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Activism Healthy Living Kids & Family Kids & Junk Food Toxin Alert!

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

 

Activism Green Living Healthy Living Kids & Family Toxin Alert!

Deceptions in the Food Industry:”All Natural”

www.mypicshares.com

In the first post in this series, Deceptions in the Food Industry: Low-Fat Foods, I talked about the pervasiveness of processed, low-fat foods in our food supply, misconceptions about how low-fat foods are healthy, and the dishonesty of labeling about these foods.

Today I’ll discuss the “all natural” label on processed, packaged foods and how it can harm your health. As with most things from the food industry, information on the labels or web sites is filled with half-truths, misleading statements, outright lies, or information is left out altogether.

You might see “all natural” on a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream carton or even a package of 10-year-old chips or crisps. This terminology is not regulated by the FDA. Never mind that you can’t pronounce the ingredients and don’t really know what they are. A great deal of non-certified organic foods on the market claiming “natural” on their product labels are those performing the most unnatural activities to create them.

Here are just a few examples of how unnatural “all natural” really is:

Wendy’s french fries

When Wendy’s fast-food chain announced their new “natural cut fries with sea salt”, suddenly everyone started buying them. This doesn’t say anything about product ingredients. The potatoes used by Wendy’s most other fast-food chains  to make fries undergo at least three unnatural treatments. One is spraying with a chemical called sodium acid pyrophosphate. This keeps the potatoes from turning brown during not one, but two deep-frying sessions – once in the factory, and then again at the restaurant.

Then, dextrose, a corn-derived (think GMO) coating of sugar is used on the fries to help retain color. Finally, to stabilize the frying oil, dimethylpolysiloxane is added. This is a silicone-based chemical food additive which prevents the oil from becoming foamy after  repeated fries.

Agave nectar

With strong opposition from sustainable food communities about toxic sweeteners in our food supply like high-fructose corn syrup, agave has hit the store shelves by storm in the last few years, and is heralded as a “natural” sweetener. One of the biggest problems with other sweeteners coming in to take the place of harmful ones like HFCS is that in many cases, the alternatives are just as hazardous as the ones they replace.

Agave nectar is not a traditional sweetener. Its origins come from the large, spiky plant referred to sometimes as Blue Agave in the Mexican region, but like high-fructose corn syrup, the end product is a highly-refined sweetener which is concentrated in…fructose. But wait, isn’t fructose natural and doesn’t it come from fruit? Fructose in fruit doesn’t exist in an isolated form as it does in agave nectar or HFCS.

Research shows that fructose increases blood sugar levels as much as glucose, another substance that has been shown to cause insulin-resistance. Unlike glucose, processing fructose in the cells is not possible. So the liver takes up most of this burden, causing  weight gain and increase in appetite. Metabolism of fructose can also cause increase in triglyceride production, which raises the potential not only for insulin-resistance but also obesity, inflammation, and cardiovascular disease. Since the liver expends so much energy metabolizing fructose, this limits its ability to metabolize excess blood glucose, again leading to an increase of blood sugar levels and the need for insulin.

Here’s what the experts have to say about fructose:

Ramiel Nagel writes: “…a major concern is the high level of free fructose in agave syrups – much higher than honey and maple syrup. Given what we now now about the deleterious effects of fructose compared to sucrose, honey and maple syrup would seem to be better choices than agave for home cooking.”

Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation says the following about fructose: “We need foods that are whole, not skeletonized and denatured. Sugar, especially sucrose and fructose has been shown to shorten life in numerous animal experiments. Excessive use of sugar is associated with a rise in blood cholesterol, rise in triglycerides, increase in adhesiveness of the blood platelets, increase in blood insulin levels, etc. Numerous studies have positively correlated sugar consumption with heart disease. These results are far more positive than any of the studies linking heart disease and saturated fats.”

Dean Foods/Horizon

In 2009, Dean Foods, the nation’s largest organic dairy producer began to produce a line of yogurts labeled “natural”. The intent was to offer products to consumers that were cheaper than organic. The natural line was launched by its organic brand, Horizon. Communication’s manager, Sara Loveday, stated that Horizon had in effect created its own definition of “natural” for its products and that, “To us, it means it’s produced without added hormones, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or high fructose corn syrup. ”

Mark Kastel, senior farm policy analyst for The Cornucopia Institute, a non-profit watchdog group for organic standards commented that this was a good start, “But Dean Foods will not be able to [say] the products are produced without pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics and other drugs or genetically modified feed crops, or that the cows are required to graze in pastures rather than confined to factory farm feedlots,” he said.

Autolyzed yeast extract and hydrolyzed proteins

You’ll find many indecipherable ingredients on product labels. One is autolyzed yeast extract and the other is hydrolyzed protein (sometimes appearing as “vegetable”, sometimes “soy”). Both of these contain MSG. In fact, there are dozens and dozens of other ingredients in foods that don’t bear the name monosodium glutamate, but which are in fact, MSG all the same.

If you read the research of Dr. Russell Blaylock, M.D. on substances like MSG in processed foods, you’ll find that they are not naturally-occurring as in nature. Sure, they are extracted from plants like seaweed or tomatoes which contain free glutamic acid, but in very concentrated amounts. Then, they are engineered in a laboratory to have an even more potent (and toxic) effect in the food. It’s sole reason for existence is not nutrition, but a chemical taste enhancer.

What products contain autolyzed yeast extract?

  • Meats
  • Soups
  • Sauces
  • Salad dressings
  • Cereals
  • Crackers
  • Many foods sold at fast-food and other restaurants
  • Many products made from soy such as fake meats, tofu, veggie burgers, etc.

If you eat whole, natural food like seaweed or tomatoes, that’s not an issue. The problem is when you take MSG out of these foods – like so many food manufacturers – and synthesize MSG to put it into a highly concentrated form. It then behaves as neurotoxin. Dr. Blaylock’s book,  Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills gives a scientifically-based account about the hazards of glutamates in processed foods.

Many “natural” products originate from GMO sources

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), GMOs are “organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in such a way that does not occur naturally.” Many products in our food marketplace come from foods created with genetically-modified organisms, and there are currently no labeling laws in the U.S. to alert consumers about genetically-modified substances.

Can you imagine what would happen if there were labels? You’d walk into a store, and the majority of what’s there would bear these labels. Would you willingly buy these products? Some people might, but many would avoid them. In fact, unless a product has the Non-GMO label, the chance of genetically-modified organisms being in that product is very high.

From the Institute for Responsible Technology,  a world leader in educating policy makers and the public about genetically modified (GM) foods and crops, commercialized GM crops in the United States include:

  • Soy, 91%
  • Cotton, 88%
  • Canola, 88%
  • Corn, 85%
  • Sugar beets, 90%
  • Hawaiian papaya, more than 50%
  • Zucchini and yellow squash (small amount) and Tobacco (Quest® brand)

According to the Institute for Responsible Technology, the following health issues can arise as a result of consuming GMO foods:

  • Infertility
  • Immune system problems
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Accelerated aging
  • Faulty insulin regulation
  • Development of pathogenic bacteria in the digestive tract
  • Changes in other major organs

Does this mean you have to spend hours in the grocery store reading labels to avoid these products? The best solution for your health and your wallet is to take an interest in making foods from scratch at home, and throw out all your boxes of boullion, cans of soup stock, and other packages of pre-made foods. Avoid processed foods altogether and buy real, whole foods that are sustainably produced from local farmers you trust.

For more information on harmful additives in processed foods:

MSG Truth

Six Thousand Hidden Dangers of Processed Food (And What to Choose Instead) Body Ecology

More information on real, sustainable food:

What Are Traditional Foods?

Sustainable Farming – Is It Practical and Can It Feed Us All?

Stay tuned for the next installment of this series  where I will talk about the misconceptions of “lean meats”