Like everyone, I have my favorite products. I usually by from local farms, and when life gets in the way I buy organic/grass fed from stores such as Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. This week, my local stores were out of the fantastic, local, grass fed cream that I usually buy. Since it’s the middle of a snowy winter here in New England, it’s not abnormal to have low supply of high quality goods as milk production can wane in the winter months.
So, what did we do? In my house, we put cultured cream on our food every day, which I often culture at home, and I wasn’t willing to go without. (Are you interested in learning how and why one should do this?! Click here!) In a pinch, we bought Organic Valley. Although I never suggest using ultra-pasteurized cream ever for anything, I caved this time and also was curious about how well this dead food would culture. In a rush, I didn’t look at the back of the container. Take a look at the bottom picture- what do you see that is problematic?
Did you see it? The writing is small, but it’s there. Carageenan. What is wrong with carageenan, you ask? Well, there are two kinds of carageenan- one that is damaging which isn’t supposed to be in our food, and one that is supposedly ok for consumption which is called food-grade. The problem is that the one that is damaging actually degrades the intestinal tract and liver, and becomes a carcinogen (ie: cancer causing) in the body.
What if they use the the non-food grade version in food? Do they?! Would they do that?! In organic food?! The answer, unfortunately, is yes. According to the Cornucopia Institute’s study
My advice is to avoid that stuff like the plague. It’s often in liquids and used as a thickener, such as in almond milk or canned coconut milk. Yes, it means being very very careful about what you eat, and checking all labels- even the organic ones! If you’d like a more detailed explanation of the how’s, why’s and who’s behind this, check out this extensive and well-researched blog post.
Now, what do you think I did with this cream?!