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Old 09-17-2014, 09:54 AM
307 posts, read 482,495 times
Reputation: 290


Not really sure if this is the appropriate thread for this...but I didn't see anything appropriate under food/nutrition, etc....but this has something to do with consumer product. I have been researching dairy products...and concerned to read that carrageenan...a thickener derived from seaweed...is used in most of our dairy products. Yet, much evidence shows that the use of this additive in milk products can be harmful. The gel-like ingredient from the seaweed (carrageenan) is created by using lye to dissolve the seaweed that results in the gel that's added in most milk products...to thicken them up. It is reported that the gel consumed by humans will line the stomach/intestinal linings that can cause lesions, and all sorts of intestinal problems in people. Yet, FDA, knowing this to be harmful...allows it to be mixed into the processing of dairy products...including soy milk. There are a lot of other chemical additives...that are apparently harmful over long term consumption. Does anyone know why FDA allows harmful additives, preservatives, enhancers, etc., to be added to the food we consume? Perhaps it's because it really does not have immediate harmful effects...unless consumed over a long period of time. I also find out that there are other soy milk products that do not use carrageenan. I'll see to it that from now on I choose only those that do not contain this harmful additive. Probably cost more... but better in the long run.
Just like cigarettes...it has been proven time and time again that it is definitely harmful and actually deemed to be a killer....so why is it still legal? I attempted to write to FDA over six months ago...never got a reply. I'm not surprised. I suppose if a food product or any consumer product does not make you sick immediately...then it would be ok. If prolonged use makes someone gets sick or dies from its effect ...it doesn't count for concern, I suppose. I'm not really concerned about those who abuse the use of harmful products. I know that no matter how much you regulate a product, abusers will always find ways to use them without regard to the effect on health & life. I'm concerned about consuming supposedly "healthy" products containing additives that are harmful...whether immediate or over a long period.
Appreciate to hear from anyone who might have the answers. I gave up on FDA waiting for a reply to my inquiry. I know...MONEY is the bottom line. Harmful, addictive products are permitted so the government can continue to collect taxes on them...and of course for the manufacturer and all its attending intermediaries...stand to make more money...charging consumers more than the actual value of the product. But I'm mostly concerned about so-called "nutritionally healthy" food products that FDA allows the use of harmful additives just to make a product more demanding (call it appealing if you will).
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Old 09-17-2014, 11:02 AM
3,946 posts, read 4,252,273 times
Reputation: 4722
I usually stock my pantry with dried stuff like beans, nuts, wakame, nutrient dense foods, herbs/spcies that don't require preservatives.. Frozen fruits for the freezer.

Keep it simple and don't buy anything processed. Perhaps mayo is the one thing I have I'd consider most processed in my fridge.

You can buy basic ingredients like organic apple cider vinegar and molasses, and create ingredients without having to buy bottled items that do have preservatives.

As far as milk goes- hemp milk, almond, cashew, organic soy... you can make. Takes some time, but you're getting vital fats/nutrients that are healthy for your brain and skin.

Fresh. And, no need for juices that have been pasteurized either. Invest in a citrus press and Vitamix.
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Old 09-17-2014, 11:22 AM
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,505 posts, read 55,427,357 times
Reputation: 32179
Processing with lye is not a big deal. The brown color of pretzels is usually from a lye bath, and there are other situations like the making of masa, where the use of lye or lime makes an unhealthy food healthy. Carrageenan may be phased out over time, the studies questioning it have been relatively recent. The greater problem is that thickeners in general are being overused and mis-used. One in particular - guar gum - is super-cheap and requires a minimal amount to have great thickening effect. Use has become ubiquitous to where you will even find it in frozen burritos. I happen to be extremely sensitive to it, something I first found out when trying Ben & Jerry's ice cream. I have to read every label to make sure it is not an ingredient.

The FDA "GRAS" (generally recognized as safe) appellation only requires a company to do a report by a committee (which can be a committee of one) and submit it. In the past, there were no designer food chemicals and it wasn't a terribly serious problem. Today it is, and the best course of action is to eschew processed foods.

Even then, the legal "definition" of cows milk has been changed to allow inclusion of a percentage of vegetable matter.

On a consumer level, all you can do is try to be cautious and buy as close to unprocessed as practical. The big money and needs to feed billions of people are against any large changes to the system.
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Old 09-18-2014, 06:44 AM
Location: Swiftwater, PA
14,987 posts, read 12,196,198 times
Reputation: 11276
In the late 1800's and early 1900's this would be a greater concern. And, yes, even today we have to keep our eyes open and really read what we are eating - such as: Crest toothpaste’s controversial ingredient, polyethylene | KHON2. But then look at typical life expectancies today - we have to be doing something right. I also feel that 'organic', healthy, safety, are not all what they claim to be - there is always a downside.

My feeling is to stay vigilant - but don't drive yourself crazy. I made it to 67 as one of those junk food addicts - perhaps I'll go tomorrow? But at least I enjoyed the years I did have.
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:48 AM
4,749 posts, read 5,586,032 times
Reputation: 2329
More suitable for Food and Drink forum.
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:50 AM
Status: "Enjoying life..." (set 7 days ago)
Location: San Antonio/Houston/Tricity
39,788 posts, read 57,659,871 times
Reputation: 93568
Discussed already many times on Food Forum
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Old 10-01-2014, 04:18 AM
12 posts, read 8,862 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks a lot for providing such a great information.
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:18 PM
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
73,203 posts, read 85,405,168 times
Reputation: 43324
As said, it isn't a new discussion or a new theory, and I for one, am not going to worry too much about it. I do read labels, I do try to buy and eat healthy, but I am not going to worry constantly about everything we consume. I do not use processed foods often, mainly because I do not think they are as healthy and are overpriced and under seasoned except for the sodium. Other than that I just enjoy cooking and eating.
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Old 10-07-2014, 11:43 AM
48,516 posts, read 85,072,495 times
Reputation: 18083
Ops complaint seems to be that the FDA doesn't do its job because of funding reasons.Then Op is basically on his/her own in his/her view and should take actions.
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