What do carrageenan and the USDA have in common?

They are both slimy, slick, & silky liars.

Carrageenan is an additive/preservative placed in dairy products, soups, or nut milks to create that “just can’t have one sip” kind of feeling as you guzzle it down. A smooth taste which will turn your tastebuds on to the extent of addiction and obsession. (or at least that’s what it was for me at first gulp of almond milk!)

As we know (or most of us should know) the USDA and mainstream agribusinesses are full of bologna. Literally. Genetically modified bologna specifically.

MonsantoSeedApproval

The manufacturers of products containing carrageenan are big shot, family household names we’ve all come to cherish…under false pretenses. (I.e…Kraft, Monsanto, General Mills, ConAgra…)

You see they market themselves under names like Silk, Almond Breeze, and Eden Soy to capture the health conscious consumer, but in actuality, you’re only buying their products and funding their advertising campaigns, resulting in not fueling your body properly.

Carrageenan is a known allergen to many holistic health counselors. It’s a derivative of seaweed but is so overly processed before being placed in our consumable liquids that it’s almost as bad for you as soy.

I say, get the real silky stuff by making your own almond milk…for a start! (we all know you can make your own soup by now, so I shouldn’t have to spoon feed you on that one right?)

Here was a simple recipe I found on instagram (or really anywhere in the healthy blogger world) to create such a wonderous thing:

Homemade Almond Milk

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Ingredients & Tools:

1 cup raw almonds (try to go for organic if you can)

sweeteners of your choice (I used honey and cinnamon)

milk nut bag or cheesecloths

strainer

large pot

blender or vitamix

small bowl

container for finished almond milk

Preparation:

1) Soak nuts overnight in a bowl. Add 1 cup of almonds with enough water to cover most of the almonds.

2) Cover almonds/water bowl and place in fridge for 8 hours. (I did mine overnight to make my morning exciting!)

3) Take almonds/water bowl out of fridge and drain the water through a strainer into a separate small bowl. DON’T THROW OUT THE EXCESS WATER DRAINED OUT. YOU CAN POUR THIS OVER YOUR PLANTS OR GARDENS AS IT’S SUPER NUTRITIOUS!

4) Place wet almonds and whatever you’d like to sweeten your milk with into a blender (I used a vitamix) with about 3.5 cups of water.

5) Blend on low for a minute and then amp up the voltage to high for approximately 1-2 minutes or until fully blended. (NOTE: Be careful if using  a vitamix as some of my milk spilled out due to the impact of placing it on high!)

6) Pour milk slowly over cheesecloth or into a milk nut bag and keep stopping to squeeze the excess milk out. (Have the large bowl underneath the cloth.) Remember to save the excess almond pulp, you can store it and use it for baking or general cooking as it’s basically considered almond meal after this process! (Cool, right?)

7) After all your straining and draining is done, pour almond milk into a container and place in fridge to chill.

This will stay fresh for about 7-10 days and the best part: NO CARRAGEENAN ADDED. Just how nature and your vitamix intended. 🙂

Have you ever made a nut milk before? What was your experience like? Do you drink nut milks from the supermarket? 

Peace, love, and silk me the natural way!

~C.C.D.

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7 Responses to What do carrageenan and the USDA have in common?

  1. wow… scary to think what is put in our food that we think is “safe.”

  2. Toni @ runninglovingliving says:

    Interesting information. I can make almond milk using my Bella nutripro juicer, but haven’t yet, may have to after reading this!! Thanks for the information.

  3. I’ve been wanting to try to make my own almond milk for a long time. Thankfully my usual brand that I buy does not have carrageenan in it. Why do companies put crap in our food????

  4. MIZ says:

    Im with angela.
    **shakes head in frustration**

  5. So unfortunate! Thanks for the info!

  6. Debbie says:

    SO MUCH FOR THE MYTHS
    CONSIDER THE FACTS ON CARRAGEENAN FOR A CHANGE

    Q. What is Carrageenan??

    A. Carrageenan is a naturally-occurring seaweed extract. It is widely used in foods and non-foods to improve texture and stability. Common uses include meat and poultry, dairy products, canned pet food, cosmetics and toothpaste.
    Q. Why the controversy?
    A. Self-appointed consumer watchdogs have produced numerous web pages filled with words condemning carrageenan as an unsafe food additive for human consumption. However, in 70+ years of carrageenan being used in processed foods, not a single substantiated claim of an acute or chronic disease has been reported as arising from carrageenan consumption. On a more science-based footing, food regulatory agencies in the US, the EU, and in the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization (FAO/WHO) repeatedly review and continue to approve carrageenan as a safe food additive.
    Q. What has led up to this misrepresentation of the safety of an important food stabilizer, gelling agent and thickener?
    A. It clearly has to be attributed to the research of Dr. Joanne Tobacman, an Associate Prof at the University of Illinois in Chicago. She and a group of molecular biologists have accused carrageenan of being a potential inflammatory agent as a conclusion from laboratory experiments with cells of the digestive tract. It requires a lot of unproven assumptions to even suggest that consumption of carrageenan in the human diet causes inflammatory diseases of the digestive tract. The objectivity of the Chicago research is also flawed by the fact that Dr Tobacman has tried to have carrageenan declared an unsafe food additive on weak technical arguments that she broadcast widely a decade before the University of Chicago research began.

    Q. What brings poligeenan into a discussion of carrageenan?
    A. Poligeenan (“degraded carrageenan” in pre-1988 scientific and regulatory publications) is a possible carcinogen to humans; carrageenan is not. The only relationship between carrageenan and poligeenan is that the former is the starting material to make the latter. Poligeenan is not a component of carrageenan and cannot be produced in the digestive tract from carrageenan-containing foods.
    Q. What are the differences between poligeenan and carrageenan?
    A. The production process for poligeenan requires treating carrageenan with strong acid at high temp (about that of boiling water) for 6 hours or more. These severe processing conditions convert the long chains of carrageenan to much shorter ones: ten to one hundred times shorter. In scientific terms the molecular weight of poligeenan is 10,000 to 20,000; whereas that of carrageenan is 200,000 to 800,000. Concern has been raised about the amount of material in carrageenan with molecular weight less than 50,000. The actual amount (well under 1%) cannot even be detected accurately with current technology. Certainly it presents no threat to human health.
    Q. What is the importance of these molecular weight differences?
    A. Poligeenan contains a fraction of material low enough in molecular weight that it can penetrate the walls of the digestive tract and enter the blood stream. The molecular weight of carrageenan is high enough that this penetration is impossible. Animal feeding studies starting in the 1960s have demonstrated that once the low molecular weight fraction of poligeenan enters the blood stream in large enough amounts, pre-cancerous lesions begin to form. These lesions are not observed in animals fed with a food containing carrageenan.

    Q. Does carrageenan get absorbed in the digestive track?
    A. Carrageenan passes through the digestive system intact, much like food fiber. In fact, carrageenan is a combination of soluble and insoluble nutritional fiber, though its use level in foods is so low as not to be a significant source of fiber in the diet.
    Summary
    Carrageenan has been proven completely safe for consumption. Poligeenan is not a component of carrageenan.
    Closing Remarks
    The consumer watchdogs with their blogs and websites would do far more service to consumers by researching their sources and present only what can be substantiated by good science. Unfortunately we are in an era of media frenzy that rewards controversy.
    Additional information available:
    On June 11th, 2008, Dr. Joanne Tobacman petitioned the FDA to revoke the current regulations permitting use of carrageenan as a food additive.
    On June 11th, 2012 the FDA denied her petition, categorically addressing and ultimately dismissing all of her claims; their rebuttal supported by the results of several in-depth, scientific studies.
    If you would like to read the full petition and FDA response, they can be accessed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!searchResults;rpp=25;po=0;s=FDA-2008-P-0347

  7. Melissa says:

    Debbie aka Debbie Young works for Ingredient Solutions Inc., the world’s largest independent carrageenan supplier. She goes around to blogs all over the net who even dare to post anything about carrageenan and pastes her company’s FAQ talking points in the comments section. FYI…

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