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Deceptions in the Food Industry: What You Don’t Know About Products Labeled “No MSG”

www.mypicshares.com

You may have seen labeling on food products which read “no added MSG” or simply “no MSG”?  If so, you should know that many of these foods likely contain MSG anyway.

This is because food companies have changed the wording on their products to other names you may not recognize, and are still including this toxic and brain-cell destroying substance in the food.

Why do food companies use MSG?

MSG is added to foods to enhance flavor.  These substances, called excitotoxins by Dr. Russell Blaylock, M.D. and other reputable health authorities, are included in the food for one purpose and one purpose alone: to get consumers addicted to the products.

The chemical makeup of this ingredient makes it very dangerous to consume.  Many people have allergic reactions to it, and some have life-threatening problems as a result of consuming it.

MSG is a poison

Some people seem to consume foods with MSG and experience no side effects. The problem is that you could consume these substances a thousand or ten thousands times with seemingly no ill effects, but then one day you consume it and your body says “enough”.

Symptoms could be something mild such as a headache or fatigue, depression, mood swings, or something more noticeable such as nausea or numbness.

But, it could also be a severe: neurological disruptions, seizures, blockage of airway or even a life-threatening reaction such as cardiac arrhythmia or sudden death.

Those with a weakened immune system and who are more toxic such as those with childhood allergies, frequent illness and infection, asthma, skin disorders such as eczema, and known food allergies are at higher risk for experiencing an an anaphylactic reaction to toxins such as MSG. Anaphylactic refers to the body’s systemic or whole response to a poison or toxin.

To say that someone is “allergic” to MSG is simply not identifying the substance properly. MSG is not an allergen, it is a poison. By definition, an allergen can be something that is benign to the body, but to which the body has developed a super-immune response.

How companies get around labeling MSG on products

Some years ago, MSG was identified on packages and containers simply as “monosodium glutamate”.  That has all changed. Today, without further knowledge of what food ingredients really mean, the only recognizable way you’ll be able to know that MSG is actually in a food product is the use of this term.

Currently, FDA regulations allow food manufacturers to include MSG in foods under a variety of different names, even though it is technically the same substance: an isolated glutamate that has been engineered in a laboratory.

Because there are now so many different substances which contain processed free glutamic acid, the FDA now has a requirement stipulating that each one be called by its unique name. So now instead of merely labeling the food as containing MSG, now you see many different terms on packages.

Let’s not forget, the FDA – which is supposed to “protect us” from dangerous substances in our food and other products is the same organization which allowed genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) to enter our food supply in 1996, and be purchased and consumed by consumers without their knowledge ever since.

Big corporations and government interests have helped to promote the idea that toxins and chemicals in our food supply, drugs, personal care products, commercial and agricultural products and many others are not dangerous substances. Because of the wealth and influence these entities hold, they are able to affect the minimization of these reports in medical and scientific research – particularly to large scientific laboratories, universities, and medical and pharmaceutical companies. As a result, doctors and practitioners are largely unaware of the dangers and serious effects these substances have on human health, and also that they are a large culprit in many chronic illnesses and disease.

Even when the package specifically states “No MSG“, making you believe the food or product is safe: that is usually a false claim. Terms such as “flavors” or “flavorings” may contain MSG in ingredients besides “monosodium glutamate” and many other common terms such as “hydrolyzed proteins”  (i.e., soy, vegetable, wheat or other or without actually disclosing the presence of MSG).

Even claims made on meat packages that there are “no nitrites or nitrates” are soon followed by the phrase in fine print, “except from those naturally occurring in…” and the ingredient is usually celery root powder, celery juice powder, or some other “plant” source that is assumed by the consumer to be “all natural”.

The problem is that with celery root and celery juice powders, the glutamic acid in the product has been isolated from how it occurs in nature with co-factors, enzymes, and nutrients, and has been compounded (meaning it is in many times larger the amounts than it would actually occur from the natural source) and engineered in a lab, and that is nothing like how it actually occurs in nature.

You can also find MSG in non-food products such as shampoo, soap, hair conditioner, personal care products and and cosmetics. The terms used in the ingredients list will often appear as things such as “hydrolyzed,” “protein” or “amino acids”.

Here is a partial list of products that will likely contain MSG by other names:

  • Soda or carbonated beverages
  • “Juice” drinks
  • Aspartame, neotame and other artificial sweeteners used not only in food but also medications and other products
  • Candy and chewing gum
  • Protein powders and protein “drinks”
  • Low-fat and skim milk often contain forms of MSG under the names of carageenan, locust bean gum, or guar gum
  • Vaccines.  The manufacturer of Varivax–Merck chicken pox vaccine (Varicella Virus Live), states that this vaccine  contains hydrolyzed gelatin and L-monosodium glutamate, both contain processed free glutamic acid (MSG).  It is likely that most live viruses which are included in vaccines include some some ingredient(s) that contain MSG.
  • Some commercial waxes on some fruits and vegetables
  • Pesticide or fertilizer products used in farming, including some that are organic.
  • Infant formula
  • Kosher foods
  • Enteral products used for intravenous feeding in hospitals and other medical facilities (fluids and tube feeding products)
  • Certain plastic wraps used to contain food and other products have been found to contain MSG – one such product is Cryovac
  • Various ingredients such as yeast extract, autolyzed yeast, textured soy protein, and anything hydrolyzed are just a few ingredients that can be derived from organic produce, but still contain MSG (refer to list below of other names MSG goes by on packages).

Here are some commonly used names for MSG that you may not recognize (not an exhaustive list):

  • Yeast extract or almost any type of ingredient with the word “yeast”
  • citric acid
  • natural flavors
  • organic flavors
  • autolyzed yeast or yeast extract
  • organic autolyzed yeast or yeast extract
  • hydrolyzed soy protein
  • hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
  • hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • anything using the word “hydrolyzed”
  • textured vegetable protein
  • caseinate
  • soy lecithin
  • soy protein
  • soy protein isolate
  • natural smoke flavor
  • carageenan
  • soy protein concentrate
  • soy sauce
  • malt extract
  • wheat starch
  • modified food starch
  • whey protein concentrate
  • glutamates
  • chicken, pork or beef stock
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • chicken, pork, or beef base
  • non-fat milk solids
  • corn syrup solids
  • Disodium inosinate
  • Disodium guanylate
  • cheese cultures
  • vinegar
  • any type of “powder”
  • Pasteurized part-skim milk
  • gelatin (unless from a known, sustainable source)
  • Monoammonian glutamate
  • malt flavoring
  • chicken, beef, cheese, pork, fish, or other flavoring
  • spices
  • pectin
  • broth stock
  • bouillon
  • maltodextrin
  • corn

How does MSG harm your health?

MSG and other ingredients like artificial colors or flavors, and preservatives act as excitatory neurotransmitters in the brain. Glutamate from MSG and artificial ingredients cause reactions in the body that bring on various symptoms such as  hyperactivity, migraine headaches, joint and bone pain, obesity, and general inflammation.  When we eat MSG, this triggers glutamate receptors in the brain.

Ingesting these chemicals leads to the brain signaling an opiate-like “high” in the body, and causes an addictive responses similar to those who use alcohol or drugs. It leads to preferences toward certain food brands and the avoidance of real, healthy foods.

Natural News featured an important interview with Dr. Russell Blaylock, M.D.,expert on the dangers of neurotoxic, brain-damaging MSG. And here is a live interview:

Here are some foods I’ve randomly come across containing MSG. In addition to containing many other toxic ingredients, I’ve placed in bold those ingredients including MSG (some are organic):

Best Foods Real Mayonnaise

Ingredients: Soybean oil, water, whole eggs and egg yolks, vinegar, salt, sugar, lemon juice, calcium disodium EDTA (used to protect quality), natural flavors.

Cascadian Farm Fruit Spread

Ingredients: Organic sugar, organic apricots, water, fruit pectin, organic lemon juice concentrate, citric acid.

Chex Honey Nut Cereal

Ingredients: Whole Grain Rice, Sugar, Corn Meal, Rice Flour, Corn Starch, Honey, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Barley Malt Extract, Brown Sugar Molasses, Iron and Zinc (Mineral Nutrients), Color Added, Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), a B Vitamin (Niacinamide), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), a B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Natural and Artificial Flavor, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Natural Almond Flavor. Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) and BHT Added to Preserve Freshness.

Imagine Organic Chicken Stock

Ingredients: Filtered Water, Concentrated Organic Chicken Stock, Sea Salt,Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Onion Powder, Natural Flavor,Organic Garlic Powder, Organic Black Pepper, Organic Turmeric.

Kirkland Signature Frozen Vanilla Yogurt, Non-fat

Ingredients: Cultured and pasteurized skim milk, sucrose, corn sweeteners, non-fat dry milk, whey, natural and artificial vanilla flavors, pure vanilla extract, stabilizers (modified milk proteins, cellulose gum, guar gum, mono- and diglycerides), egg yolk, annatto extract. Also contains S. Thermophillus, L. Bulgaricus and L. Acidophillis active cultures which are required to create yogurt.

Martinelli Mulling Spices, organic

Ingredients: Organic Cinnamon, Organic Orange Peel, Organic Cloves, Organic Allspice and Natural Flavor.

Muir Glen Organic Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Ingredients: Chicken broth (water, chicken stock, sea salt)*, carrots*, cooked chicken meat*, wild rice*, rice*, celery*.

Contains less than 1% of: corn starch*, sea salt, water, chicken flavor (natural flavor, sea salt)*, chicken fat*, onion powder*, soy protein concentrate*, onion*, natural flavor*, black pepper*, chives*, garlic powder*, yeast extract*, cane juice*, parsley flakes*, turmeric*, natural flavor, tomato paste*, thyme*, rosemary*, carrot powder*, potato flour*, canola oil* *certified organic ingredients

Contains soy ingredients.

Nestle hot chocolate mix

Ingredients: Sugar, corn syrup solids, vegetable oil (partially hydrogenated coconut or palm kernel and hydrogenated soybean), dairy product solida, cocoa processed with alkali, and less than 2% of cellulose gum, nonfat milk, salt, sodium caseinate, sodium citrate, dipotassium phosphate, sodium aluminosilicate, mono and diglycerides, guar gum, artificial flavors.

Santa Cruz Organic Lemonade

Ingredients: sparkling filtered water, organic evaporated cane juice, organic lemon juice concentrate, organic lemon juice, organic natural lemon flavor.

It is important to note that some of these companies opposed Proposition 37 Right to Know Initiative in CA for mandatory labeling of GMOs on food packages: Best Foods (owned by Unilver Foods) Nestle, Santa Cruz Organic, Muir Glen (owned by General Mills which opposed the measure), and Cascadian Farm.

Here’s a list of other companies who opposed mandatory labeling of GMOs on food labels. By coincidence, many of these companies also use MSG in their products.

“Organic” foods are not exempt from using MSG. Many packaged, canned, and other similar “organic” products contain these ingredients.

The best way to avoid MSG and its many aliases is to avoid processed foods and prepare your own at home from real, sustainable food sources.

Learn why homemade broth is so beneficial to your health and how to make it: 9 reasons to make bone broth

Many “whole” foods such as meat, dairy, and other foods like soy and corn are from GMO sources. Finding good local sources of animal foods from farmers who raise their stock on pasture and without chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, pesticides/herbicides, or GMOs, and who grass-feed their cattle is important.

For more information on finding safe food from your local, sustainable food community, read Questions to Ask Your Farmer – Know What’s in Your Food!

More information:

Truth in Labeling: source of info about MSG

Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry Weston A. Price Foundation

Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, Dr. Russell Blaylock

More Deceptions in the Food Industry posts:

Omega 3s

Lean meats

Low-fat foods

All Natural

Whole grains

Low sodium and no salt added

 

Healthy Living Healthy Meat Real Food Toxin Alert!

Deceptions in the Food Industry: Applegate Organic & “Natural Meats”

www.mypicshares.com

I love bacon. It’s one of life’s most wonderful pleasures. I love to eat it with eggs from pastured hens cooked sunny side up or over easy, in plenty of Kerrygold butter.

When you go to the store, there are many products on the shelves claiming to be healthy and natural. It’s overwhelming  just how many there are, and confusing to the unaware consumer.

Applegate Organic & Natural Meats (formerly Applegate Farms) sells different meat products including sliced turkey, chicken, roast beef, ham, bacon, hot dogs, sausages, and salami. Yes, there are many other companies selling products claiming to be a healthy choice which really aren’t…or, facts about the product are concealed, and if you really knew the truth, you may change your mind about buying the product.

This brand happens to be one of those I keep seeing everywhere as one that many people seem to trust, even when many others are rejected. It’s a “compromise” brand that a lot of people seem to believe is better than many conventional meat products.

Their slogan “changing the meat we eat” implies that the meat they sell is different from other choices on the market. Their labels tell the consumer that their products:

  • come from animals and birds receiving no antibiotics, no hormones
  • are gluten and casein free (the proteins found in wheat and dairy that are highly irritating and indigestible to those who have digestive problems and sensitivity)
  • are low-fat
  • are “humanely raised”

For some years, I thought this brand was a better alternative than some. Unfortunately, there are times where I  will buy the Applegate organic variety of meats.  I either buy their bacon, or we don’t have bacon.  Because we only have it once a week or so, it’s a compromise. But I don’t like it.

Where I live (Boise, ID), there are no better alternatives for traditionally cured meats such as ham, bacon, or salami.  None of the local farmers around here are able to produce these meats without using some type of nitrate.

So, is Applegate really changing anything, or is it just an illusion?

What Dr. Weston A. Price learned about real food and healthy populations

One of the things many modern food companies – and the mainstream health system – try to convince us of is that we need less fat, cholesterol, and calories.  If you look at the work of Dr. Weston A. Price, author of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, he discovered in the 1930s by traveling the world that all healthy populations consumed TEN times the amount of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K2) from sustainable-raised animals and birds, raised in natural environments with no chemicals, pesticides, hormones or GMOs. People in these populations consumed a lot of animal fat – fatty meat, poultry, and fish, butter, lard, tallow, ghee, dairy products.

So, even though modern doctors and health experts tell us to avoid fat and cholesterol, this is false information. And the truth is coming out about this big lie; current research shows why health authorities have been wrong about this all along.  Fat and cholesterol are extremely important for good health.

Dr. Price found no successful plant-based societies.  Dr. Price never said vegetables weren’t good for us, just that there were no healthy societies that avoided meat or animal fat and thrived on plant-based foods. Dr. Price discovered the healthy populations consumed animal products and they also consumed properly prepared foods that were soaked, sprouted, fermented, and soured. That includes grains, dairy, nuts, soy, vegetables, meats, fish, and other foods. By and large, we don’t eat food like this today. It’s no wonder we have health and digestive issues that are so rampant.

Compare what Dr. Price found in the 1930s with how meat is raised today. Most meat comes from feedlots and factory farm environments. Are Applegate meats and poultry raised in feedlot environments? We don’t know for sure. But, even as the labeling goes, it’s possible to discern that Applegate isn’t as natural as they claim to be.

This post on Mark’s Daily Apple touches on this subject and mentions that an individual on the Paleohacks site contacted Applegate to learn more about their grassfed meat claim on the label, only to discover that when grassfed is not available from one of their farms, they use grain-fed beef.

Most grain-fed cattle are housed on feedlots. So the likelihood of the meat coming from a factory farm is definitely not out of the question. Even if those cattle spent the previous period of their lives on pasture, the fact that they were on a feedlot anywhere from 90-120 days before slaughter diminishes health benefits significantly.

Vegetarian fed

Animals and birds slaughtered for Applegate products are “vegetarian fed” (excluding the “grass-fed” hotdogs and roast beef lunch meat, although we have no proof that these are actually grassfed and grass finished).

Vegetarian fed means the animals or birds consume soy, corn, and grains. Cattle are ruminants and are not designed to eat anything but grass, and a very SMALL amount of grains, if any, that might grow naturally in the pasture or field. When cattle eat these substances, it causes an acidic environment in their digestive tracts, creating inflammation and illness.

Cows, pigs, and poultry birds need open access to grazing, foraging, sunshine, and vital nutrients found in the outdoors from sun and eating grasses, plants, and for birds, eating worms and insects. This is why meat from healthy sources is so much higher in nutrients and in particular, the fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K2 – essential for all aspects of health including bone, cardiovascular, brain and nervous system, immunity, and digestion.

Many farmers use antibiotics, to “prevent” disease. But antibiotics don’t prevent disease. In fact, they make matters worse by weakening the immune system and causing yeast overgrowth and other problems. They also cause antibiotic-resistance. So, even though Applegate meats don’t contain antibiotics, the animals and birds are still fed inflammatory and disease-causing feed.

Pigs, chicken, turkeys, and other animals that are vegetarian fed – even if it is organic, are still eating soy, corn, and possibly some grains. The U.S. currently grows and cultivates a huge amount of grain, soy and corn crops for the purposes of feeding livestock.

GMO-sourced feed

Many of  the crops grown for animal feed come from GMO sources. There are currently no labeling laws for GMOs.  Some Applegate products are not organic, and many of them are labeled “Natural” even though they are fed GMOs.  Residue from these feeds are passed from animal to human when you consume feedlot meats (dairy and eggs too, for that matter) from these sources.

Even if GMOs didn’t exist, animals and birds fed soy, organic or not, are not going to be healthy. Soy is highly processed, contains a lot of estrogen, is a goitrogen (thyroid and hormone damaging), and is a nutrient inhibitor and pulls or leaches minerals out of the body due to its phytic acid content. These kinds of diets, coupled with not enough exposure to the outdoors and sunshine cause a nutritional imbalance in the meat and poultry. These meats end up with higher Omega 6 fatty acids – currently what people in developed countries such as the U.S. have too much of in their diets. This causes inflammation and disease in the body of animals or birds, and those consuming their meat, and subsequently, those consuming it.

MSG

Most Applegate Meat products contain hidden MSG. Carageenan, another name for MSG used by the food industry, is a highly processed food additive that comes from seaweed, but by no means resembles the naturally occurring glutamate that occurs in plants. This substance is formally classified as a potential carcinogen to human beings by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (part of the World Health Organization).

Read this post The ingredient allowed in organic food that can cause cancer from The Healthy Home Economist about carageenan.

Hidden nitrates

Nitrates and nitrites are used by the industrial food industry in meats to “cure” and preserve them, for longer shelf life and prevent the development of Clostridium Botulinum, the bacterium which causes botulism. Applegate  packaging claims to have “no nitrates”, and yet they use this ingredient in many of their meats such as hotdogs, turkey, bacon, and ham.

Celery root or celery juice powder, used in Applegate products, is still a nitrate even if it’s not the synthetic sodium nitrate. Plant concentrates of natural nitrates are even higher than the synthetic, because they are compounded and isolated in a laboratory to include more nitrates than you would naturally get from just eating a stalk of celery. Do you know how many stalks of celery you’d have to eat to get the amount of natural nitrates in an Applegate serving of meat? A lot! You’d never eat that much at once.

Here’s what Weston A. Price Foundation has to say about natural nitrates/nitrites:

“As far as your body’s chemistry is concerned and for the curing process, a nitrate is a nitrate is a nitrate. It doesn’t matter if it is a chemically produced nitrate or nitrate from celery juice powder. So the notion that uncured bacon has no added nitrates or nitrites is completely false advertising; on the contrary, they are loaded with nitrates.

Now here’s where it starts to get a little crazy. There is no way to gauge how much nitrate is in celery juice powder. Conventional bacon production uses chemical nitrate so they know exactly how much is added to the pork for curing, based on parts per million. In fact when chemical nitrates are utilized the FDA and USDA mandate how much the processor can put into the bacon, how little they can put in and how much is left over. However because celery juice powder is considered a natural additive, there are no restrictions or mandates to follow. It’s as though the nitrates were never added. When it comes to how much nitrate is being added to uncured bacon with celery juice it’s a complete crapshoot. It’s a loophole that gives the meat producers one less inspector looking over their shoulder but leaves the door wide open for possible health issues.

In 2010, Cook’s Illustrated tested different types of bacon and found that two brands of “nitrate-free” bacon had significantly more nitrates than their conventional counterparts. The residual levels in the “uncured” bacons tested were all above the allowed levels in the conventional way of processing. So the very same nitrate level that everyone is trying to avoid by purchasing the uncured bacon is above, sometimes well above, that contained in the conventional brands.”

If the meat cures for long periods of time – such as salami and other cured meat products that cure for anywhere from a month up to a year, over that time, sodium nitrites convert to harmless nitric oxide (NO). This leaves only residual amounts of nitrites. With uncured meats, no extended curing process occurs. When you eat uncured meats, you receive a full dose of of sodium nitrite because these meats go from the processing facility to the grocery store and then to your kitchen.  Higher amounts of nitrates are naturally found in uncured bacon via celery juice powder. So what is actually happening is that you consume large and dangerous amounts of sodium nitrites.

Some people have experienced an adverse reaction called cyanosis. Cyanosis occurs when a lack of oxygen in the blood is present. Symptoms include a bluish tint to the skin, feeling as though you cannot breathe, and even feelings of death.  Unless there is some underlying issue such a blood clot or related problem, after eliminating the suspected cause of the problem – bacon or other meat with the celery root powder in it – people’s symptoms disappear.

From Naturally cured meats; Quality, Safety, and chemistry:

“Cyanosis caused by ingesting sodium nitrite or nitrite containing food has been reported throughout medical literature (Aquanno, Chan & 8 Dietzler, 1981; Bakshi, Fahey & Pierce, 1967; Barton, 1954; Bradberry, Gazzard & Vale, 1994; Harvey, Cave & Chanwai, 1976; Oppé, 1951; Simon, 1966; Walley & Flanagan, 1987; Wilson, 1976).”

A similar thing occurs when you drink a glass of juice. You are getting the juice of 8-10 oranges, but no nutrients, it’s all sugar. When you eat Applegate meats with natural nitrates (celery powder), you are getting the effect of  compounded nitrates that you’d eat from a lot more celery than you’d ever consume at one time. This is not natural, and the food industry persists in using these tactics to fool consumers into thinking they are doing something better for themselves by eating these products instead of others on the market which are probably about the same. In this case, the compounded nitrates from celery powder are actually worse.

Here’s a New York Times article about celery powder used in preserving commercial meats. While I don’t agree with some of the commentary in this article about salt or saturated fats, I do agree with their overall assessment that nitrates in any form are harmful to human health. Apparently, some of the companies in this article (Organic Prairie) attempted to sell the same product to people without any nitrates or celery juice powder and no one wanted them.

The best way to cure meat is with salt, the traditional method that has been used for thousands and thousands of years by many populations on the planet. These meats are delicious and people have consumed them for a long, long time with no ill effects.

Don’t let mainstream food producers fool you with slick marketing and label claims. Applegate  claims to be a more natural choice, but when you look at their ingredients and realize just what’s in their products, it becomes plain that their food is just as processed and unnatural as many other products on the market.

If you want to learn more about how to find good, local foods from sustainable producers, read Questions to Ask Your Farmer – Know What’s in Your Food!

More Deceptions in the Food Industry topics:

All-natural

Lean meats

Low-sodium and no salt added

Omega 3s

No MSG