Trying to avoid excitotoxic manufactured free glutamate (MfG) — the same toxic ingredient in monosodium glutamate (MSG) that kills brain cells, is an endocrine disruptor, causes asthma, migraines, fibromyalgia, a-fib, seizures and more?
Today you can’t avoid it by reading food labels, even if you’ve memorized the names of all the ingredients that contain MfG.
Eating only whole foods that are organic will help, but it’s not fool-proof. MfG found in organic processed foods is just as toxic as the MfG in conventional foods.
In some countries, “E numbers” are used instead of food additive names, and there’s an expectation that toxic flavor-enhancers will all carry E numbers. For example, MSG is E621, glutamic acid is E620 and citric acid is E330. (In Australia, just the numbers are used.) But in many parts of the world yeast extract, which invariably contains MfG, is recognized as a food ingredient not a food additive, so it won’t have an E number.
Another mine field is the expanse of plant-based processed foods marketed to vegetarians and those trying to cut down on meat consumption. True, they might contain no meat, but they don’t contain actual food, either. They’re typically made of a boatload of chemicals and flavor enhancers such as MSG, autolyzed yeast, and hydrolyzed pea protein added to make these tasteless chemicals palatable. And if they’re advertised as “protein,” they contain the three excitotoxic amino acids: glutamic acid, aspartic acid, and L-cysteine — and no real food.
Many of these chemical stews will be found in ultra-processed foods – the quick fixes busy people grab from grocery shelves without glancing at the labels. Ultra-processed foods are concocted out of chemicals and scraps of cheap food laced with toxic MfG-containing flavor-enhancers designed to make then appetizing.
The consumer’s greatest challenge, however, is navigating what industry calls “clean labels.” Those are labels for foods that contain toxic ingredients, but don’t contain ingredients such as MSG that manufacturers think will keep customers from buying their product. Yeast extract was used as a clean label ingredient until consumers began to catch on to the fact that yeast extract contains MfG just as MSG does.
And then there are the compounds added to food which don’t legally have to be identified on food labels because they are used in such small amounts.
A fool-proof way to check a product is something called muscle strength testing or applied kinesiology. Muscle strength testing has been used for years by chiropractors for diagnosis and treatment, by NAET practitioners, and MSG/MfG-sensitive people. It is a simple arm test to demonstrate which factors in the environment – specific foods, drugs, even music – strengthen or weaken an individual. To test your muscle strength, stand with your arm outstretched, palm down, while your partner pushes down quickly and firmly on your wrist, attempting to force your arm to your side. In most cases you will be able to resist the push. To test a food for sensitivity, hold a small amount of the food in your right hand while your partner repeats the arm test on your left arm. If your arm remains as strong as before, this food “agrees” with your body, but if your arm is weaker, you may be sensitive to this food.
Applied kinesiology is something that anyone can learn. It’s relatively easy, fast, and your body doesn’t lie. If you need help, find a video on YouTube, look up a local chiropractor, or simply talk to someone who is obviously muscle-testing food in a health food store. And ignore those people who say it doesn’t work because they don’t know how to use it.
Places you might never dream of looking for MfG:
PACKAGING: On occasion you may run into packaging that breaks down the protein in the product being packaged, thus producing MfG. Cryovac is one such form of packaging.
PESTICIDE PRODUCTS: AuxiGro, Hydrolyzed Chicken Feathers, and Hydrolyzed Fish Protein are fertilizers that contain MfG. (The last two have been approved for use on organic produce.)
FRUIT WAX: Waxes used on non-organic produce often contain MfG.
POLISHING AGENTS: White rice may cause an MfG-reaction in a highly sensitive person while brown rice doesn’t. Some of the agents used to polish rice contain MfG.
BINDING AGENTS: The agent that causes salt to stick to the nuts, popcorn, or whatever, may contain MfG.
FLOWING AGENTS: Whatever it is that keeps salt loose in its box or bottle may contain MfG.
LABELS THAT SAY NO MSG ADDED: Products that claim “No MSG added” or “No added MSG” on labels or in advertising may be hiding places for MfG. Read the small print that may say “except for” and check the lists of ingredients.
ORGANIC PRODUCTS: A number of MfG-containing ingredients have been approved for use in products labeled “organic.” MfG that is produced using “organic” ingredients is just as toxic as MfG produced from non-organic sources. The fact that a plant or animal meets or does not meet the standards of the National Organic Standards Board has no relevance to its capacity for producing MfG.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and follow us on Twitter @truthlabeling.