What the Heck is Carrageenan?

After doing lots of research on What Kind of Milk Should You Give Your Child?, I dug a little deeper and found out about a little something called CARRAGEENAN; say it with me, CAR-A-GEEN-AN.  The skinny on this stuff is that it is added to some products as a thickening or stabilizing agent. This stuff is found in all sorts of stuff, even our toothpaste!  Here’s the crazy part, some companies put it in drinks so you don’t have to shake it!  It can make a drink look thicker, so you don’t really have to shake it.  Solution: Just take out the carregeenan and add a little sticker that says, “Shake Well before drinking!!”  Um, Hello, who doesn’t love stickers!? So,  This stuff actually comes from seaweed.  Well, that sounds pretty earthy and natural to me!  Here is the problem:  Some studies are coming out saying it might cause gut irritation, intestinal inflammation and could be associated with tumors and cancer! Seriously?!!  Now, these studies were done on some sad little rats, buuuuttt rats are good enough for me to consider avoiding it.  I mean chronic inflammation can lead to heart disease, and cancer. Bottom line:  If it even causes diarrhea (Ugh!  I hate that word!), then I am going to stay away from it, especially if there are products out there that specifically leave them out!


I have included some of the products I have seen on the shelves, there is a longer list out there, if you don’t see a brand you buy, that DOES NOT mean it doesn’t have it. I tried to simplify this a little bit for you:

Yay, for this ice cream!!

Yay, for this ice cream!!

Be careful with this guy!  Might want to steer clear!

Be careful with this guy! Might want to steer clear!

Always a good choice

Always a good choice


Type of Food With Carrageenan Without Carrageenan
Cottage Cheese 365 (Low-fat and Fat Free)HorizonPublix (regular and non-fat)Trader Joe’s Nancy’sOrganic Valley
Sour Cream Horizon (low-fat)Publix 365 Whole FoodsOrganic ValleyNancy’sWallabyKalona
Yogurt Horizon (Tuberz)PublixTrader Joes (Squishers and yogurt cups) KalonaOrganic ValleyNancy’sStoneyfield (except caramel, Oikos, Greek yogurt and squeezers)Wallaby
Ice Cream Organic MeadowTrader Joe’s Julie’sStoneyfield
Almond Milk Almond DreamTrader Joe’sSo Delicious 365 Whole FoodsSilk (Including chocolate!)Trader Joes’s (refrigerated)
Deli Meat Applegate Farms (packaged chicken and turkey) Applegate Farms (Roast Beef, Salami, and Ham)
Frozen Pizza Annie’s Organic 365 Whole FoodsAmy’sPublixTrader Joe’s
Another good choice, might be pricey though!

Another good choice, might be pricey though!


Keep Walking!  This one's got it too!

Keep Walking! This one’s got it too!

And the winner is (I need a drum roll, please!):  365 Whole Foods brand items seem pretty safe across the board with sour cream, cottage cheese, almond milk, annnnd frozen pizza.  Organic Valley is another winner with cottage cheese and sour cream.


Sadly, The very popular brand with the bright red label (Horizon) happens to have a lot of products with carrageenan.  I definitely used to buy this brand ALL the time!  Here’s the deal, you are not going to be able to avoid things like carrageenan ALL the time, buuuttt, if you could avoid it in some common products like sour cream, then why not??


Ok, Ok, I know this information is overwhelming and you really just want to buy what’s on your grocery list and get the hellz outta that store.  I mean, who really has time to stop and leisurely read over the ingredients, especially with a kid or two in tow.  The way I look at it, you just need to find one or two products that you know are good, and stick with those.  Now that I know what to buy and what to avoid, I can quickly grab my groceries and get to the check out!


How Grayt is it that you NOW know what products to buy!??


Happy Shopping!

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