It's Official: Food And Drink With Activated Charcoal Has Been Banned In NYC
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) has announced that activated charcoal is no longer allowed in food and drink recipes throughout the city, so your favourite Instagrammable black ice cream cones are no longer.
For a while, Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream in NYC has been known as the charcoal ice cream destination in the city, and its owner introduced it to the menu item to much hype from foodies throughout the area.
But according to Eater, the ice cream shop was told to dump nearly $3,000 worth of ice cream after the orders were issued. Another shop, the Lower East Side coffee spot, Round K, had been selling an activated charcoal latte, which is also no more.
The FDA notes that a DOHMH (the acronyms are real, people) report that activated charcoal is not allowed to be used as a food additive or colouring agent, making it banned from recipes and foods that are sold throughout the city.
“Restaurants in New York City are not permitted to use activated charcoal in food because it is prohibited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a food additive or food colouring agent,” Carolina Rodriguez, a DOHMH spokeswoman, tells the Observer.
Meanwhile, activated charcoal has been touted by other health and wellness experts as a powerful way to fight and remove toxins, with many looking to its benefits as a whitening toothpaste. But its true benefits have been around for generations, if not centuries.
With some first uses dating back to ancient Egyptian times, during which it was used as a way to fight intestinal issues, it’s more recent history includes use during the 1800s and 1900s as a way to help with stomach acidity and even nosebleeds.
In total, it’s been a highly regarded natural way to improve health and certain ailments. But the recent changes mean that its possible benefit as a toxin remover will not be as readily available to many consumers.
Though many have claimed that in limited quantities, activated charcoal can have ultimate beneficial health outcomes, it’s still not recommended as part of your go-to daily routine.
“Because of the potential side effects and the lack of evidence to support a lot of the health claims, it’s not advised to use activated charcoals as a daily cleansing ritual,” Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Living a Real Life With Real Food, tells SELF.
So while we can all collectively mourn the loss of our activated charcoal ice cream cones and coffee drinks, it seems like it’s not an additive we should have been consuming daily, at the very least.