Until recently, I had never heard of carrageenan but lately there has been a lot of talk about this natural food additive. Carrageenan is derived from red seaweed and is used in products like low-fat milk, soy and nut milks, yogurts, ice cream, creamers, cottage and cream cheese, baby formula, processed meats, prepared sauces, and other products as a binding agent to create a thicker and better texture to the products that it’s added to. Studies have shown that carrageenan causes gastrointestinal inflammation and, as we know, chronic inflammation can lead to many more serious diseases which include cancer, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, Parkinson’s, diabetes, and many more.
Carrageenan isn’t just found in just regular products – it’s found in many organic products as well. Luckily, the Organic Consumers Association is urging the USDA National Organic Program to prohibit the use of carrageenan in all organic products but until this happens, please be sure to check all of the products that you’re buying to see if they contain carrageenan and try avoid them at all cost if you can.