subject: carrageenan

What’s in the Dairy Case? Potential Health Risks of Emulsifiers from Plant-Based Milks

What’s in the Dairy Case? Potential Health Risks of Emulsifiers from Plant-Based Milks

Thousands of years ago, soymilk was nothing more than bean-flavored water, and if a food couldn’t be pickled, cured, fermented, or dried, it could not be preserved. Thanks to emulsifiers—natural and synthetic substances used to improve food texture, make foods more uniform in consistency, or increase a food’s shelf life—modern-day humans can enjoy soymilk with a creamy consistency and baked goods that stay fresh for months in the pantry. But do these improvements come at a cost? Although emulsifiers such as carrageenan have been classified as “generally regarded as safe” (GRAS) by the FDA, a growing body of evidence suggests they may be partly responsible for increasing the incidence of inflammatory bowel diseases and the metabolic syndrome over the last 50 years. Although it may come as no surprise that processed foods are not good for overall health, many foods that consumers select because they are believed to be healthy, including some plant-based milk substitutes, contain ingredients that could potentially be making us sick. Read More...