The label organic means it should be free of all dangerous pesticides and herbicides and additives. Right? Mostly that is correct. However, over the years big corporations came in on the board and have been adding substances that are questionable. USDA took over the decision making and made NOSB an advisory board. How this will affect the organic food and labeling is to be determined. You can read the National list of Allowed and Prohibited Substances here.

Carrageenan is the additive that is on the list that I will focus on in this post since it is one of the most used, and one of the most controversial for me. Food companies and manufacturers say it is not harmful, but other studies suggest it is. In Europe it has been banned from use in infant formulas. I have not been able to find any studies that are funded by the industry that has been peer-reviewed.

It has been used since 1995 in a long range of products to stabilize food. Among those you should check are ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, soy milk, chocolate milk, bread, jelly, jam, almond milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, soy desserts, soy pudding, sliced turkey, prepared chicken, nutritional drinks, canned soup, broth, microwaveable dinners, frozen pizza, canned pet food, cosmetics, toothpaste and other processed foods.

There are two main different types of carrageenan. Undegraded are used in food and degraded are not. Some animal studies shows that undegraded carrageenan can cause gastrointestinal inflammation. One type of carrageenan is listed by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer as a “possible human carcinogen.”

A report from 2002 by US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health says that they can not find any problems with undegraded carrageenan. However, this report from 2007 by WHO says it is inadvisable to use it in infant foods. To make this completely confusing: Here is another report from WHO about a different carrageenan that says it is advisable to give to infants. The reasoning is that those infants that have problems will normally be under supervision by doctors anyway.

Now to the newer studies and reports and why I personally think we should remove carrageenan from our diet. Joanne K. Tobacman made a review of carrageenan in 2001 that destroyed the above reports. Then in 2015 she and two other researchers found that carrageenan inhibits insulin signaling.

Why is this important?

Inflammation in the digestive tract is linked to Alzheimers, Parkinson’s disease and some cancers at the moment. Diabetes has also been connected to it, but we need more studies. The research of the digestive tracts and the link to diseases have only been done for a few years and there is a lot we need to figure out.

After reading all of these studies and articles, my advice is to be careful if you have any problems with your stomach or intestines. Like Sara Baker in this story. And please be careful with kids. I know ice cream is popular, but find brands that are not using carrageenan in their products.


ACA, or Affordable Care Act, was created by President Barack Obama in 2009 and has become very popular in the U.S. It stopped insurance companies from saying no to people with preexisting conditions and allowed lower-income people to get health insurance. It also allowed young people to stay on their parents policy until they are 26.

The Republican party have been fighting the law since, and after Trump won the election, they have put all their resources behind getting it dismantled. However, it is not easy to remove it completely because it means some Democrats have to agree with them, but the Republicans can take away parts of the funding etc. to stop it from working. Which would then be a reason for removing it. I guess you see where this is going.

Who benefit from ACA/Obamacare?

  • Low income citizens.
  • Everyone with preexisting conditions.
  • Most states that have signed up for ACA.

Who would benefit from ACA being dismantled.

  • The rich.
  • Most likely the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry.
  • The Republican party would get more in contributions from the rich and would hope to win more seats in future elections based on those contributions.

John Oliver at Last Week Tonight: Obamacare

Aired 2.26.2017

Congressional Republicans could soon vote to repeal Obamacare.
John Oliver explores why their replacement plans are similar to a thong.


Social security

What is social security?

It is a federal program (your money) that is for retirement, disability and survivor benefits. This apply to wage earners and their spouses, former spouses, widows, widowers and children. Eligibility is based on your work history.

Myths about social security

There are many myths that have been published about Social Security funding etc. This article might answer some of them. Here is the article in PDF-format in case it is no longer available:  Top 10 myths about Social Security.

The Top 10 Myths About Social Security, Myths and Facts

AARP, 6 myths about Social Security



Medicaid is a program based on federal law and there are several programs, but each state administer Medicaid. This means that the rules for eligibility can vary a bit from state to state. It is funded by both state and federal funds.

Myths, Myths and Facts.



What is medicare?

It is a federal program (your tax money) that provides health care benefits to the following individuals:

  1. age 65 or older.
  2. with certain disabilities that are under the age of 65 years.
  3. disabled children of certain wage earners
  4. with permanent kidney failure.

Myths, Myths and Facts.