found in soy milk, coffee creamer, turkey bacon, and ice cream. What the kelp?
It’s been harvested for centuries in Ireland. Now, dulse is making waves around the world for its mineral properties and umami tang.
Carrageenan is a problematic ingredient propped up by a well-oiled public relations machine.
After discovering ‘Irish moss’ in coastal waters, Irish immigrants launched a booming mossing industry in Scituate, Massachusetts.
If you live in the US, your grocery store is full of substances banned in Europe. Use our handy tool to find out what they are and how to avoid them.
Carrageenan is a food gum that's been used for decades as a food additive. There's been much controversy on its use and safety, with some in vitro studies showing harm at certain levels of exposure, and many consumers have called for its removal from food products. That said, long-standing research shows that carrageenan is safe for human consumption.
A few scientists have reported that carrageenan has caused intestinal inflammation in laboratory animals. Hundreds of people have come forward to say that their health problems — from migraines to intestinal issues — improved when they eliminated carrageenan from their diet.
That evidence is disputed.
Carrageenan is so toxic and inflaming to the human digestive system that this food additive is formally classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (part of the World Health Organization) as a potential human carcinogen.
Because the evidence isn’t conclusive either way, I recommend avoiding carrageenan, especially if you have a history of digestive problems.
Carrageenan has been used in traditional food preparation for hundreds of years and is an ingredient in many organic and vegan foods. But now critics are calling for a ban. Is carrageenan safe?
Carrageenan, a family of marine polysaccharides isolated from seaweeds, has been at the center of considerable debate in recent years.
Have you also noticed that a lot of store bought chocolate milks do not split whereas in your homemade chocolate milk the cocoa powder sinks down in a matter of minutes? Have you wondered how store bought ice cream is so stable for long periods of time?
To be clear, the only danger these products and the ingredients therein pose is to your wallet. In fact, aluminum, mercury, carrageenan, caramel coloring, and the vast majority of the chemicals, additives, and foods these alternative health and natural food moguls demonize have been evaluated by experts and shown to be safe at recommended consumption levels.
Carrageenan can be found in most milk substitute products, infant formula, deli meats, cottage cheese and some flavored coconut waters regardless if the product is certified organic by the USDA.
It might seem odd to be questioning carrageenan’s safety. After all, it hails from a plant, which meant it’s natural, which means it should be safe, right? That depends on who you ask.