Sunday, May 17, 2009

Monosodium Glutamate : MSG

Today I had the opportunity to look at the ingredients of a common food product, Rice A Roni (Creamy Four Cheese Flavor). The ingredient list reads like this:

Rice, wheat flour, durum wheat semolina, partially hydrogenated palm oil, salt, cheddar, parmesan, romano, and blue cheese, reduced lactose whey, whey, corn syrup, onions, palm oil, corn starch-modified, monosodium glutamate, natural flavor, cream, sugar, nonfat milk, sodium caseinate, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, enzyme modified cheddar cheese, autolyzed yeast extract, lactic acid, parsley, citric acid, annatto extract color, niacin, soy lecithin, ferric orthophosphate, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, folic acid, riboflavin.

My first reaction was “wow, that’s a lot of ingredients for cheese rice.” My second reaction was horror as I realized how many forms of transfats and monosodium glutamate (MSG) were in this food product. (The MSG containing ingredients are in bold.) I don’t consider this Rice A Roni food as this food was created in a lab, not by mother nature.

The short answer to “What is Monosodium Glutamate” is that MSG is a potential neurotoxin that has been linked with simple disorders such as skin rashes to life threatening brain lesions. Research has also linked MSG and its derivates with behavioral disorders, learning disabilities, reproductive disorders and obesity.

Traditionally, MSG has been used as a “flavor enhancer” in food. In this way, this chemical food additive chemically tricks the brain into not only liking a food but also wanting more. Many food products are labeled as containing monosodium glutamate but sadly, many are not. FDA loopholes put many people at risk of potentially life-threatening illnesses.

It’s estimated that 40% of Americans react negatively to MSG and it’s derivates. I gasp anytime I’m with somebody I care about and I see them eating food products containing MSG. It saddens me tremendously when I see children eating these foods. I suggest to everybody to read the ingredients in the food you are eating. If eating a packaged food, try to eat one that has 5 ingredients or less. Even products at health food stores are not safe. I’ve routinely seen the following ingredients in health food stores. All of these are pseudonyms for MSG and MSG containing ingredients.

  • amino acids
  • autolyzed yeast
  • glutamate
  • glutamic acid
  • any “hydrolyzed protein”
  • monopotassium glutamate
  • monosodium glutamate
  • sodium or calcium caseinate
  • textured protein
  • whey protein concentrate
Ultimately, we are responsible for what we buy at the grocery store and consume in our homes. Making your own food is a sure way to avoid harmful additives in food. To learn more about how to keep yourself safe and help to alert others about these toxins, please visit Also, Russell Blaylock, M.D. has written several books not only on MSG but other neurotoxins such as aspartame. Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills is his first book on the subject. You can also read about him at


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