Happy Fun & Flexible Friday!
Have a MORSELICIOUS weekend
Q. I’ve noticed carageenan as an ingredient in some of my products. What is it? Is it safe to consume?
A. Carageenan comes from natural seaweed or algae and is used as a thickening agent.
It provides no nutritional value. Like any processed additive, carageenan is controversial in terms of its safety.
Is it toxic?
In animal studies carageenan has been shown to cause intestinal distress,
resulting in colonic ulcerations and tumor growth. In 1982 the
International Agency for Research on Cancer
regarded degraded carageenan as a potential human carcinogen based on “sufficient evidence”
of carcinogenicity in animals. However according to a toxicology review,
food-grade Carageenan is not degraded to any extent in the intestinal tract
and thus in human doses consumed exhibit no toxic dangers.
This review supports the the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/
who has stated there is lack of carcinogenic, genotoxic, or tumor-promoting activity with carageenan.
While carageenan may be somewhat controversial, I have consumed soy milk
that contains this debatable substance. I only use 1/2 cup in my cereal and
up to 1/2 in my latte’s but I mix it up by alternating with my own homemade cashew milk
and other ‘milks’ that don’t contain this additive. (Meaning I’m not consuming large amounts of
You may also want to check the added sugars (note: organic cane sugar is considered “natural”.)
The fewer grams of sugar, the better. You may consider preparing your own ‘milk’.
Cashew milk can be simply made by processing soaked, water and a little pure vanilla
and a pinch of salt (optional) in a blender. Almond milk can be made similarly
but best to use skinless almonds or blanch them yourself. Shelf life may be limited.
But you can always make small quantities at a time.