Labels & Lies
I could start a whole other blog about nutrition, food additives and the preservatives that damage our food, but talking about food just makes me hungry. Instead, I would like to occasionally incorporate the foods and additives that the FDA is being deceitful about into this blog. And while these thoughts should motivate you to become engaged in decisions about what you eat, it should more importantly alarm you that a government organization, like the FDA, can get away with essentially poisoning us.
About twenty years ago, there was a huge uproar over the additive monosodium glutamate, or MSG. This ‘flavor enhancer’ was seen in many foods from condiments to soups to crackers. It had actually been in many of our foods since the 1940′s, but no one really paid attention. Once credited as the ‘Chinese Restaraunt Syndrome’, due to the high sodium content of many chinese dishes, the effects of this additive that were included in so many food products were outed in the early 1990′s. Resulting symptoms from MSG consumption include migraine headaches, tingling in the arms, back and chest, rapid heartbeat, nausea, drowsiness, weakness and ‘a craving for the same foods (This one, most closely associated with Chinese food, seems to be the only advertised effect). Some people even experience asthmatic responses like difficulty breathing and neurological symptoms. Long term effects can include increased development of food allergies in children, hyperactivity and obesity.
That’s a long list, don’t you think?
However, this is all background information. You see, the FDA has restricted labeling techniques for producers and state that placing “no MSG added” or “No MSG” can be misleading, but somehow we still see these things on labels. Because of the high publicity regarding MSG, many manufacturers have used other alternatives to get around the poor market ability. Names such as yeast extracts, texturized protein, gelatin, anything “glutamate”, anything “hydrolyzed” and anything “enzyme modified” top the list of disguises for MSG. Take a look in your pantry. These things occur in eveything from potato chips and cookies to cream cheeses and even some milks (things that are ultra-pasturized also contain MSG).
You cannot just assume because it’s on the shelves of the grocery store that it’s safe. How many times has the FDA approved prescriptions and then had to pull them from the shelves because they were harmful (only to reintroduce the same drug with a different name or use) What about all the different names for aspratame that now saturate the market? It’s the same concept. The issue is that these names on the labels are misleading. Who would, at first glance, think that something with protein or enzymes is bad for you? Most people would think that you ‘need’ these things and think nothing of it. But we’re being duped.
Many of you will probably just move forward on the notion that there are plenty of other harmful substances out there and you plan to go on eating just as you had before, and that’s fine. But you should question why the FDA is allowing products such as these additives to be key ingredients in foods while knowing the harmful effects.
A complete list of MSG Aliases can be found at http://www.truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources.html
http://www.resourcesforlife.com/docs/item1225 (This site is backed by the World Health Center & the Mayo Clinic)