Carrageenan is a problematic ingredient propped up by a well-oiled public relations machine.
The Cornucopia Institute has long compiled scientific studies that raise troubling concerns about the consumption of food-grade carrageenan. Although referred to as a “natural” ingredient, carrageenan is linked to gastrointestinal inflammation and disease, including higher rates of colon cancer, in research using laboratory animals.
Yet carrageenan is still found in many foods, including some certified organic foods. And you may not even realize you’re eating it. When used as a “processing aid,” carrageenan is often not listed on the ingredient panel.
Cornucopia’s updated Buyer’s Guide to Avoiding Carrageenan in Organic Food is your tool to increased transparency. Use the guide’s search bar to look up your favorite products, such as ice cream, to determine the organic products that either contain or are free of carrageenan. Or simply search by brand to check the companies that are routinely on your shopping list.
[While Cornucopia considers only organic items, carrageenan is commonly used in non-organic products, including rotisserie chicken, deli meats, plant-based beverages, dairy, and processed foods. It’s even used to clarify beer, although the law does not require ingredients to be listed on alcoholic beverages.]
LEARN MORE ABOUT CARRAGEENAN
Industry refers to Cornucopia’s work on this issue as our “anti-carrageenan agenda;” we call it evidence-based communications that provides a valuable service to organic food supporters. Some resources:
What Organic Eaters Need to Know About Carrageenan
What’s the Controversy Over Carrageenan?
What Research Says About Carrageenan
Carrageenan: New Studies Reinforce Link to Inflammation, Cancer and Diabetes (2016 Report)
Your advocacy really does work! Since Cornucopia’s initial report was published in 2013, several companies, including Stonyfield Farm, Julie’s Ice Cream, Eden Foods, Orgain, So Delicious, and Annie’s, have removed carrageenan from their product lines. Clover Sonoma and Horizon have committed to removing it from their products and have reformulated many already.
In our Guide to Avoiding Carrageenan in Organic Food, we share contact information for companies that still use carrageenan. We encourage you to use your voice. Urge these companies to reformulate their products to remove carrageenan, then drop us a line to let us know which brand you contacted and whether they responded.