Wednesday, March 7, 2012

MSGeeez Part 2

The first MSG post definitely hit a nerve so I want to give pass along some tips in navigating through the MSG onslaught:

MSG IS a naturally occurring part of the chain of amino acids that make up proteins.  That's why anything that lists "Protein" as an ingredient contains MSG. Those "proteins" are not the most disconcerting part to me.  What's grating on me is the addition of MSG to foods that do not otherwise contain it AND the twisting of words to disguise it.

There is a argument to be made that World Famous Gluten Intolerance has entered the mainstream because the food industry added gluten and wheat to darned near everything for years.  Now we avoid bread made of flour, salt and water?  The same thing happened with soy a few years ago.  It's not the tofu or edamame that causes soy intolerance, it's the 52 other products that contain soy as an additive that builds the volume in your system.

I went to the store last night and tried to buy Tomato Basil soup.  We often have the Pacific brand that comes in a box which is all natural but not today!  I started flipping cans of Progresso Vegetable Classics, knowing I couldn't eat any because only ONE is actually vegetarian - go figure.  Check this label against the list of MSG names and behold... a chemical S*it Storm!

My favorite part would have to be the NO MSG ADDED* portion there at the top.  Good times.

"Except that which occurs naturally in hydrolyzed vegetable proteins" is the disclaimer.  That doesn't explain the other additives in your list Progresso!  Especially interesting to me is the Disodium Inosinate and Guanylate (I can barely type these much less pronounce!) - these ingredients and what they do is listed below the chart on the Truth In Labeling List.

And for my next question... what are Soy, Egg and Milk doing in vegetable soup?

How about we all just get back to making our own soups seasoned with a little kosher salt and pepper, shall we?

About Protein Powders...

A few people have already commented about changing their protein powders based upon this information.   Is the naturally occurring MSG in the amino protein chain enough reason to give it up? I don't know.  But it's worth investigating the rest of the ingredients in your powder before chucking it in the bin.

Whey protein comes from milk which makes it a crap choice if you're vegetarian or lactose intolerant.  Moving on from whey is good move in my book.  I've been looking at Spirulina powders and Hemp powders.  Spirulina gives you the protein and a good boost of greens.  Hemp powders are often just ground hemp seeds with no other ingredients.  Simple = Good.

This is just my food for thought.  Please keep your thoughts coming on Facebook or on the comments section below.  We're all navigating this minefield together!


  1. The whole label thing is so frustrating! I recently bought some soup labled VEGAN on the front, but after reading the ingredients closely, at the bottom it said 'contains egg product'. The brand is Muir Glen. Another reason to make our own recipes and sweat it out in the kitchen. :\

    In other news, I am in love with Living Harvest Hempmilk! :D

  2. I think the best we can do is continue flipping labels and buy from companies that share the philosophy that food is just fine the way it is. Much like that desperate feeling in vegetarianism when the issues are just SO HUGE that our efforts feel insignificant - so goes the vibe with regard to food processing, additives, coloring, etc. We can sign petitions, stay informed and set an example of clean living for those around us but the only tool that is universal recognized is our almighty dollar! Spend Wisely is my mantra these days :)

    I would get on my knees and kiss the ground at Big B if hemp milk materialized! I was happy to find a new addition that's a mix of almond and coconut milk. Baby steps!