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Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Lots of people have heard that MSG (monosodium glutamate), a "flavor enhancer" is bad for consumption, but did you know the following?:
  • MSG is found in almost all of the processed foods that are manufactured in the United States.
  • The literature is clear in demonstrating that MSG is toxic to humans and that over 25% of the population suffer adverse reactions from MSG.
  • In studies where mice were fed MSG by feeding tube, normal neonatal mice suffered acute degenerative lesions in the inner retina, and some mice became grotesquely obese.
  • Neuroscientists believe that the young and the elderly are most at risk from MSG.
  • Since 1998, some of our agricultural crops have been sprayed with AuxiGro WP Metabolic Primer (AuxiGro), a product that includes 29.2% processed free glutamic acid (MSG). Produce sprayed with AuxiGro is not identified as being sprayed. Therefore MSG is back in baby food, without disclosure. (It was officially removed from baby food in the 1970s.)
  • MSG has now been implicated in a number of the neurodegenerative diseases, including ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and Huntington's disease.
The history of MSG (which is pretty interesting), all the above information, and more can be found here.

So what specific food items have MSG in them? The list is endless but includes chips and many other snack foods, salad dressings, frozen dinners, cream soups, and instant noodles. And if we're talking fast food, you can pretty much guarantee it has MSG in it! Here is an extensive list of popular fast food restaurants and their accompanying MSG-filled products.

My family's diet isn't completely MSG free, but almost. I have a friend who is allergic to MSG (she gets a reaction exactly 7 minutes after ingesting it), so her family avoids it completely. And as I learn more about it and make an effort not to often buy or eat foods with MSG, I know I am helping my family feel better and eat healthier.


Matthew Harline Lyman said...

It triggers my migraines, so we try to stay away from it, but it is hard you have to watch everything.

Carolyn said...

OK, I already knew most of this information, even if I didn't want to openly acknowledge it. But the thing that bothers me so much is that I feel like I can't win. There are SO many foods out there that are obviously bad to eat but there are just as many that you think are good but that really aren't healthy for us. I feel like short of putting my family in a bubble and growing all our own food, I can't avoid all the unhealthy stuff out there. Sometimes it feels like the more health knowledge I get, the more hopeless I feel.

Katrina said...

I know the feeling. We just have to do the best we can and always be trying to do better, I guess.

Eric Miller said...

I was going to say the same thing about MSG triggering my migraines as well. Do tortilla chips have it? Those are my favorite.

Katrina said...

Eric, I don't think tortilla chips have MSG, but you'd have to check your favorite brand. Generally tortilla chips are about the healthiest chip you can find.

iceburgindian said...

Interesting. There was stuff about MSG here I didn't know. Thanks!

Jeff and Natalie Perez said...

K- my Brother in Law worked in a resturant like 20 years ago and he remembers a bucket of MSG in the kitchen and they would spinkle it on EVERYTHING. He had no idea until much later what he was really putting on peoples food. He said it was like salt, you could never add to much.


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