New information as to the dangers of carrageenan has recently made the news. While we covered this Poor Food ingredient in RICH FOOD, POOR FOOD, we want to make sure that you are aware fully aware of the potential dangers of this cheap add-in, so that you can avoid it whenever you find it on an ingredient list.

Highly processed from red seaweed, carrageenan is used to affect texture in a wide variety of food products. Its unique chemical structure is thought to trigger an innate immune response. According to Dr. Pradeep Dudeja, Professor of Physiology in Medicine at the University of Illinois — Chicago, who has co-authored nine studies on carrageenan, “The immune response leads to inflammation, which is a serious public health concern since chronic, low-grade inflammation is a well-known precursor to more serious diseases, including diabetes and cancer.”

However, while the FDA ignored and rejected these claims in 2008, The Cornucopia Institute is now requesting that the FDA remove this common additive from the US food supply. Medical experts are supporting these concerns citing that the increased prevalence of ulcerative colitis correlates with increased consumption of carrageenan in processed foods. In order to convince the FDA of the dangers of carrageenan, The Cornucopia Institute released areport Carrageenan: How a “Natural” Food Additive Is Making Us Sick, which compiles scientific studies pointing to harm from consuming food-grade carrageenan.

In RICH FOOD, POOR FOOD we discuss how chronic inflammation leads to many lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Carrageenan, a cheap thickening agent, induces this physical response, and should be avoided. We applaud companies who are voluntarily removing this ingredient from their products such as Stonyfield Organicand Eden Foods.

Remember, regardless of whether or not the FDA mandates this ingredient be banned from our food supply – you have the power to ban it from your shopping cart.  Carrageenan is one of our Poor Food ingredients, and you have the power, as the consumer, to leave it on the store shelves.  By steering clear of products that contain Poor Food ingredients, like carrageenan, you send a clear message to manufacturers that food safety is important. Thank you for becoming part of the Rich Food Revolution!

If you haven’t visited our Rich Food Resource Center yet – Check it out here.

Note: Some of the Steer Here choices in Rich Food, Poor Food carried a red warning that stated that they still contained carrageenan.  While these choices were the best we could find in their categories at the time, we are actively searching out brands to replace these options in future printings. Please severely limit your use of, or avoid these products as we feel that this villainous variable is too harmful to overlook.