Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of ROI

An Open Letter To Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Regarding Their Use of Carrageenan

Dear Ben and Jerry,

Please stop adding seaweed to your ice creams.

I was extremely disheartened to learn that a company I had always respected for their high moral values and a company mission to “improve the quality of life” had started using an ingredient that has a history of health concerns – carrageenan, a red seaweed extract. Yes, I know that carrageenan is approved by the FDA but I always felt that Ben and Jerry’s┬áhad much higher standards than those set at the FDA. Isn’t that one of the reasons why you take a stance on GMO’s and used egg’s from cage-free hens?

Suffice to say, I miss my New York Super Fudge Chunk… I want it back. I want to be able to enjoy it again but I refuse to have it as long as it has carrageenan. You should know that many refuse to eat anything with carrageenan in it and my family is one of them. As such, we no longer buy Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and are now buying from your competitors. If sales are not what they used to be, might I recommend removing carrageenan and making a very big deal about it. Your sales will jump back up.

Remove the carrageenan and restore my faith in the B&J mission to “improve the quality of life”. After all, ice cream made from “high quality dairy ingredients” doesn’t need a seaweed extract.

Learn more about the dangers of carrageenan:

A former fan,



  • john
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m done with Ben & Jerry’s too. I bought an ice cream maker and will recreate Ben & Jerry’s at home using Raw Organic Milk and organic ingredients.

  • Sharon
    Posted October 18, 2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Amen. I complained to B&Js about this two years ago to get back a rather nasty reply from them. When I was diagnosed with celiac – I soon realized that my remaining occasional GI and joint issues were not from gluten in my GF Thanksgiving meal but carrageenan in the liquid whipping cream and chocolate pudding I made for the kids – and all I did was take a small taste! No more -free half-and-half, (my husband bought some by mistake put it in my coffee made me sick within hours). (Whole Foods now has a carrageenan-free CF almond milk so they know it is an issue…I hear so many people who get sick from soy milk…many won’t listen about the carrageenan and think it is a soy issue.)

    Had to change ricotta brands, ice creams to the naturals that did not have it, etc. Then I was fine but started to have some minor issues – what had I eaten? Then saw it was in the new type of toothpaste I had bought. Finally, weeks go by I am fine then I eat a can of Eden brands beans that had seaweed in it. Tried to tell Eden and Living Without whose magazine they and Almond Breeze advertise in that this crap is an issue for celiac and gluten sensitive folks.

    Many celiac experts claim seaweed is safe…but here’s the thing perhaps seaweed chips made from the blade “leaf” are gluten free but what about the entire – other 3-4 parts to the seaweed that may well go into processing carrageenan and be mushed up and tossed into Eden beans as a salty preservative…and you know MSG was originally derived from seaweed.

    You should check out Dr. Tobacman who is petitioning FDA to get it off the safe food additive list – though she and a PhD from the Celiac Sprue assn. claims that the seaweeds do not have an amino acid chain similar to gluten’s proteins. The other person I have “conversed” with in this carrageenan fight is a mom MD she and her kids have celiac. This is her website tag on carrageenan:

    I applaud you. The stuff is poison. Cannot tell you how many folks I have helped – one who still had issues with celiac after 20 years…she showed me the candy she was eating…the hard outer coating like my Christmas cookie sprinkles has carrageenan…she stopped soy milk, ice cream, everything with carrageenan etc. and is not doing well.

    Dr. Tobacman has been threatened with a law suit by the Philippine Seaweed Industry…FDA does not want to touch this because it is a multimillion dollar industry…but I still say if we could prove it was gluten-like…they would have to label anything with carrageenan and the full seaweed as having GLUTEN…see how fast they would pull it out of stuff.

  • Sharon
    Posted October 18, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Few typos…”she is NOW doing well”. All those with GI issue to whom I have recommended remove (with dr’s approval) gluten and carrageenan have done well. My mother passed almost two decades ago but she often said to me there is something wrong with the food we eat today…I often wonder if her health issues and cancer (same one my brother has) was due to celiac or gluten sensitivity.

  • TV
    Posted August 9, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    You should turn this open letter into a petition on They have 70 million+ members and are affecting thousands of victories every quarter. Lots of product companies have changed their practices around ingredients (including gatorade, coke, and pepsi) because of petitions.

  • Posted August 12, 2014 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the suggestion. Admittedly, I have moved on to other ice-creams now. I guess you could say I am voting with my pocketbook.

    My new favorite is Three Twins Bittersweet Chocolate. Excellent stuff.

    A local favorite of mine is Dark Elf Delight by Viking Feast Ice Cream (I would link to it but their website is currently being updated but will be up again soon (I hope) at