Carrageenan is a common food additive that is extracted from a red seaweed, Chondrus crispus, which is popularly known as Irish moss. I am finding it is used in many of the boxed nut milks I use. In fact I am finding it can be quite difficult to find a box without this ingredient. Carrageenan, which has no nutritional value, has been used as a thickener and emulsifier to improve the texture of ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, soy milk, nut milks and MANY other processed foods. It is used in a wide variety of applications in the food industry as a thickening, gelling, stabilizing and suspending agent in water and milk systems.
Researchers concerned with the effects of carrageenan in the diet have also used undegraded, food-grade carrageenan to investigate potentially harmful effects. When the carrageenan manufacturers’ trade group tested 12 samples of food-grade carrageenan, it found every sample was considered contaminated with degraded carrageenan (classified as a “possible human carcinogen”) by at least one of the testing laboratories. – cornucopia.org
Research links carrageenan to gastrointestinal inflammation, including higher rates of colon cancer, in laboratory animals. Yet it is still found in many foods, including some certified organic foods.
Products with carrageenan may be labeled as “natural,” but limited studies show that carrageenan may promote or cause:
irritable bowel syndrome.
Finding a canned/moist pet food without carrageenan is not easy; far too many pet foods use this ingredient as a thickener in moist pet foods. Sourced from seaweed, it continues to claim it is safe – but science is proving the opposite.
I suggest we all do our own research and see if this can affecting someone in our home, friends or even our pets. Don’t forget, making your own homemade nut milks is quite easy too and has zero caregeenan added. Use my favorite nut milk bag to use for delicious homemade nut milk!
Hope this helps!