Finding ways to eat foods that include ingredients that you cannot tolerate is a tough process. Many people have to give up their favorite foods because they contain these ingredients. Today’s discoveries, however, have introduced a common way to address this issue and be able to start eating that favorite food again. Not only can carrageenan help those with health conditions eat favorite foods again, but it can also help the environment through its ability to stabilize foods and non-food products.
Foods Are Stable Thanks to Carrageenan
If you live the vegan lifestyle and cannot have gelatin but you have a favorite setting dessert that requires it, this ingredient that comes from seaweed can make the difference in whether you get to enjoy that dessert again or not. Carrageenan thickens food and also is considered hale and kosher, so it can be used in foods that people following certain religious dietary restrictions avoid eating due to elements like gelatin.
The use of carrageenan, a soluble fiber, stabilizes the food that it is added to. It allows foods to be made with less fat and sugar, extends shelf life and it reduces the need for refrigeration in some foods. This allows for decreased use of electricity and also less use of fossil fuels. All of this is good for the environment as well as the individual making and consuming the specific food.
Meanwhile, any food that has carrageenan added becomes a more efficient supplier of protein to the person eating. That is because carrageenan helps the body process the protein in the food more efficiently, so you get more out of it.
Non-Food Products Are More Stable Too
Carrageenan also improves the sustainability of non-food products, which helps to make sure items like toothpaste are more stable and efficient for specified tasks. Other products where the use of carrageenan is common include vitamins, dietary supplements, cosmetics, lotions and paints and varnishes, where the carrageenan helps lower the Volatile Organic Content levels, or VOCs.
In other words, adding carrageenan to your lifestyle is going to bring a lot of benefits.
The fiber itself is found in red seaweed. It is considered safe after decades of studies have determined its use has no detrimental side effects. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization considers it one of the best alternatives for a food additive, due to its lack of negative effects.
The use of carrageenan is also helpful because of the way it is grown and processed. The red seaweed is grown on small farms in Southeast Asia, where families can grow a crop without needing arable land or fresh water. Then, the processing is done in an environmentally-friendly manner, minimizing waste because it maximizes the amount of usable carrageenan in the seaweed.
This additive has been recognized for centuries as a viable option for inclusion in food and products. Turning to another additive would be less productive and worse for the environment. This is not helpful to anyone, so why go that route?