Carrageenan is a problematic ingredient propped up by a well-oiled public relations machine - The Cornucopia Institute


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Carrageenan, a Common Ingredient in Vegan Food, May Be Bad For You

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…

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 Carrageenan, a Common Ingredient in Vegan Food, May Be Bad For You

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.

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