Let Them Eat (genetically engineered) Cake

About the food industry, not in a nice way

Archive for August, 2007

MSG – insidious poison, food industry conspiracy

Posted by jeanne on August 6, 2007

What is MSG – Monosodium Glutamate – and why is it bad for you? Proponents will tell you that it’s been used in the Orient for thousands of years (in the form of soy sauce and seaweed); the FDA has it on the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list with no limit on dosage; you’ll find it in everything from ramen noodle flavor packets to toothpaste. It’s even been approved as a crop spray that will remain on your fruits, vegetables, and coffee beans, never appear on any label, and won’t wash off. So how could anything that ubiquitous be bad for you? Hah. Two tablespoons of MSG on a piece of bread will kill a dog in a matter of minutes.

MSG is a flavor enhancer first developed in the early 1900s, and introduced to the west in 1948. Since then, its use has doubled every ten years, until now, in America, we’re exposed to 300 million pounds of it a year.

How does it enhance flavors? It’s a neurotransmitter. It’s an excitotoxin. It swells the nerve endings in your tongue. And then it crosses the blood-brain barrier to excite neurons in your brain. To swell neurons in your brain. To cause cellular death in neurons in your brain.

In many tests on rats, MSG has caused disturbing, sometimes horrifying abnormalities. These effects include obesity, growth retardation, short stature, diabetes, hormone deficiencies, brain lesions, and more. And rats are less sensitive to MSG than humans are, and their bodies get rid of it faster.

What are some of the physical effects people experience after exposure to MSG? As for myself, the first symptom comes while eating – the food tastes yummy and I feel an overwhelming desire to eat it all up. Then I feel flushed in the face, my hands and feet tingle, and I get rapidly exhausted, so that I really need to lie down and take a nap – now. If I was doing something before I ate, then I have to stop and become unconscious for awhile. This is troublesome when I’m driving. When I wake up, it’s with stiff joints, a headache, and an intensely dry mouth. My face and the skin around my eyes are puffy, and my feet and hands are swollen. Sometimes I’m groggy for hours, only really recovering the next day. Every time I get a reaction to MSG, it’s worse than the time before, a cumulative effect.

What happens to other people? Tingling and numbness and the sensation of tightness or pressure in the tongue, the face, the hands and feet, headaches and migraines, fatigue, asthma, chest pains, heartbeat irregularities, nausea, skin rashes, seizures, depression.

It gets worse. MSG is a suspected link in such different pathological conditions as stroke, epilepsy, brain lesions, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. See this article for a long list of effects of exposure to MSG.

People have been complaining about MSG for many years. It’s been called “Chinese restaurant syndrome” in the literature, and it’s so effective in causing obesity that there is a subspecies of laboratory rat called MSG rats. Its effects are minimized and its opponents are demonized using badly-faulted research paid for by the food industry, and any objection to it at government levels is quashed by well-funded lobbyists whose professional loyalty is to the bottom line, rather than the public health.

The food industry is so intent on spreading the use of MSG throughout our diets that they’ve invented a fifth taste to justify it. They call it umami. Added to the traditional four types of taste – bitter, salty, sweet, sour – it is quite simply the aftertaste of MSG. Here’s a food industry article about the “inexplicable taste sensation that can help food technologists increase consumer acceptance and preference.”

Even health conscious organic-food enthusiasts are being subjected to MSG all over the place. You’d expect organic and health food to be pure and simple, but since the food industry has sunk its claws into organic, they’ve just gotten more sneaky. If you buy organic chicken broth, hoping to avoid the MSG that is constant in every regular brand of broth, and you don’t notice the yeast extract, or the natural chicken flavor, the autolyzed yeast, the hydrolyzed soy protein, then you might think you’re eating something that won’t swell your tongue. but you’d be wrong. These non-MSG ingredients contain from 20-60% MSG each, and they add up fast, so some foods contain enough MSG to poison a dog, with five or six different ingredients each containing MSG.

With all this evidence, why doesn’t the FDA do something about the MSG in our food? Because the chemical, agriculture and food industries own the FDA. Duh.

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