I was asked by a cardiologist what are the top three additives to avoid in food. My response was high fructose corn syrup, MSG (monosodium glutamate) and chemical sugars. His response was , “Good answer.” Sounds like one savvy cardiologist to me!
Since we covered chemical sweeteners previously, let’s look at Monosodium Glutamate next. First, before we can dive into the problems behind the use of MSG we must first understand what it is.
MSG = Monosodium glutamate | Steer Clear!
According to The Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients:
"Monosodium glutamate can generally be produced by three methods. Currently most of the world production of monosodium glutamate is by bacterial fermentation.
In this method bacteria (especially strains of Micrococcus glutamicus) are grown aerobically in a liquid nutrient medium containing a carbon source (e.g., dextrose or citrate), a nitrogen source such as ammonium ions or urea, and mineral ions and growth factors.
The bacteria selected for this process have the ability to excrete glutamic acid they synthesize outside of their cell membrane into the medium and accumulate there. The glutamic acid is separated from the fermentation broth by filtration, concentration, acidification, and crystallization, followed by conversion to its monosodium salt [monosodium glutamate]."
Well, I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t sound like FOOD to me. Sounds like another chemistry experiment that I'd rather not put in my mouth. And if that wasn’t enough, the bacteria used are often, if not always, genetically engineered (GMO).
Manufacturers also hide MSG as part of "natural flavorings," because it is a natural product when listed in ingredient labels. But being natural is not the same as being harmless.
Next week we’ll look at the numerous other names that MSG is hiding in.
Week 17 action step:
Read ingredient labels and while eating out, ask if you are meal's seasonings contain MSG or “natural flavorings”. Better yet, ask to have your food prepared without additional sauces or seasonings as this will eliminate the risk all together.
Tell us in the comments below which foods you were surprised to learn contain MSG.
In the coming weeks will cover:
- Why food manufacturers use MSG?
- What other names is MSG listed as on food labels?
- Why avoid it.
- What body systems are impacted by MSG?