Toxin Talk: MSG

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Hi friends! I'm starting a new series on my blog called Toxin Talk where each week or so, I will be posting an extra blog post that touches on an ingredient in food or beauty products that is portrayed to be harmless, but is actually toxic to us.

Today we are going to be talking about MSG, also known as Monosodium Glutamate. This occurs naturally in some foods such as tomatoes and some cheese. But it's the man-made flavor enhancing MSG additive that is dangerous. MSG is most commonly known to be in Chinese food, but now-a-days, MSG is found in a lot of packaged and processed foods such as soups, crackers, meats, and much much more.

The FDA has classified MSG  as "generally recognized as safe", also known as GRAS. The GRAS Act was originally introduced so companies could add things like vinegar and table salt—that were already known as safe—to their products so they could bypass the FDA's safety review process. Soon the companies realized they could take advantage of this law. Food companies are now allowed to determine themselves whether something is "generally recognized as safe" or not, with no testing or approval done by the FDA. Once again, a company's ingredients are safe because they choose to say they are without any outside testing. (I know I know you're probably surprised, MORE BIAS!?)

MSG is anything but safe. For some, side effects are almost immediate after eating a meal with MSG in it. Side effects can include—but are not limited to—sweating, nausea, headaches and migraines, numbness, weakness, chest pain, pressure, tightness, trouble breathing, etc. Aside from immediate affects, MSG is slowly and silently affecting our health as well. Even if you don't experience these immediate effects, MSG builds up overtime and overstimulates our nervous system and creates inflammation. Studies have shown that this overexcitement has caused brain damage when the neurons became so overexcited, they excited themselves to death! Along with brain damage, MSG can greatly affect hormones, the nervous system, can lead to weight gain, and much more.

There are over 40 names that food manufacturers use for labeling MSG in their food. Since MSG occurs naturally in some foods, food companies can technically list the flavor enhancing additive MSG as "natural flavoring," and totally get away with it! That's why it's important to remember that just because something is labeled as "natural flavors" or "flavored with natural ingredients!" it most likely is not. With all these names that companies can use to list MSG, it's hard to tell what products have it and which don't. It's safe to assume that if it's a processed food, it contains MSG. Here are the most common ingredients that MSG might be hiding behind:

  • Autolyzed Yeast
  • Calcium Caseinate
  • Gelatin
  • Glutamate
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Hydrolyzed Protein
  • Monopotassium Glutamate
  • Monosodium Glutamate
  • Sodium Caseinate
  • Textured Protein
  • Yeast Extract
  • Yeast Food
  • Yeast Nutrient
  • Flavors and Flavorings
  • Seasonings
  • Natural Flavors and Flavorings
  • Natural Pork Flavoring
  • Natural Beef Flavoring
  • Natural Chicken Flavoring
  • Soy Sauce
  • Soy Protein Isolate
  • Soy Protein 
  • Bouillon
  • Stock
  • Broth
  • Malt Extract
  • Malt Flavoring
  • Barley Malt
  • Anything Enzyme Modified
  • Carrageenan
  • Maltodextrin
  • Pectin
  • Enzymes
  • Protease
  • Corn Starch
  • Citric Acid
  • Powdered Milk
  • Anything Protein Fortified

MSG is a dangerous additive that we need to be on the lookout for. God created amazing flavors and foods like garlic, onions, spices, and herbs for us to flavor our food with. Not unnatural, unhealthy, dangerous additives.

Thanks for joining in on our "Toxin Talk." I hope to see you back here next week! :)

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