The Foodie — Odessa
So I’ve recently been having stomach issues. And while looking for an answer to what could be causing these issues, I stumbled upon my box of almond milk and noticed “carrageenan” and instantly though there must be a connection, so I looked it up. Carrageenan comes from a red seaweed called Chondrus crispus but it has been processed to shit, meaning it is not only not good for you, but it is actually terribly damaging. Low and behold, I discovered that carrageenan has been known to cause a litany of gastrointestinal issues in animals (appalling that they still do animal testing…).
Carrageenan is often used as a thickener in foods like ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, soy milk, and my beloved almond milk. I have been drinking a cup a day for the past several years, never noticing I was slowly poisoning myself.
Dr. Joanne K. Tobacman, M.D has published 18 peer-reviewed studies researching the biological effects of carrageenan and the overall consensus is that carrageenan is very harmful to human health. Carrageenan is a cause of inflammation in the body, which leads to pain and dysfunction. Chronic inflammation can lead to a myriad of devastating diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cancer; and can seriously aggravate the symptoms in pre-existing conditions like and Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. In April 2012, Tobacman went before the National Organic Standards Board to urge them to stop using carrageenan in “organic foods.” Check out her article on the harmful gastrointestinal effects of carrageenan on animal subjects.
So I hereby will avoid it at all costs.
On the bright side, I learned how to make my own delicious almond milk.
First you buy a large amount of raw almonds, because bulk is cheaper and trust me you will use all of them. Take a cup of almonds and put in a bowl. Cover it with filtered water (about 1 cm over the almonds is fine) and let soak for 4 hours-2 days (the longer the soak, the creamier the milk). It should get all white and fuzzy:
Then you can drain the water..but I didn’t. I figured there are a lot of nutrients in that water that I wouldn’t mind ingesting. So I threw it in the blender and added 2 more cups of filtered water, 2 pitted dates, a piece of cinnamon bark, a few drops of vanilla, and a lot of love. Blended on high for about a minute:
Here’s the tricky part. You will either have to go to your local natural foods store and invest in a nut milk bag (not what you’re thinking you pervert), such as this one:
Or you can use a cheesecloth or even a regular ol’ strainer if you don’t mind bits of almond in your milk ;). Dump all the contents of the blender into the bag (over a large bowl of course) and squeeze all the “milk” out.
You will be left with a lot of almond pulp:
But you can throw that into muffins and reduce the flour content for all you carb-loathing bitches.
And it’s as easy as that! You will want to keep the milk in the fridge and consume it within 3-5 days. If you want it to last longer you will have to pasteurize it by boiling it. But then you will be removing all the nutrients and minerals from the almonds that you will be cooking out.
Almonds are a heart-healthy choice as they help to reduce bad cholesterol, heart attack risk, and protect your artery walls from damage. They also help to stabilize blood sugar levels.
They are brain-healthy in many ways as well. In Ayurvedic medicine, they are known to increase high intellectual level and longevity.
One of their most fabulous traits is that they help to alkalize the body, supporting the immune system and energy levels.
Please try making this at home, it’s easier than you think and so worth it! Delicious!
1 cup raw almonds
Enough water to cover almonds by 1 cm
2 cups water
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 dates, pitted
1. Soak almonds for 4 hours to 2 days.
2. After soaking, throw almonds and water into a blender, and then add 2 cups water, dates, vanilla, and a small piece of the cinnamon stick (maybe 1 cm).
3. Blend on high for about a minute
4. Pour into a cheesecloth or nut milk bag over a large bowl and squeeze the shit out of it.
5. Drink the fruits of your labour, and save the ground almonds to add to muffins, cakes, or to sprinkle on chocolate pudding or cereal!
The Crohn’s Disease — Onya
Carrageenan is one of those things that if ingested makes me feel like I ate a bowl of jagged metal Krusty-Os for breakfast.
Odessa did a pretty good job of pointing out why you shouldn’t consume this shit. I didn’t read any of the studies Odessa posted but I would bet you a gram of weed that carrageenan is hard on your bowel wall, breaks down the lining and lets food molecules that are too large into your body — in turn wreaking havoc and causing inflammation chaos in other parts of your body.
Final thought … say “fuck you” to Carrageenan … and processed foods in general. Unless you want to shit/inflame yourself to death.
Toke it easy,