Monday, March 23, 2009

What MSG Did to Me

I did a little experiment last week. I willingly and knowingly ate what I thought were foods high in MSG. No big deal; but - I did feel like I had a hangover for the first 2 days after I ate those foods.

Hubs brought home some "home-made" soups he got from a deli. Cheesy broccoli soup and baked potato soup. I was excited to eat food that I didn't prepare and I was equally disappointed when I tasted those soups. Yuck... In fact, I didn't eat all mine and saved it for the next day. So, I ate a little more that following day and threw the rest out. Each morning following when I ate the soup, I woke up to stiff swollen fingers, a nasty headache -- so nasty it required medicine just to function and I was so tired. Not just a little tired, but - even after a ton of coffee, I was exhausted. I do not enjoy waking up with a headache and tight skin on my hands. I can't stand trying to function while in a foggy daze either. It really was icky and I can't imagine feeling that way on a regular basis. At one point, I stood at the bottom of the steps in our home and wondered if I had the energy and strength to climb the stairs! That's pathetic. I felt pathetic too.

Read the ingredient label on good 'ol Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup.
Monosodium Glutamate and Mechanically Separated Meat...
MMM... MMM... Gross!

It's a familiar thing - being disappointed over cheap food. Over the last couple of years, I rarely eat food that I like better than my own, unless it is home-made or unless it is at a restaurant I am familiar with. It's not that I am some super fabulous chef or anything at all. I just do not enjoy a lot of salt or cheap food. Most restaurants serve food that - to me -- tastes like cafeteria food. When I drive by full parking lots of chain restaurants, I wonder if any of the people inside know that they could cook meals that are not only healthier, more affordable, but - likely better tasting?!

The other food I ate was an Arby's Roast Sandwich. (I had a free coupon...) After further looking at their website, it claims to be MSG free. Well, something burned my lips, while I was eating the darn sandwich and it gave me little blisters all around the skin on the outside of my lips. How annoying is that? If you wear lipstick, it's annoying. And, it just looks like I am 2 years old and licked my lips while playing outside in the wind... nice - hey? My free sandwich gave me red ringed lips that hurt for 3 days... then they peeled. I've worked in a lot of salons and had a lot of "goop" on my skin and face through the years... never did I experience this before! I need to look at what is in the bun at Arby's... and the sauces. I didn't check the sauces! Label reading never ends...

Don't get me wrong, I dream of being able to go out to dinner or lunch... I so miss eating out. But - I don't miss being disappointed and I do not miss MSG. In fact, I encourage you to go to your pantry and read some soup labels. I would be pleasantly surprised if you do not find any.

You know I just hafta yap about how much I loathe MSG. You do know that it is in the MMR - right? It is.

You do know that is is an excitotoxin, right? It is.

I will post this 'til the day I die. Ok - that sounds really extreme. This blog is just for my own therapy and sanity, if there is such a thing. But - I gotta repeat myself... I can't help it.

Some of us can use MSG with no adverse effects at all; and yet - many others have severe reactions to it, some of them life-threatening. MSG has been linked to asthma, headaches, and heart irregularities. Behavioral and physical problems of children, such as incontinence and seizures, as well as attention deficit disorders (ADD & ADHD), have been diagnosed and successfully treated as MSG disorders.

Here's some news: Labels can be misleading. ((Hugh?))

A label that says "No MSG added" doesn't necessarily mean that the food is free of MSG; it simply means that the manufacturer didn't put in additional MSG. Get it? MSG goes under many evil aliases, one that I often see actually looks healthy: "hydrolyzed vegetable protein," -- an additive used to increase the protein content. ARGH!

Manufacturers also hide MSG as part of "natural flavorings," because it is a natural product. But being natural is not the same as being harmless.

Below is a partial list of the most common evil names for disguised MSG. Remember also that the powerful excitotoxins, aspartame and L-cysteine, are frequently added to foods and, according to FDA rules, often require no labeling at all. I almost never curse, but - this is crap. ((OOPS - sorry!))

I'm getting a little worked-up... and I'll stop. Just as soon as I post this list again! Eat all the MSG you want... but please, don't give it to your children. Please?

Additives that always contain MSG

  • Monosodium Glutamate

  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein

  • Hydrolyzed Protein

  • Hydrolyzed Plant Protein

  • Plant Protein Extract

  • Sodium Caseinate

  • Calcium Caseinate

  • Yeast Extract

  • Textured Protein

  • Autolyzed Yeast -- I have been noticing more and more of this one too!

  • Hydrolyzed Oat Flour

I have every right to be opinionated. If you don't think so, come live at our house for a day. You will understand in about 30 minutes... maybe sooner.

1 comment:

  1. Now I know why I've been feeling so yucky for the last 2 days!
    Thanks for a great post.