Carrageenan Free Ice Cream

So now that you have read a couple of articles on 'Deciphering Food Labels' Step 1 , Step 2 and Step 3, let's take a look at specific food item that you can apply all that you've discovered - Ice Cream! Yes, there is something more that you should probably consider when purchasing ice cream. Otherwise, it's best to make it at home using single, real food ingredients.

Ice cream is everyone's favorite, right? If not now,  I'm sure there once was a time that you loved ice cream anyway. So it's my daughter's favorite dessert. I think it's because her opportunities to eat it have been so limited because I discovered there was something in ice cream that was making her sick.

My daugther's reaction would begin with congestion that often led to asthma. At just barely three years old she was on inhalers, nebulizers and antibiotics much too frequently - and it always occurred just after a birthday or some type of celebration where sweets were plentiful.  It was her reaction to ice cream that I first noticed. I have photos taken just days after parties we attended the day before where she would be on the nebulizer and that's exactly how I put it all together. From that point on I avoided ice cream, frosting, cool whip and anything dairy that was in a can or carton.

So my thoughts went from first thinking that she was allergic to just one brand of ice cream to being allergic to all dairy, until I discovered the one common ingredient for many snack/dessert products that triggered her symptoms is a preservative called CARRAGEENAN that acts as a stabilizer for many packaged food products. 

For years I made ice cream (using single, real food ingredients) for her to eat at home and she even took her own ice cream and sometimes her own cake to friend's parties. It was a bit difficult for her emotionally, but she knew that she didn't want to be sick and that mommy could always make her "special" ice cream.

In the beginning we first noticed that Breyer's 'Natural Vanilla' flavor didn't contain that was our 'go to' ice cream. But recently my daughter, now 14, has been on a quest to find ice cream (on the grocery store shelves) with all the exciting flavors that she loves. In the photo below are all the ice cream brands and flavors she found at a Kroger store on just one visit. I'm happy to see that she has options now when she wants a special treat.

But note, just like some flavors of Breyer's ice cream contain carrageenan, so might other flavors of these brands. 

There are medical articles that show respiratory issues being linked to carrageenan. Finally, this information is being made known mainstream and it's being removed from many items that once contained it. Here again, we can dictate better foods by spending our money on foods that meet our nutrition goals and leaving the others on the shelf.