Carrageenan- It’s In Your Food and It Might Be Making You Sick!

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How closely do you look at the labels on your food and drinks? Hopefully if you’re reading this, you’re more inclined to look a little closer at all those ingredients. There’s one that is particularly troubling (besides the GMOs!) and it’s in your food! Your baby’s formula, soy lattes from Starbucks, cottage cheese, pudding, whipped cream and even organic chocolate milk all likely have carrageenan in them.

Carrageenan is actually a derivative of seaweed- sounds harmless right? Well, it’s not so harmless when you look at the effect it has on the intestines. Just because a product is derived from a natural source, doesn’t mean it’s safe to ingest. It’s been shown to promote abnormal inflammation and growth in the intestines and can cause severe intestinal distress in some people. It’s controversial, but many studies have shown carrageenan as a carcinogen- meaning it can cause cancer.

It can cause cancer and severe intestinal distress and it’s in INFANT FORMULA?  Seriously? How is this okay? It’s not- and other countries have banned it from foods and drinks- especially in infant formula, but guess what- the USA says it’s ok to feed this intestinal disturbing, cancer causing chemical to our children. It’s even okay to put it in ORGANIC foods and drinks. Yes- it’s in Horizon Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla milk- the ones you buy at Starbucks for your kids. It’s in most infant formulas (along with a shitload of other terrible things), it’s in the whipped cream you buy in the can at the grocery store, it’s in cream cheese, it’s in cottage cheese, it’s even in most ice cream (Sorry- it’s in your Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia!)… It’s everywhere. Many different brands that produce dairy products (usually not in regular milk- but sometimes I’ve seen it) use carrageenan to help thicken and stabilize the product. It’s easy to find too- it’s listed right on the ingredient list on the label.  (Unlike GMOs!)

The FDA is in no hurry to ban carrageenan- even from organic foods, so make sure you read labels, know what you’re buying and supporting, and write to these companies to tell them they should remove it! Okay- so you’re probably not going to do that, but at least you know now to avoid carrageenan and how to spot it.  And in case you need help, here’s a handy guide to help you find what foods have and don’t have carrageenan.

Good luck!  Let me know what you find!

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