so what the heck is carrageenan?


carrageenan is a “natural” food additive used as a thickening agent.  it’s extracted from red algae and is found in many organic dairy + non-dairy milks + desserts which sucks!  i’ve been researching carrageenan for some time now…  and we avoid products with carrageenan as much as possible.  the question is, is it safe or not?

according to Chris Kresser of Health for the 21st Century “There are a few distinct types of carrageenan that differ in their chemical properties, but the most important distinction is between degraded carrageenan and undegraded carrageenan. From a chemical standpoint, the difference between these two types is in their molecular weight. From a practical standpoint, undegraded carrageenan is approved for use in food products, while degraded carrageenan is not. (2) Although both substances are often referred to as ‘carrageenan,’ they have very different chemical properties and should really be treated as separate compounds. Degraded carrageenan is also called ‘poligeenan,’ which is how I will refer to it in the rest of this article to avoid any confusion.”  

WOW that’s a mouthful!  confused as I am?   bottom line for me is until we know that food grade carrageenan is safe to consume it might be better to just avoid it!?

below is a list of products that contain carrageenan and those that do not.  if in doubt you can always make your own nut milk.

here is an awesome list from the Cornucopia Institute 

What are your thoughts?




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *