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Is careegenan dangerous?

I've been drinking soy milk for 15 years, everyday for breakfast and I've recently heard that careegenan (an ingredient in the soy milk that I drink) is a known cancer causing carcinogen. I'm very confused on the topic because I've heard that it's not bad and I've heard that it's toxic.... Have I done great harm to my body by drinking this ingredient so often?

asked by alexia1996 almost 6 years ago

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7 answers 2887 views
A7132580 ab6d 4637 9b1a ed4f3f514400  scplogoblog
added almost 6 years ago

Well, it's not that I disagree with the above. At all. It's just that I always wonder why carageenen needs to be added, asking yourself this question might help you decide that a product that needs "thickening" or "stabalizing" might not be the whole food you think that it is. While you are specifically asking about soy products, I also have this question about cow's milk cream--why add carageenen? Why add anything? Usually, these types of additives are used to cover deficiencies or to bulk up a product in an inexpensive way. (Just as an example, Natural by Nature whipping cream ingredients: cream, Organic Valley: cream and carageenen. Now OV has another brand of cream, to address the issue you mention, but why were they adding anything to begin with? Cream is perfectly cream all by itself!). I'm not trying to brew a firestorm, but I suggest choosing products that have fewer ingredients. While carageenen may or may not be carcinogenic, I have not seen any literature that supports it as a healthful additive; it is, more simply, a cost cutting measure for large food producers.

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5f8d7fee 22ef 49ba a6b4 360299864c3e  n3ru8figt0zk0

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 6 years ago

Carageenen is not added to "bulk up" or cover "deficiencies". For large operations that maybe make ice cream for example, the product often has to be transported over thousands of miles under refrigeration. I could care less about soy milk myself but I do understand the commercial need for these things. Now, if you happen to live next door to a local place that brews up soy milk, go knock yourself out. Otherwise...

Fca4e46d 262a 416c 8ce5 316470249de2  565101 1406091363 1702312332 n
added almost 6 years ago

There have also been concerns linking soy consumption with breast cancer because of the estrogen-like compounds. Though according to this article, it seems if you have an overall healthy lifestyle and only have soy milk in the morning you should be fine: http://www.breastcancer....

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A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added almost 6 years ago

I thought anything "natural" and "organic" was automatically pure and healthful? In any case, carrageenan is not a carcinogen no matter what Wikipedia says. It has been tested and retested and found to be perfectly safe by numerous scientific studies around the world. I'd be much more concerned with soy's potential hormonal effects than anything else.

Carrageenan is an extremely versatile ingredient and serves as proof that nature isn't perfect and, like every single thing we do in the laboratories we call kitchens, it can be improved upon.

Carrageenan is used in soy "milk" to simulate the viscosity of cow's milk, to stabilize protein and fat suspension and improve mouthfeel. Purchase whatever soy products you please, it doesn't affect me. But, as just one example, its use as a stabilizer in whipping cream is of considerable use to us cooks so I'd thank everyone to put a cork in their unfounded fears before they spread like the MSG terror of a few years ago.

Side note: The spelling “carrageenan” has been adopted by the Committee on Carbohydrate Nomenclature of the American Chemical Society to be consistent with the use of the-an suffix for the name of polysaccharides.

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