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Author Topic: Carrageenan  (Read 5208 times)

BarbinNC

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Carrageenan
« on: July 06, 2014, 07:21:29 AM »
Haven't checked if this topic is already discussed on the forum, but thought this article might be of interest to some of you.  I am really trying to eliminate anything that causes inflammation.  It is almost impossible these days, they add stuff to our food, even the ORGANIC foods, and it drives me crazy.  My daughter reads this blog, it's a good one for recipes too, and sent it to me, because now my right hip has been hurting, badly, this past week.  I am limping again, after doing so well with my new knees, it is very depressing.


http://wellnessmama.com/2925/what-is-carrageenan/


I get my cream from Costco I like it very much, even though it's not organic and pasteurized.  And.  It has carrageenan!!   :-\

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Carrageenan
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2014, 07:41:19 AM »
BarbinNC,


This seems to be a "maybe/maybe not" kind of additive.  I've read about sensitivities developing when you eat too many foods with carageenan, but
most of the time you don't because the amounts used in foods is very small.  Many dairy products contain carageenan so you have to read those labels!  Applegate's smoked turkey breast contains some ( just posted about this deli line!).


While nothing is proven, I would read the ingredients of all the foods I've eaten to get an idea if this really is what is causing your problem.  Most people can tolerate some of this, like the annatto (coloring) in cheeses and other products.  Try eliminating one for a few days and then the other to determine if you are having a problem with either one.

BarbinNC

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Re: Carrageenan
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2014, 07:46:15 AM »
Thanks Barbara, I realize it's small amount, but like you said, it can add up, and along with all the other toxins in our food, it's hard to determine what to leave off etc.  I am just going to have to be stricter when it comes to what I eat going forward.  I can not face another surgery right now ...

HungryinTN

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Re: Carrageenan
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2014, 07:49:39 AM »
Thanks for posting!  This, to me, is one of those better-safe-than-sorry issues.  My mother has lately started drinking almond milk containing carrageenan and has also been complaining about an increase in gastrointestinal distress after finally finding some relief.  I suspected the milk, and told her as much, but she wouldn't hear it because she's recently had to eliminate dairy and just wasn't ready to eliminate something else.  I've forwarded the article to her, just in case, and suggested that she switch to a canned organic coconut milk that is BPA- and carrageenan-free. 

bill

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Re: Carrageenan
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2014, 09:59:37 AM »
I've read in a few places that carageenan exacerbates
migraine.  Since I have suffered migraines for about 45
years, I'll skip anything with carageenan in it.


Trader Joes has cream without carageenan.  I sometimes
buy out the whole stock of a store.  Usually about 6
cartons a week.

BarbinNC

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Re: Carrageenan
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2014, 10:51:53 AM »
You're welcome, Hungry - I'm glad I did too, because I'm learning things when folks post responses.  For instance, my daughter has been having so many headaches lately, we suspect either hormones or sinus.  But now that I see this, I realize she has been eating things like cream, half and half, cream cheese and cheese again, little bit here and there, in spite of trying to go dairy free. 


I will tell her about the migraine link, it's a possibility.  Headaches are such a horrible thing to live with, and she's still nursing her baby, so is very reluctant to take any kind of medication. 

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Carrageenan
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2014, 12:35:47 PM »
BarbinNC.


Sometimes you need to spray your sinuses with saline solution.  Drug store brand is fine.  Air conditioning dries out the air as does the heat in winter.  This can cause headaches too.  Remember, her body is still cleaning itself out from years of toxic food. 






juno jones

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Re: Carrageenan
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2014, 11:29:39 AM »
I hadn't thought much about carrageenan much as I keeping and eye out for xanthan gum. I certainly hadn't thought of commercial cream containing it.

My local Grocery Outlet carries milk from a local dairy. I just checked the label on my cream and it is nothing but cream. Perhaps some shopping around to find a store carrying products from local dairy supplier would help.

I'm a little frustrated with the emulsifiers/thickeners. The use of them seems to have proliferated over the years including addition to foods that really shouldn't need them. Maybe people need to learn to shake the dressing bottles again,,, :o

This also adds a layer to what I call the restaurant dilemma. In most places, the food ingredients come from big companies like Sysco and is going to be shelf stable which means hidden emulsifiers and gums. I remember the laundry list on the cream ingredient label when I was cooking. I didn't think much of it then, but my perspective has changed. Changing gloves to handle a WF order doesn't do nearly enough when other stuff isn't taken into account (including ambient exposure).

Randal

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Re: Carrageenan
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2014, 12:10:03 PM »

This also adds a layer to what I call the restaurant dilemma. In most places, the food ingredients come from big companies like Sysco and is going to be shelf stable which means hidden emulsifiers and gums. I remember the laundry list on the cream ingredient label when I was cooking. I didn't think much of it then, but my perspective has changed. Changing gloves to handle a WF order doesn't do nearly enough when other stuff isn't taken into account (including ambient exposure).


I'm rapidly becoming the anti-social guy at work because of the restaurant dilemma (and not eating at birthday celebrations and office meetings). When I do go out to eat, I feel like Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally" with all my questions and requests. "I would like a salad, with no croutons. Does the chicken have any breading? Can I get the vinaigrette dressing inside of the regular, and can I get that on the side?" It's amazing how hard it is to get a meal at a restaurant made from simple, real foods.

Lynda (Fl)

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Re: Carrageenan
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2014, 01:53:19 PM »
What's amazing, Randal, is that people think you are strange when you don't want to eat crap!   Do you ever feel like one of Pottinger's cats?

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Carrageenan
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2014, 02:31:52 PM »
Randal,

You are experiencing exactly what most ladies had to go through to get a meal without the garbage add ons.  Too often, the wait or kitchen staff would either over or under cook the order, leave out something or just delay making your meal to show their displeasure.  It is much easier for everyone to view you as "fussy" than examine their own health issues and eating habits.  Restaurants want you to order the labor intensive dishes or the pre-prepared processed food so they make more $ on your meal.  Simply prepared fresh food is not a moneymaker.

The tide will start turning however.  With more and more people eating grain and sugar free, the normal questions we would ask become commonplace rather than those of a fuss.  While you are looking good and not aging and aching, your co-workers are deteriorating faster and faster.
Won't be long before a health disaster happens to them and they start viewing your eating habits differently. 

HungryinTN

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Re: Carrageenan
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2014, 06:56:25 PM »
One of the benefits of living in a smaller town is that it cuts down on the "restaurant dilemma."  I moved from a town of over 100,000 but that had very few restaurant choices.  I had basically three places I was willing to go there.  Now I'm in a town of 30,000 but with a relatively high proportion of locally-owned, farm-to-table restaurants, so it's pretty easy to make sure I get to go someplace I'm willing to eat.  In a big city, trying to go out with friends, there's no telling what you might end up with. 

juno jones

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Re: Carrageenan
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2014, 12:34:13 PM »
As a cook, I was motivated by slow food/pure food ethos, as were many of my co-workers in the small mid to fine dining places I worked. We took pride in scratch cooking and could sometimes accomodate people's allergies- but not always. The nature of restaurants demands batch cooking and not everything can be feasibly eliminated. However, in the cook-to-order dishes, there is some leeway and we always did what we could when confronted with special orders. We were also honest when we said we couldn't do it. Some things you just can't, not for a single customer once in awhile.

I do have some major complaints about where the restaurant industry is going, especially in the last couple of decades. One of the most noticable trends is the big box commerical restaurant owned by large consortium. Think Olive Garden or any other place that sits out on a pad at the mall. In those places the uniformity of dining experience trumps all. Very little of the food is prepared on site, most is delivered frozen and microwaved to order. Sounds appetizing, huh? You get the reactions from the staff in those places because of a) high volume, special orders throw a spanner in the works which matters when you are turning over 50 tables an hour or something  b) lack of anything to do about it, since all the food at these places is 'canned' there often is no way to eliminate an ingredient from the dish. You change gloves or whatever, but you can only hope that someone in the chain above you really knows that abc BBQ sauce (for example) actually is gluten free and that nothing else from the kitchen has floated in there.

To change restaurants is going to take a serious shift in restaurant culture and eating habits at large. The current trend is for chains and celebrity chef-owned restaurant groups: the further removed the owners and menu creators from service and the public, the less flexible the menus and service. The tightrope of food cost can also be a problem. As a chef, I remember a fight with a manager about making our own lasagne vs buying frozen lasagne at Costco. And this was at an ostensibly 'healthy food' restaurant. There is also the matter of customer expectation. We have quite a few places here which now offer some form of gluten free, but much of it is in the fake bakery goods field. Instead of simpler food, we get an escalation into even more additives and chemicals just to make something. But it sells because it caters to the expectations of customers and the pocketbooks of owners since gluten free often means you can double the price. At school they have introduced a local GF company's product; it is mostly sugar pastries and even in the savory lunch items, there is not one that doesn't have some kind of fake bread incorporated into it.

Until such a time things change I can only recommend these alternatives:

Get a personal relationship with small local restaurant/chef/owner(s) in your area. If they know you and that you are coming by regularly, they can carry what you need and be ready to serve you. And be friendly to you, because you are a friend, not just a 'top' to be turned over and valued as such.

For those in an area with some GF suppliers, write or call, make them aware of your needs and concerns. If they see enough response, they may add items or tweak recipes.

For a fancy evening, consider hiring a cook and host the party in your home. Or find a sympathetic caterer. There are a number of 'hot meal' take home places springing up these days, many likely have specialized menus and since they are often locally owned might be responsive, especially for a regular.

As for lunches, eating out everyday is expensive and probably not good, no matter how good the food. It is sad that this time is often the only space where fellow employees can socialize. One is just going to have to find one's way around on that subject, the available places to eat are going to diverge greatly according to area.

Hope this lends some insight into the situation. My philosophy has always been that "friends don't let friends eat chain restaurant food", and now with my allergies and awareness that saying seems even more true.


Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Carrageenan
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2014, 01:42:20 PM »
Juno,


My local area has numerous chain restaurants that are serving nearly inedible food.  Business is down because the food just doesn't taste very good and it isn't inexpensive any longer.  Places like The Olive Garden marinates their chicken in a strong vinegar solution which doesn't taste very good.  Red Lobster serves basically poorly prepared and over cooked foods.  Both these places don't have much business around here because of this.  They encourage tour bus business and off the interstate business just to survive since locals hardly go there.   Smaller chains do better because they can accommodate more requests as their menu is a bit more flexible.  This is just my neck of the woods in northern NJ. 


Bottom line is that you are correct in thinking that a major shift is needed in their chain management.  Food has become so processed and pre=prepared that it just tastes bad and usually has a poor quality mouth feel.  Some people don't care.  Most will go to a local place where the food is a bit fresher and not as processed.  Profitability issues will change their thinking if people know they can order something to fit a low carb, grain and sugar free diet.  Those restaurants that can't adjust or make it too difficult for people like us to order will see their traffic decline even more.




deanna in AR

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Re: Carrageenan
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2014, 02:06:43 PM »
Since we're not traveling much now, we miss having great choices of restaurants. However, we do have a small local sports bar and restaurant that we frequent almost exclusively. They do lots of special things for us. They let us keep a jar of coconut oil there to use to grill our fish. We have a salad named after us (ha!) because we asked long ago for something healthier. Instead of their regular iceberg, a couple of tomato cubes, cheese and croutons, they make ours with romaine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, olives and serve it with lemon slices. Now other people order our salad too. They make us BLT's with no bread and patty melts with no bread. It's definitely not perfect, but we do enjoy going somewhere where "everybody knows our name". Cheers!

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Carrageenan
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2014, 02:19:41 PM »
Deanna,


In my opinion, that is the future of casual restaurant dining.   Your simple requests have brought repeat business and even more traffic.  Same thing happens here.  Eventually the chains will catch on or wither.

BarbinNC

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Re: Carrageenan
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2014, 06:38:55 AM »
Juno, your description of the Chain Restaurant protocol has been my experience, exactly.  Even the smaller chains, like local restaurants with more than one location can be set up like this, with the frozen items that are microwaved etc.  Sad, but true.  We have a hard time going out to eat as a family, since there are many different food likes and dislikes, and most of us wheat free, my Mom salt free and very picky it's a nightmare and no fun.  We usually opt to make a meal at home, that way all can be pleased. 


I do have one place I love for lunch, they will cater to my requests, and it's close to work so I can go there with friends and enjoy a good meal without the bad stuff.  But mostly around here, asking for a burger without the bun still gets you the raised eyebrow ...

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Carrageenan
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2014, 06:45:16 AM »
BarbinNC,


Don't forget to ask if there is wheat or other fillers in your burger!  Even ask if you are ordering scrambled eggs.     :(

Jan in Key West

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Re: Carrageenan
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2014, 09:22:12 AM »
This was a timely post I saw this morning in light of the restaurant conversation.....but lots of angry commenters!


 https://munchies.vice.com/articles/being-intolerant-doesnt-make-me-a-restaurant-asshole/

Randal

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Re: Carrageenan
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2014, 10:16:39 AM »
But mostly around here, asking for a burger without the bun still gets you the raised eyebrow ...

Yup, I get that a lot. Once I was even refused, even after pointing out it lowers their inventory costs. I seem to recall when I was a kid that was called chopped steak, and fairly easy to find and order.

I'm a fan of shows like Kitchen Nightmares and Bar Rescue, but they have really turned me off of restaurant dining. So many places have unbelievably filthy kitchens, and there are so many chefs/cooks who don't know the basics of hygiene or food preparation (e.g., touching raw meat and then vegetables, cooking vegetarian meals in the same pots or skillets as meat items, etc.).

Wheat Free Forum

Re: Carrageenan
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2014, 10:16:39 AM »

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