‘If MSG is so bad for you, why doesn’t everyone in Asia have a headache?’

This question has been a favorite of the Glutes, one you’re bound to see every so often.

And the answer is ….

1) Not everyone in Asia (or anywhere else, for that matter) will get an MSG-headache because while MSG triggers glutamate receptors related to headache in some people, others react to too much MSG with pain, asthma, fibromyalgia, a-fib, tachycardia, skin rash, seizures and more.

2) In Asia, at least until recently, the large amounts of MSG needed to trigger headaches and other reactions following ingestion of MSG were not available. Manufactured free glutamate (MfG), the toxic ingredient in MSG, was found only in MSG, and MSG was typically used sparingly. When used in Asia, small amounts of MSG are traditionally added to food at the end of cooking.

3) In contrast, in the U.S., and to a lesser degree in Europe, MfG is used in great quantity in processed and ultra-processed foods, snacks, protein-fortified foods, protein drinks, shakes, and protein bars. It’s found in flavor enhancers, protein substitutes, ingredients such as hydrolyzed proteins, yeast extracts, maltodextrin, and soy protein isolate, all in addition to MSG.

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.

Hydrolyzed Pea Protein

Ingredients called “protein” on ingredient lists are not proteins.

Beef is “beef,” soy is “soy,” tomatoes are “tomatoes,” and peas are “peas.” Those are the FDA’s “common or usual names” for whole foods. “Pea protein” is made of man-made amino acids manufactured in food processing plants with peas as the starting material. And each and every man-made/manufactured hydrolyzed pea protein will contain the three potentially toxic amino acids* aspartic acid, L-cysteine, and glutamic acid. This is true for every hydrolyzed protein. It may be called “natural,” “organic,” or “raw,” but it will still contain potentially toxic aspartic acid, L-cysteine, and glutamic acid. There are no exceptions. And there are no toxic amino acids in whole protein.

Today, there is a widespread marketing effort to substitute hydrolyzed vegetable protein for real protein, and to expand the use of hydrolyzed proteins in general. While there certainly are other varieties of hydrolyzed vegetable proteins, pea protein is presently the favorite of food manufacturers.

Substituting vegetables for meat may have many benefits for consumers, but hydrolyzed vegetable proteins don’t deliver vegetables. What they provide are arrays of amino acids which are produced in food processing and/or chemical plants. And three of those amino acids (L-cysteine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid) can be toxic to humans. These three amino acids are called “excitotoxins” by scientists. When consumed in amounts that exceed what a human needs for normal body function, they cause brain damage, endocrine disorders, and observable reactions such as asthma, migraine headache, a-fib, fibromyalgia, and seizures. Glutamic acid is the amino acid in MSG that causes brain damage, endocrine disruption, and adverse reactions.

Manufacturers’ claims of benefits for manufacturers

1) Hydrolyzed vegetable proteins are making great inroads into health and nutrition markets.

2) Every hydrolyzed protein will have flavor-enhancing properties. Glutamic acid, the amino acid that triggers taste buds to cause increased perception of taste, will be found in all hydrolyzed proteins.

3) Clean labels are certainly at the top of the list. Unfortunately, not all consumers have caught on to the fact that glutamic acid (a.k.a. glutamate), which is the toxic component of MSG, will be found in all hydrolyzed proteins. So while more and more consumers are attempting to avoid MSG, substituting a flavor-enhancing hydrolyzed vegetable protein for flavor-enhancing MSG would allow the product to have a “clean label” – one that would give the consumer no clue that it contained glutamate, MSG’s toxic component.

4) Hydrolyzed vegetable proteins will have great appeal for vegetarians, vegans and others who want to limit their intake of meat.

Manufacturers’ claims of benefits for consumers (which will also benefit industry)

1) Protein-rich, non-animal products are in great demand as more and more people look for substitutes for meat, fish, and poultry. Hydrolyzed proteins contain the arrays of amino acids that make up most proteins. So, properly promoted, hydrolyzed protein products will appeal to those looking for vegetarian or vegan sources of dietary protein. The fact that high-protein diets are being touted for weight-loss, makes these products even more attractive.

2) Chemical-free claims are another way the food industry is hyping hydrolyzed proteins. Although all hydrolyzed proteins are produced in food processing and/or chemical plants, industry’s promotional materials refer to hydrolyzed vegetable proteins as being “natural” – saying they are derived from a variety of “natural plant resources.”
That should be no surprise since MSG, which is made by fermentation of carefully selected genetically engineered bacteria that secrete glutamic acid through their cell walls, is referred to by industry as “naturally occurring.”

A production flow sheet for manufacturing hydrolyzed vegetable protein

3) Claims of health benefits from hydrolyzed vegetable proteins are typically made. Market-watchers claim that consumer awareness of these so-called benefits is increasing. The claim has been made that hydrolyzed vegetable proteins will help reduce intake of saturated fat and cholesterol, and because it’s an effective way to lower cholesterol, it will decrease the risk of heart disease.

But even with all that propaganda going for it, something is still bothering the glutamate industry.

You’d think that with all their research and planning, glutamate industry giants would feel secure in their efforts to sell hydrolyzed proteins to naïve consumers. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. It would appear that consumers’ growing recognition of the toxic effects of the manufactured glutamic acid in MSG, hydrolyzed proteins, maltodextrin, and some other 40+ ingredients is getting in the way of sales. One industry watcher said it this way, “The high contents of monosodium glutamate (MSG) in hydrolyzed protein products continues to be a bottleneck for pervasive adoption as consumers show an unprecedented alacrity** to read labels to spot ingredients with a bad rep in terms of potential side effects.”

The Truth in Labeling Campaign would like to take some of the credit for that greater consumer awareness and “alacrity.” So, let’s hear it for the Truth in Labeling Campaign — since 1994, providing consumers with the names of ingredients in which manufactured free glutamate, the brain-damaging, endocrine-disrupting, reaction-causing component of MSG, are hidden.

*killing brain cells and disrupting the endocrine system when present in quantity
**enthusiasm, readiness, quickness, promptness, speed, swiftness, rapidity, keenness, zeal

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.

Ultra-processed foods: Little nourishment, lots of toxic amino acids

Although the typical U.S. supermarket contains a wide variety of packaged foods, that assortment emanates from 10 giant conglomerates.

These multinationals, such as Unilever, Coca-Cola and Mondelez, have their imprints on practically everything you eat. And more and more of these products are “ultra-processed.”

It used to be that food technologists designed processed foods.  Those would be whole foods that were canned, freeze-dried, or fermented, for example.  But in the 1980s ultra-processed food — products manufactured with substances extracted from foods or synthesized in laboratories — started to line supermarket shelves.

Ultra-processed foods are fractionated-recombined foods consisting of an extensive number of additives and ingredients, but little actual whole food.  They can be identified by the remarkably long list of ingredients – including many unpronounceable ones — found on their labels. According to a recent study, Canadians are taking in practically half of their daily calories from ultra-processed foods.

Not mentioned in any study of ultra-processed foods, however, are the toxic ingredients added for color, flavor, shelf life (preservatives), and protein, along with low-calorie sweeteners. Manufactured free glutamate (MfG), the toxic component of monosodium glutamate, and all of the ingredients in the following list are found in both flavor enhancers and protein enhancers. And some say because they mask the taste of old or rancid food, MfGs are used as preservatives as well. 

Names of ingredients that always contain MfG:

  • Glutamic acid (E 620)
  • Glutamate (E 620)
  • Monosodium glutamate (E 621)
  • Monopotassium glutamate (E 622)
  • Calcium glutamate (E 623)
  • Monoammonium glutamate (E 624)
  • Magnesium glutamate (E 625)
  • Natrium glutamate
  • Anything “hydrolyzed”
  • Any “hydrolyzed protein”
  • Calcium caseinate, Sodium caseinate
  • Yeast extract, Torula yeast
  • Yeast food, Yeast nutrient
  • Autolyzed yeast
  • Gelatin
  • Textured protein
  • Whey protein
  • Whey protein concentrate
  • Whey protein isolate
  • Soy protein
  • Soy protein concentrate
  • Soy protein isolate
  • Anything “protein”
  • Anything “protein fortified”
  • Soy sauce
  • Soy sauce extract
  • Protease
  • Anything “enzyme modified”
  • Anything containing “enzymes”
  • Anything “fermented”
  • Vetsin
  • Ajinomoto
  • Umami
  • Zinc proteninate

Names of ingredients that often contain or produce MfG during processing:

  • Carrageenan (E 407)
  • Bouillon and broth
  • Stock
  • Any “flavors” or “flavoring”
  • Natural flavor
  • Maltodextrin
  • Oligodextrin
  • Citric acid, Citrate (E 330)
  • Anything “ultra-pasteurized”
  • Barley malt
  • Malted barley
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Pectin (E 440)
  • Malt extract
  • Seasonings

The following are ingredients suspected of containing or creating sufficient processed free glutamic acid to serve as MfG-reaction triggers in HIGHLY SENSITIVE people:

  • Corn starch
  • Corn syrup
  • Modified food starch
  • Lipolyzed butter fat
  • Dextrose
  • Rice syrup
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Milk powder
  • Reduced fat milk (skim; 1%; 2%)
  • most things “low fat” or “no fat”
  • anything “enriched”
  • anything “vitamin enriched”
  • anything “pasteurized”
  • Annatto
  • Vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • certain amino acid chelates (Citrate, aspartate, and glutamate are used as chelating agents with mineral supplements.)

Convenient, relatively inexpensive and heavily advertised, the future of ultra-processed foods seems to be assured (1).  And why not?  The FDA lets the people who manufacture ultra-processed foods declare that they are GRAS (generally recognized as safe), and the general public seems unaware that the fox is guarding the hen house.

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.

Reference

1. Open PR Worldwide Public Relations.  Press release. 7/3/2019. “What’s driving the Flavor Enhancers Market Growth?  Cargill, Synergy Flavors, Tate & Lyle, Associated British Foods pic, Corbion …”  https://www.openpr.com/news/1794737/what-s-driving-the-flavor-enhancers-market-growth-cargill.  Accessed 7/31/2019.

The Real Food Recipe-less Cookbook is back by popular request!

The Real Food Recipe-less Cookbook is back! More than a cookbook, it’s a treasure of information for people who realize that their bodies rebel against the ingestion of excitotoxins.  And it’s an unparalleled resource for those who simply want to avoid excitotoxins – amino acids that run amuck when ingested in quantity, killing brain cells and causing endocrine disorders which include obesity and infertility.

Find it at the Truth in Labeling website here.

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.

Pick your poison

The Glutamate Association recommends that using monosodium glutamate “can help to reduce the sodium content of recipes.” There’s even a “review paper” by the International Glutamate Technical Committee called “Glutamate Contributes to the Reduction of Dietary Sodium Intake.” Certainly reducing salt in food has become very popular. But since there’s a great similarity between arsenic and MSG, and arsenic doesn’t contain any sodium, perhaps arsenic would be a better choice.

Both arsenic and monosodium glutamate can be toxic when taken in large doses, or when taken in small does over long periods of time. Arsenic can also have the appearance of a white powder. Like MSG (before a big PR campaign rebranded it as umami), arsenic is tasteless, odorless, and ingesting it can cause damage throughout the body along with a wide variety of symptoms.

Pick your poison.

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.

#truthinlabelingcampaign #MSG #MfG #excitotoxins #umami #MSGdanger #MSGreactions #salt #arsenic #lowsodium

MSG reactions aren’t allergies!

Reactions to MSG and other sources of manufactured free glutamate (MfG) are reactions to poison. They’re not allergic reactions, and the rules for allergies don’t apply.

You may hear people refer to an “MSG allergy,” but that’s incorrect. And allergists aren’t the ones to ask about your reactions to MSG.

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.

Cutting through industry’s maze of lies about monosodium glutamate (MSG): Seven essential truths

1: MSG is manufactured. It isn’t found naturally in anything. https://bit.ly/31Euddc

2: The toxic ingredient contained in MSG is manufactured glutamic acid — glutamic acid that is mass-produced in chemical plants. https://bit.ly/2VBV0mZ

3: The same toxic free glutamic acid found in MSG is also found in some 40-plus other ingredients. https://bit.ly/2U0gkAU

4: Glutamic acid becomes excitotoxic (killing cells throughout the body) when present in amounts that exceed what’s needed for normal body function. https://bit.ly/2VoGZwN

5: The average American diet of processed food (all kinds, not just “junk food”), contains more than enough free glutamic acid to cause glutamate to become excitotoxic. https://bit.ly/2U0gkAU / https://bit.ly/2iGqNli

6: When glutamate becomes excitotoxic, four types of abnormalities can follow:

7: The dose needed to cause these reactions varies widely from person to person. https://bit.ly/2UXwR9i

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.

How does the FDA know MSG is safe? The Glutes tell them so!

The first record of FDA collusion with industry that we have is from September, 1969. At that time, then-FDA Commissioner Herbert Ley presented evidence to the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Health, that, he alleged, demonstrated MSG was safe.  Of the four studies presented, two were incomplete and two did not even exist.

Before that time there had been no need for the FDA to have such a cozy relationship with industry in regard to MSG. It was not until 1969 (12 years after the method for MSG manufacture had changed to one of bacterial fermentation), that the first evidence showing monosodium glutamate caused brain lesions and endocrine disorders in experimental animals was published in the journal Science (1).

History buffs can read the sordid history of FDA/industry cooperation here. There are many similar accounts of FDA collusion involving Monsanto (glyphosate and GMOs), the artificial sweetener aspartame, cigarettes, and vaccines.

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.

1 Olney JW. Brain lesions, obesity, and other disturbances in mice treated with monosodium glutamate. Science. 1969;164:719-721.

A snake in the GRAS

When you hear that the FDA considers monosodium glutamate GRAS – or, generally recognized as safe – what does that mean? It’s certainly one of the “selling points” that industry likes to toss around a lot as evidence that monosodium glutamate is harmless.

But that GRAS designation is inherently deceiving.

Sixty-one years ago, following passage of the Food Additives Amendment of 1958, the FDA grandfathered monosodium glutamate into a category of additives called GRAS. There was no testing done or even reviewed by the FDA to determine if monosodium glutamate was indeed safe. The GRAS classification was solely based on monosodium glutamate having been in use without objection prior to 1958. The actual safety of pre-1958 monosodium glutamate was not then, and never has been, established.

But to make using a GRAS label for monosodium glutamate even more farfetched, is the fact that the monosodium glutamate in use in the U.S. today is not even the same as the monosodium glutamate that was grandfathered as GRAS in 1958. From 1920 until 1956, the process underlying production of glutamic acid and monosodium glutamate in Japan had been one of extraction, a slow and costly method (1). Then, around 1956, Ajinomoto Co., Inc. succeeded in producing glutamic acid and monosodium glutamate using genetically modified bacteria to secrete the glutamic acid used in monosodium glutamate through their cell walls, and cost saving, large-scale production of glutamic acid and monosodium glutamate through fermentation began (2,3).

Approximately 10 years later, the first published report of an adverse reaction to monosodium glutamate appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine (4), and a study demonstrating that monosodium glutamate was excitotoxic, causing brain damage, endocrine disorders and behavior disorders, was published in the journal Science in 1969 (5). Of interest to note is the fact that by the time 10 years had gone by, grocery shelves were overflowing with processed foods loaded with monosodium glutamate, hydrolyzed protein products, autolyzed yeasts and lots of other ingredients that contained the same toxic free glutamic acid found in monosodium glutamate.

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.

REFERENCES

  1. Van Nostrand’s Scientific Encyclopedia. 6th ed. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1983:1211-2.
  2. Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. 3rd ed. Vol 2. New York: Wiley, 1978:410-21.
  3. Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. 4th ed. New York: Wiley, 1992:571-9.
  4. Kwok RHM. The Chinese restaurant syndrome. Letter to the editor. N Engl J Med. 1968;278(14):796.
  5. Olney JW. Brain lesions, obesity, and other disturbances in mice treated with monosodium glutamate. Science. 1969;164:719-721.