If a box, wrapper or carton extolls its contents as “all natural,” it probably isn’t. Since it doesn’t fit under a strictly regulated definition, the word “natural” covers a myriad of sins (including beaver’s butt and pesticide drenched GMOs… yeah).
One such sin in “natural” and even certified organic food is carrageenan.
A Unnatural Awakening
I first awoke to this sneaky additive years before my passion ignited for whole foods. At the suggestion of a naturopath, I had given up cow dairy and instead tried a switch to non-dairy milk. During one shopping trip at Whole Foods, I innocently picked up four varieties of these uber-processed fake foods for a taste test.
Back at home, I sampled each and decided one brand of hemp milk tasted the least offensive. But a day later, I was experiencing excruciating heartburn after each meal. Two painful days later, I realized my heartburn only occurred shortly after drinking the hemp milk!
Analyzing the ingredients with a fine tooth comb, I pinpointed carrageenan as the problem. Since then, I have avoided this sneaky additive like the plague. And you should, too, even if you don’t feel its corrosive properties.
What is carrageenan?
A seaweed-derived ingredient, manufacturers use this additive to thicken and emulsify everything from cottage cheese to juice. Since seaweed is a low-allergy, non-animal derived source, natural and organic companies tend to favor it.
Perhaps the most notorious source of this thickener is non-dairy milks, everything from hazelnut milk to oat milk. But it also commonly appears in everything from cottage cheese to frozen pizzas!
[Photo Source: EmpoweredSustenance.com]