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This potentially inflammatory ingredient just got banned from organic food


carrageenan banned from organic products
Photo: Pixabay

What do So Delicious ice cream, Publix yogurt, and Pacific Foods almond milk all have in common? They are just three of the many brands with the emulsifying agent carrageenan, a common food additive extracted from red seaweed used to thicken and improve the texture of a range of dairy (and non-dairy!) food options—and the latest ingredient to be banned from organic food, Food Dive reports.

In a controversial ruling made yesterday, the National Organics Board decided they would no longer certify anything containing carrageenan because it has been known to cause digestive inflammation. The decision was passed 10-5 after reviewing various studies on the ingredient. While some point to carrageenan as being inflammatory, other studies have found it not to be a problem—hence the controversy.

So, what’s next? Since the National Organics Board advises the US Department of Agriculture, the commonly used ingredient could become banned altogether.

If you want to take steps to avoid the declared inflammatory, watch out for it in dairy items and alt-milks. Here is a pretty extensive guide on what brands contain carrageenan—and which brands don’t.

Want to learn more about inflammation? Here’s everything you need to know. Plus, here’s how to build a meal that’s truly good for your gut.