Will a pandemic encourage a return of the kitchen pantry?

How our lack of cooking skills and reliance on processed food is biting back

One of the realizations hitting many households hard in these days of self-isolation is how little we actually cook the food we eat from basic, real-food ingredients. That, and our dependence on frequent supermarket runs means there’s no need to think too much about what we’re going to serve up for mealtime down the road.

But not very long ago a pantry (also called a “larder” in earlier days when it was typically a cool room that could store perishable items) was an essential part of any well-run household. More than mere cupboards, a pantry is a dedicated space with shelving and drawers containing the basics needed to make a wide assortment of meals, such as a variety of canned and dried beans, all types of root veggies, garlic, dried herbs, oils, flour, pasta, oats, cornmeal, rice, nuts, sugar, honey, condiments, canned fish, and on and on. And no, a well-stocked pantry is not a sign of a hoarder.

Baked goods, especially breads, often had a dedicated pantry drawer.

It seems, however, that as kitchens grew into the high-tech appliance realm they now occupy, we downsized the space needed to store food and have the ingredients necessary to make authentic meals.

Even a huge refrigerator and your typical cupboards can’t take the place of a pantry when it comes to being prepared for when you can’t – or don’t want to – go shopping for prolonged periods of time.

Perhaps not surprisingly the demise of the pantry appears to have paralleled the rise of ultra-processed foods filled with risky additives. This includes items from frozen meals (even organic ones) to “protein” drinks to fake meats — such as the Impossible Burger.

But aside from self-quarantined consumers feeling the pinch of running short on their Stouffer dinners or Marie Calendar’s frozen pot pies (and stores having trouble keeping such items on the shelves), eating this way has many other pitfalls.

As revealed in a just-out book I co-authored, A Consumer’s Guide to Toxic Food Additives, regularly consuming foods containing harmful, chemically derived ingredients are known causes of today’s most prevalent health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease and even Alzheimer’s. And Big Food is working round the clock to convince consumers that whatever laboratory creation of ooze and garbage they put on the market is not only fit for human consumption, but good for you as well.

For example, take the latest “health” trend – “plant based” meats.

These products are “ultra-processed” in every sense of the word. The Impossible Burger contains six ingredients (one being soy protein concentrate) that contain manufactured free glutamate, the same toxic component found in MSG. Beyond Burger patties are formulated from pea protein isolate, along with several other sources of free glutamate.

My favorite, however, on the fake food list would have to be JUST EGG – a urine-colored liquid made from mung bean protein isolate (more free glutamate) and transglutaminase, a.k.a. meat glue – another additive covered in A Consumer’s Guide.

While putting thought into a pantry might seem like an irrelevant issue right now, feeding your troops well with meals comprised of genuine food might just be the turning point in helping us through these strange and frightening times.

Linda Bonvie

Plant-based meat replacers promote obesity, infertility and migraine headache

Until fairly recently, the thing called “food” used to be food, not manufactured amino acids and other chemicals.

Then, someone discovered that a huge, virtually untapped goldmine was out there for things that could be advertised as protein-containing meat-like “foods” that weren’t made from animals. That market is now reported to be hitting $4.5 billion in yearly sales and expected to grow substantially every year.

These protein substitutes have now become so popular that the Impossible Burger from Impossible Foods and the Beyond Burger from Beyond Meat have made the jump not just into supermarket meat aisles, but to fast-food places like Burger King and Dunkin’ Donuts.

But there’s a problem. This mock meat contains excitotoxic (brain damaging) manufactured free glutamic acid (MfG) — the same toxic ingredient found in monosodium glutamate.

Don’t expect to find that information on the label. And especially don’t expect the fake-food industry to tell you that glutamic acid is associated with Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, ALS, autism, schizophrenia, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), epilepsy, ischemic stroke, seizures, Huntington’s disease, addiction, frontotemporal dementia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism.

There’s protein in meat, fish and poultry. But what’s made in food-processing plants and marketed as a replacement for meat isn’t protein. Although those products contain amino acids with names like the ones that are found in meat, fish, and poultry, don’t be fooled. The amino acids in these imposters have been manufactured in food- processing and/or chemical plants, and all come loaded with unwanted by-products of production (a.k.a. impurities) such as D-glutamic acid and pyroglutamic acid, three of those amino acids being excitotoxins – meaning they kill brain cells.

The names of some of the ingredients that contain excitotoxic amino acids may be familiar to you. They include monosodium glutamate (MSG), maltodextrin, hydrolyzed mung beans and other hydrolyzed protein products, pea protein isolate and other protein isolates and concentrates, all of which contain excitotoxic MfG. (More are listed here.)

You can find additional information on the webpage and blogs of The Truth in Labeling Campaign.

If you have questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you. If you have hints for others on how to avoid exposure to MfG, send them along, too, and we’ll put them up on Facebook. Or you can reach us at questionsaboutmsg@gmail.com and follow us on Twitter @truthlabeling.

If the ‘dose makes the poison’ there’s more than enough MSG and MSG-aliases in processed food to cause brain damage as well as serious observable reactions

There’s more than enough excitotoxic glutamic acid (a.k.a. free glutamate) in processed foods to create the excesses needed to cause brain damage, obesity, reproductive dysfunction, migraine headache, heart irregularities, irritable bowel, nausea and vomiting, asthma, seizures and more. In fact, excitotoxic glutamate has been known to trigger all the reactions listed as side effects of prescription drugs.

It hasn’t always been that way.

Prior to 1957, free glutamate available to people in the U.S. came largely from use of a product called Accent, which is pure MSG marketed as a flavor enhancer. In 1957, however, Ajinomoto’s method of glutamate production changed from extraction from a protein source (a slow and costly method), to a technique of bacterial fermentation wherein carefully selected genetically modified bacteria secreted glutamate through their cell walls — which enabled virtually unlimited production of MSG, allowing Ajinomoto to market its product aggressively.

It wasn’t long before Big Food discovered that increased profits could be generated by liberally using flavor enhancers (which all contain free glutamate) in every processed food product imaginable. And over the next two decades, the marketplace became flooded with manufactured/processed free-glutamate added to processed foods in ingredients such as hydrolyzed proteins, yeast extracts, maltodextrin, soy protein isolate, and MSG.

Today, more free glutamate than ever before will be found in ingredients used in processed and ultra-processed foods, snacks, and protein-fortified foods, protein drinks and shakes, and protein bars. And hydrolyzed proteins such as pea protein powder and mung bean protein isolate contain all three excitotoxic (brain-damaging) amino acids: aspartic acid (as in aspartame) and L-cysteine (used in dough conditioners), as well as glutamic acid. On top of that, excitotoxins marketed as “protein” sources have become increasingly available and extremely popular.

Recently we have seen excitotoxic amino acids in products such as Real Egg (mung bean protein isolate, the enzyme transglutaminase, and natural flavors), the Impossible Burger (textured wheat protein, potato protein, natural flavors, yeast extract, and soy protein isolate), Beyond Meat Beast Burger (pea protein isolate, natural flavoring, yeast extract, and maltodextrin), and the Lightlife Burger (water, pea protein, expeller pressed canola oil, modified corn starch, modified cellulose, yeast extract, virgin coconut oil, sea salt, natural flavor, beet powder (color), ascorbic acid (to promote color retention), onion extract, onion powder garlic powder) as well as excitotoxins added to an increasing array of ultra-processed foods. Most ultra-processed foods are made exclusively of chemicals and poor-quality ingredients to which glutamate-containing flavor enhancers have been added.

Prior to the time that Ajinomoto reformulated its method of MSG production (now over 60 years ago), accumulating excesses of glutamate through food sufficient to turn it excitotoxic would have been nearly impossible. But in the decades that followed Ajinomoto’s reformulation of MSG, obesity and infertility escalated to epidemic proportions.

The names of ingredients that contain manufactured free glutamate (MfG) can be found at this link.

If you have questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you. If you have hints for others on how to avoid exposure to MfG, send them along, too, and we’ll put them up on Facebook. Or you can reach us at questionsaboutmsg@gmail.com and follow us on Twitter @truthlabeling.

Challenge: Find the plants in these ‘plant-based’ products!

The latest and greatest “foods” to hit restaurants and grocery store shelves these days are made from plants — or so we’ve been told. With that advertising claim in mind, we challenge you to find the plants in these products. The ingredients listed below are for the Impossible Burger, Beyond Burger, and Just Egg.

Some of the ingredients that contain manufactured free glutamate (MfG) — the toxic ingredient found in MSG — have been highlighted for you. Maybe they qualify as plant based. They are made in food processing and/or chemical plants.

Once you take a look at what these products are made from it will be obvious that they’re not meat, they’re not eggs, and they’re not the kinds of plants grown by farmers. A better name might be chemical-based junk foods.

Impossible Burger

Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, 2% or less of: Potato Protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Soy Protein Isolate, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Zinc Gluconate, Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12.

https://faq.impossiblefoods.com/hc/en-us/articles/360018937494-What-are-the-ingredients-

Beyond Burger Patties

Ingredients: Water, pea protein isolate, expeller-pressed canola oil, refined coconut oil, rice protein, natural flavors, cocoa butter, mung bean protein, methylcellulose, potato starch, apple extract, salt, potassium chloride, vinegar, lemon juice concentrate, sunflower lecithin, pomegranate fruit powder, beet juice extract (for color)

https://www.beyondmeat.com/products/the-beyond-burger/

Just Egg

Ingredients: Water, Mung Bean Protein Isolate, Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil, Contains less than 2% of Dehydrated Onion, Gellan Gum, Natural Carrot Extractives (color), Natural Flavors, Natural Turmeric Extractives (color), Potassium Citrate, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Sugar, Tapioca Syrup, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Transglutaminase, Nisin (preservative). (Contains soy.)

https://www.ju.st/en-us/products/consumer/egg/scramble

If you have questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you. If you have hints for others on how to avoid exposure to MfG, send them along, too, and we’ll put them up on Facebook. Or you can reach us at questionsaboutmsg@gmail.com and follow us on Twitter @truthlabeling.