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MSG and Fat Rats and Us

Updated on July 25, 2012

I wasn't born this way.

MSG and Fat Rats and Us

In another hub, Obesity is Widespread,” I commented on the increase of obesity in the United States for the period of 2007 to 2008: 32.2% for men and 35.5% for women. That started me thinking. Could there be some chemical in our food that could be causing this tremendous obesity epidemic?

So I did a little research. If you read enough scientific and medical journals, there is amazing information to be learned. Did you know that hundreds of reports indicate that scientists all over the world are creating obese rats and mice that they use in diet and diabetes test studies?

Why are they creating fat rats and obese meese? I mean mice. Because there are few types of rats or mice that are naturally obese so scientists have to create them. How do you make a rat fat? How do you create oversize mice? It’s not at all difficult. When these rodents are first born, scientists inject them with a chemical that triples the amount of insulin created by the pancreas. This causes rats and mice to become morbidly obese.

I know you are waiting for me to get to the point. O.K. What is the name of the chemical they use? MSG. Monosodium Glutamate. They have even given a name to the race of fat rodents they have created: “MSG-Treated-Rats.”

Wait a minute, you may be saying. Isn’t MSG in practically everything we eat? Bingo. You just hit the mark. Check out the food in your cupboard, your pantry, your refrigerator. I found MSG in my Campbell’s “mmm, mmm, good” soups, Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper, frozen food dinners, flavored Pringles, Lipton noodles and instant soup mix, Progresso soups, salad dressings, even the low-fat versions, Doritos, Lays flavored potato chips, Planters salted nuts, canned tuna, Boar’s Head cold cuts – almost everything. I threw out my Accent – this seasoning is nearly pure MSG.

You won’t escape MSG if you shop at Whole Foods or the other markets that claim to sell healthy food. Many of the bagged, bottled, frozen and canned foods at Whole Foods contain MSG hidden under another name (see list below). Some of the deli dishes as well as those on the hot bar and the take-out rack also contain hidden MSG.


Learn more ab0ut MSG

If MSG isn’t dangerous to our health, why has it been given so many different names?

If it’s safe, why does it wear a disguise on labels?

Many of the foods I discovered that didn’t have MSG on the label had an ingredient instead called Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that HVP as I call it is just another pretty name for – you guessed it – MSG. In fact MSG has a number of aliases.

These are the names for food 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 (Including TVP), Autolyzed Yeast, Hydrolyzed Oat Flour, Gelatin, Glutamic acid, Monopotassium glutamate, Yeast food and Yeast Nutrient.

These are the names for food additives that frequently contain MSG: Malt Extract, Malt Flavoring, Broth, Bouillon, Stock, Natural Flavors or Flavoring, Natural Beef or Chicken Flavoring, Seasoning, Barley Malt, Carrageenan, Enzyme-modified substances , Maltodextrin, Pectin, Protein-fortified substances, Soy protein, Soy protein isolate or concentrate, Soy sauce, Soy sauce extract, Vegetable gum, Whey protein and Whey protein isolate or concentrate.

Some MSG History

When Monosodium Glutamate, commonly known as MSG, was first introduced to the public over fifty years ago, it was believed to be a miracle food enhancer. More than just a seasoning like salt and pepper, MSG could actually enhance the flavors of foods. It made processed meats and frozen dinners taste fresher and also smell better; salad dressings more tasty; and canned foods less tinny-tasting.

It wasn't until people started having side effects after eating foods with MSG that some of us began to question whether this miracle flavoring was too good to be true. Today, many more question its safety, even though the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and food manufacturers keep insisting that MSG is safe.

As Americans, we tend to associate MSG with Chinese food. In fact, MSG Symptom Complex, which the FDA identifies as "short-term reactions" to MSG, was for some time referred to in the United States as "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome." But MSG is in many. many more foods than Chinese food, and is listed under many other names. So while many of us are aware that MSG has been linked to some negative side effects, or have even experienced them personally, we believe we are avoiding it in our diets and have been misled.

Here’s the scary part. Food manufacturers, who realize that many people would prefer not to have MSG in their food, have adapted by using so-called "clean labels." These ingredient labels hide MSG under names that we won't recognize, such as hydrolyzed soy protein and the other names previously mentioned.

Some manufacturers have also gone so far as to list "No MSG," "No Added MSG," or "No MSG Added" on product labels when MSG is still present, but exists only as a constituent in another ingredient. Where is truth in labeling?

How about MSG in restaurants you may be asking?

Some Chinese restaurants, aware of MSG’s negative publicity, put signs in their windows indicating there was no MSG in their food. Start asking at the restaurants you frequent what menu items have MSG. Many employees, even the managers, may state emphatically they do not use MSG. But if you ask for the ingredient list, which they may grudgingly provide, sure enough MSG and Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein will be listed everywhere. Every fast food restaurant like McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's, Taco Bell; even every sit-down casual restaurant like TGIF, Chilis', Applebees, Bennigans, Flannigans and Denny's use MSG in abundance. Kentucky Fried Chicken, unfortunately, seems to be one of the worst offenders: You will find MSG in every chicken dish, salad dressing and gravy. Makes me wonder if that’s their secret spice ingredient.

So why is MSG in so many of the foods we eat?

Is it a preservative or a vitamin? John Erb, the author of The Slow Poisoning of America writes that MSG is added to food for the addictive effect it has on the human body. Remember that – addictive effect. MSG actually addicts us to eating more.

Did you know that many food manufacturers have websites of their own? They explain that MSG “is added to food to make people eat more.” Why is that important? Because, they state, a study of elderly people indicated that people eat more when MSG is added to their food. The Glutamate Association lobby group – yes, MSG has its own lobbyists – say eating more benefits the elderly. But what is it also doing to the rest of us? Especially now that obesity has become an even bigger problem than smoking in America.

No wonder we’ve become a country of overweight citizens. The MSG manufacturers themselves admit that their product addicts people to eating more of it that they would if the MSG was not added. This addictive substance has been scientifically proven to cause obesity. You could call it the nicotine of food.

What about the FDA?

The FDA has set no limits on how much MSG can be added to food. They claim it's safe to eat in any amount. How can they claim it is safe when there are literally hundreds of scientific studies such as these?

1) The monosodium glutamate (MSG) obese rat as a model for the study of exercise in obesity. Gobatto CA, Mello MA, Souza CT, Ribeiro IA. Res Commun Mol Pathol Pharmacol. 2002

2) Obesity induced by neonatal monosodium glutamate treatment in spontaneously hypertensive rats: an animal model of multiple risk factors. Iwase M, Yamamoto M, Iino K, Ichikawa K, Shinohara N, Yoshinari Fujishima

3) Adrenalectomy abolishes the food-induced hypothalamic serotonin release in both normal and monosodium glutamate-obese rats. Guimaraes RB, Telles MM, Coelho VB, Mori RC, Nascimento CM, Ribeiro Brain Res Bull. 2002 Aug

4) Hypothalamic lesion induced by injection of monosodium glutamate in suckling period and subsequent development of obesity. Tanaka K, Shimada M, Nakao K, Kusunoki Exp Neurol. 1978 Oct

Now this is scary. The study I just referred to was performed in 1978. That means the FDA, the medical research community, and food manufacturers have known MSG's side effects for over 32 years.

Do you want to learn more about MSG yourself? Go to the National Library of Medicine on the web and click on PubMed (Medical Publications). Type in the words "MSG Obese" and read a few of the 115 medical studies you will see.

Footnote: A bill called the "Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act" also known as the "Cheeseburger Bill" (since it would protect McDonald’s among others) was passed by the House in 2005. But not the Senate. This bill would ban anyone from suing food manufacturers, sellers and distributors. Even if it turned out that they purposely added an addictive chemical to their foods. Must have been the MSG lobbyists hard at work.

Food producers and restaurants have been addicting us to their products for years, and now we are paying the price. Our children may be cursed with obesity caused by an addictive food additive. Russell Blaylock, M.D. goes even further. He states in his book, ”'Excitotoxins - The Taste That Kills,”' … there is scientific evidence that these chemicals (MSG) could permanently damage a critical part of the brain known to control hormones so that later in life your child might have endocrine problems.”

How does MSG work to create weight gain?

Extensive scientific research studies have shown that the flavor enhancer found in many popular foods known as monosodium glutamate (MSG) causes weight gain and obesity in lab animals by damaging the appetite regulation center in the area of the brain known as the hypothalamus, causing leptin resistence.  Leptin is the hormone that controls how much we may feel like eating. The fullness, gratification and satisfaction that come from having eaten is completely lost when MSG is consumed, leading to an urge to eat that never stops. A recent cross-sectional study in China conducted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health supports the conclusion that what was seen in the animal studies (rats and mice) also applies to people.

Study finds using MSG can make you fat

The study that was reported in the August 2008 edition of the journal, Obesity, examined the association between MSG intake and weight gain in humans. Researchers conducted a cross-sectional study involving 752 healthy Chinese people ages 40-59. These people were randomly sampled from three rural villages in north and south China. 48% were women. Most of the participants prepared their foods at home, without the use of commercially processed foods. For the study, they were told to add quantified amounts of MSG when preparing their foods.

The scientists found that MSG consumption was positively related to increases in body mass index. Weight gain was significantly greater in MSG users than in non-users

MSG is an excitotoxin that acts on your brain.

MSG is a food additive that supercharges the taste of food, but not in the way you would think. MSG operates on your brain, fooling it into thinking food tastes really great. It is an excitotoxin in the brain, meaning that it over stimulates the brain causing the production of excessive amounts of dopamine. This creates a drug-like rush that provides a brief sensation of well being. It is highly addictive, causing you to keep coming back for more and you end up overeating. In the process brain cells may be destroyed.

Because MSG damages the brain and alters the ability of the brain to respond to the signal from the hormone, leptin, that satiety or the feeling of being full has occurred, it is a prime culprit in the epidemic of obesity that has everyone scratching their heads as to cause.

Natural is not the same as safe.

By FDA definition, processed free glutamic acid (MSG) is "naturally occurring," because the basic ingredient is found in nature. "Naturally occurring" does not mean that a food additive is being used in its natural state. "Naturally occurring" only means that the food additive began with something found in nature. By FDA definition, the ingredient "monosodium glutamate" is natural. So is hydrochloric acid. So is arsenic. "Natural" is not the same as safe!

There appear to be a number of bold faced lies used by the glutamate industry in defending its contention that exposure to free glutamic acid found in processed food does not cause adverse reactions including obesity, hives, asthma, seizures, and migraine headache; could not possibly cause brain damage, learning disorders, or endocrine disturbances; and could not possibly be relevant to diverse diseases of the central nervous system such as addiction, stroke, epilepsy, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, and degenerative disorders such as ALS, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease. Central to their argument is the lie that the processed free glutamic acid used in processed food is identical to the glutamic acid found in unprocessed, unadulterated food and in the human body. It is not.


Avoid MSG whenever possible.

When you become aware of the danger to your health and well being from the use of MSG, you no longer want to purchase and eat products that contain it. The producers of processed foods know that we don’t want to consume MSG but are unwilling to remove it from their products. Because without it, we would not want to buy said products unless the quality was greatly improved, a process which would raise the cost of production.

The best way to avoid MSG is to buy whole foods and prepare them at home. Limit the number of processed foods you eat overall and you'll inevitably reduce your chances of ingesting MSG, too.

The next best thing is to become expert at reading labels in order to know the various disguises under which MSG is found. There are a few packaged prepared items at traditional grocery stores and health food stores that do not contain MSG.

When you avoid MSG and adjust to the delicious taste of food as it was meant to be experienced, you will be shocked when you go to a restaurant and taste food loaded with MSG again. You will know instantly because the flavor is so intense it is almost uncomfortable, and you suddenly want to just keep eating and eating.

Red Clover / MSG study

Sometimes you just can’t avoid eating food that contains MSG. Eating at a restaurant with friends, an invitation to the boss’ house for dinner, the need to stop for fast food while on a trip and many other situations may occur where exposure to MSG is inevitable. A recent study found that pre-treating yourself with a supplement of red clover before you dine can nullify the potential for damage from MSG. In the June 5, 2008 edition of Phytomedicine, researchers report finding that the natural mixture of phytoestrogenic isoflavones found in red clover can protect the brain from MSG toxicity

One of corporate America’s best friends, the FDA, has said for many years that consumption of MSG is safe, and has condoned its use as an additive flavor enhancer in countless processed and branded food products. As obesity has reached epidemic proportions in American society, the FDA has purposefully ignored the steady stream of research showing its obesity producing effects.

The only way to fight back is to reduce and eliminate whenever possible your consumption of MSG-laden foods. If the FDA won’t be convinced, the food manufacturers and processors will as they see the effect on their bottom line.


© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2012. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So." An enlightening book about job search with the facts about interviewing, negotiating, networking, and creating a powerful resume.

Comments for MSG and Fat Rats and Us

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    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you for your additional information on MSG, mosspa. I found a research study from September 2003 in the publication you recommended, 'Pubmed,' under the title "Does High Glutamate Intake Cause Obesity?' I quote herewith a portion of its findings "We suggest abandoning the flavoring agent MSG (monosodium glutamate) and recommend the required daily allowance of protein and amino acids." Unquote.

    • profile image

      mosspa 5 years ago

      This article is 95% bunk! Instead of believing the auhhor at his/her word, take the time to look at the research. I an a PhD neuroscientist and have been interested in energy balance regulation for over 37 years. When MSG is infused directly into the brain, particularly near the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus, it causes obesity. Not because of any specific neuropharmacological action, because it acts as an excitotoxin (it causes the neurons to be overstimulated to the point of death). See the studies by R.M. Gold in the early 1970s. If you look closely at the more recent studies looking at MSG and body fat in rodents you will find that the effects that are rendered are only significant when very young animals are treated with high does of MSG. This should not be surprising since the blood brain barrier is underdeveloped in young mammals, ans consequently, the MSG is allowed to infuse into the brain, mimicking the direct brain injections in adults. If you look at the literature as a whole, any effect of MSG on body fat is minimal, at best, in post adolescent mammals.

      Second, the contention that TVP and other sorts of processed soy protein are other names for MSG are just absurd. While it is true that soy is one of the most common sources for MSG, the only relation between the processed protein and MSG is that it was naturally there when the soy beans were processed and remains there to some extent after processing. Additionally, as the processed soy looses much mass in the processing, and although the MSG concentration in the processed soy may be higher than in naturally occurring soybeans, it would not be substantially different than any other processed soy product (e.g., tofu). Yes, there are health concerns involving the ingestion of processed soy, but they center around the high concentrations of plant estrogens in the product, not the MSG.

      It's hard for me to believe that so many people could take such junk so seriously as to believe it. If you want to know the truth about MSG and obesity, simply go to Pubmed and do a search for "MSG" "obesity". Pub med is the national index of all articles in scientific journals relating to health and biology. The abstracts are free.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Hally, so nice to meet you. Yes, please do link your hub on MSG to mine and I will be happy to reciprocate. Going shopping for healthy foods these days can be a dangerous occupation. The food processors keep inventing new labels to disguise the contents in the food.

      And I remmber the results of that earlier study you mentioned. Guess that Wonder Bread was not so 'wonder'ful after all. Thanks for the visit.

    • Hally Z. profile image

      Hally Z. 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      What a great hub; I'm going to link to it on my own hub on MSG. I'm just appalled at what goes for "food" around're better off not eating at all! It also reminds me of a study performed on mice back in the 70's....the control group was given only water, while the experimental group received Wonder Bread and water. Guess which group lived longer? Same thing here.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      My sentiments, exactly, Bob. Thank you for visiting and echoing them. Long ago I gave up salt and use pepper, garlic and oregano instead as my condinments of choice. Forgot about sage - I'll try that, too, thanks to your suggestion.

    • profile image

      bob 6 years ago

      I recently got beef jerky- when I got home it said "*No ADDED msg" and on the back something like- "*Except what occurs naturaly in celery salt/extract"

      It had the same thing with nitrates/nitrites saying they're in the SEA SALT naturally.

      Why do they feel the need for this and soy sauce? What the hell's wrong with pepper and sage and actual hickory smoke etc.?

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      I knew you would appreciate this hub, Rochelle, since you did so much research yourself on MSG. To help me remember all the fictitious names given to MSG, I copied them all on a small business card and refer to it when I go to the market.

      High fructose corn syrup will probably be one of the next on the list to watch as you suggest.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Just when you think they are getting rid of this stuff you find out they are just re-naming it.

      I feel sorry for the fat rats-- and alarmed about the children.

      Of course, then there's the high fructose corn syrup that's in everything, too. Wonder what they are going to re-name that.

      You did a heckuva job on this.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      You are so right, Js. I reread this info often when I realize I have forgotten how important it is to eat healthy. Thanks for your kind comments.

    • profile image

      Justsilvie 7 years ago

      Excellent Hub! The information makes me realize just how important the move to eating fresh as possible is.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Hello, Lovie007. nice to meet you. Thanks for the comment. Great idea.

    • profile image

      Lovie007 7 years ago

      Great hub you should email this to Michelle Obama.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      nicomp - That first line is a TRUE statement if ever I read one! Think it will ever happen? Doubtful.

      Thanks for the gracious comment. I knew you would adore the mouse. His name is Nicky!

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      "Natural is not the same as safe."

      Every state should require that warning on every food product that advertises itself as Natural.

      A great hub, and the mouse is adorable.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you, Steve, for visiting, commenting and complimenting. I was almost certain you would be interested in learning more about how MSG permeates so many of our foodstuffs.

      The food manufacturers are devious though - they have invented so many new labels and ways of describing MSG that when you visit the supermarket you need to take with you the lists of alternate names for MSG spelled out in paragraphs 10 and 11 of this hub.

    • SteveoMc profile image

      SteveoMc 7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Now I am all the more convinced that my approach is positive. I will now try to see at least what the msg content of seasonings etc are. Thanks for the astute warnings and information. It may take some work considering the number of things that have MSG. Good work on this hub.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Grrrr is very apt, Rose. Thanks for the A+ - much appreciated. I was so angry when I did the MSG research and wrote this hub that it's surprising that vitriol doesn't drip off the page.

      It's a conspiracy between the FDA and food processors to continue to add MSG to rake in more $$$ as you say.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 7 years ago

      Hi! There's so MUCH to say! First off A+ job -so many helpful things to comment on! I luv how you mention they Disquise MSG w/ other names, and really they don't care, it's about $$$ (the root of all evil LOLOL)SAD but true this is. I really want to buy some of these books! Oh my 50ish friend cooks all their own food and eats pretty healthy. BTW CAT FOOD ALSO HAS corn for it's 1st ingredient GRR!!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you for visiting, whisperingsage, nice to meet you.

      As you point out, there are many more harmful substances in our food that we may not be aware of. You hit the nail on the head with your phrase, "mass medication of the unwilling."

      It's just one more reason why we have to read and understand the labels of ingredients on all the food we eat.

      Thank you for your perceptive comments.

    • profile image

      whisperingsage 7 years ago

      Great article. But one must be aware that even when one has converted off msg foods, the obesity doesn't simply vanish away. We are now stuck with "metabolic syndrome" and even though I have shunned refined foods and sugar, hfcs and msg for many years, the obesity remains. My appetite is not great, like when taking in msg. I spent a year eating less than 500 calories per day (while on a food budget of $20 per month) and I never went below 170 lbs! I'm sure this is not the only factor. Possibly fluoride poisoning, (there's another mass medication of the unwilling- causes osteoporosis, hypothyroidism, and IBS), and genetically modified foods. All bets are off now. We are just riding along with the grand experiment.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 8 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you, Niteriter, for the adulatory verbiage. Your kind words gladden the cockles of my heart, whatever they may be.

      After researching this hub, I realized I had been getting angrier and angrier as I learned more about this, as you put it, horrifying situation.

      I decided my best course of action would be to publicize the facts whenever I can to warn others.

      Thanks again for your visit and your congrats.

    • Niteriter profile image

      Niteriter 8 years ago from Canada

      You may have found your raison d'être in this topic, drbj. The depth of your work is admirable; the implications in your material are universally horrifying.

      Someone with access to the right resources could use your work here as the starting point for a corrective social movement. That someone might even be you.

      Congratulations on an outstanding piece of investigative journalism.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 8 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks for the visit, Money Glitch.

      It is a shame that we can't eat out as much as we would like to because of the furtive use of MSG in restaurants. Let me know if the red clover helps.

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 8 years ago from Texas

      You are definitely right that MSG is both harmful and that restaurants will tell you that they don't use it. I am very sensitive to this product and don't eat out that much because of it. Too much of it; swells me up like a balloon almost instantly after eating it.

      Needless to say, the only way I will have my favorite Chinese food is if I cook it myself. Thanks for sharing about the red clover, will definitely give it a try. :)

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 8 years ago from south Florida

      My pleassure to share, jayjay40. So nice to hear from you.

      When I started to write this hub I knew MSG was dangerous but like you and so many others, I had little idea of the extent of the problem with false labeling and the implicit cooperation of the FDA.

      'Tis a puzzlement.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 8 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Ivorwen, how have you been? I've missed you. Happy Easter.

      I agree, you need to be more watchful than ever since the makers of foods with MSG have become so creative with their labeling.

      It's good to have a list since there are so many subtle variations on packaged food today. Stay well.

    • jayjay40 profile image

      jayjay40 8 years ago from Bristol England

      Gosh this is so worrying, I didn't realise MSG went under another name. Thanks for sharing

    • Ivorwen profile image

      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      This article is so eye opening! I knew to stay away form anything that said 'hydrogenated', but I did not realize how many of the other things needed to be watched... I had began to wonder about yeast extracts. They show up in things that just don't seem to need anything of the sort, for any reason.

      I am going to have to write down this list and take it shopping with me. I already use very little pre-packaged foods, but I have a feeling I will be using even less in the near future. :(

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 8 years ago from south Florida

      Sprinboard - you can't go wrong growing your own vegetables in your own back yard. The benefits include MSG-free food, regular exercise, and stress-free dining.

      Only drawback might be an occasional crick in the back until you become accustomed to the extra-curricular bending and weeding. But it will be worth it.

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Hmm. White corn. That's some tasty stuff.

      Incidentally there is a guy and his wife two doors down from my house who have a very extensive garden. It takes up about 2/3 of their entire yard, and they do grow quite a variety of vegetables. Even considering the tighter economy, it's a good idea.

      I would suspect it would also be a money saver taking in less MSG, if I want to make that comparison, considering reduced future medical bill costs???

      But I digress. Back to regular programming. :)

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 8 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you, Maita, for the visit and the kind comments.

      Yes, MSG is scary - especially since they keep finding new names for it to keep us in the dark (and fat and happy).

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      oh my, this infromation is like a book, comprehensive! FDA is like any big regulatory board -- it sucks hehe! scary Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, MSG maybe next time they will call it perfume! Thanks for this well written hub! Maita

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 8 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks for your visit, Cedar Cove Farm, it's nice to meet you.

      You're absolutely right about all of us looking more closely at what we eat. We have to be our own monitors and researchers to avoid harmful substances.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 8 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Cheeky Girl.

      Fresh fish from the ocean is OK if it's free of mercury, but farm raised fish (salmon) can be hazardous to your health since it may contain cancer-causing chemicals.

      I share your anger at whoever is supposed to monitor foodstuffs before they get to the consumer. Seems like the monitor now needs monitoring. Maddening, isn't it?

      Thanks for the great rating.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 8 years ago from south Florida

      wordscribe - you are to be commended on avoiding MSG. Now you have to take the time to thoroughly read labels so you can avoid all the other names under which that insidious additive masquerades. I feel stupid for asking. Laura, but is your fat rat Domino a pet or just a boarder?

      Thanks for the visit and the great comment.

    • Cedar Cove Farm profile image

      Cedar Cove Farm 8 years ago from Southern Missouri

      If only people would look more closely at the evils of MSG. I hope this article helps in that area. Thanks.

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 8 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      Damn! How could they all have known since 1978 and did nada about it? What are they - nuts? This turns me cold just thinking about it. I am a lover of fish and wonder how much MSG they somehow put into that. However I am not obese, nowhere even near, but look forward to gaining a few pounds over life, maybe! LOL! Thanks for an eye-opening hub! Rating you so UP!

    • profile image

      wordscribe41 8 years ago

      Geez, unbelievable hub. MSG and I are not pals, I feel nauseous afterwards... I avoid it like the plague. BTW, that rat at the top of the page has NOTHING over my fat rat Domino. She's a beast. Take care! Laura

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 8 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks for the visit, Springboard.

      Your comment about growing some vegetables for yourself really struck a chord with me. My grandmother, bless her soul, set aside a portion of our back yard for a vegetable garden and grew the most delicious white corn I ever tasted.

      So I'm all for your trying it, too. Let me know how your produce turns out.

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Everytime I read or hear about something like this it makes me take another long, hard look at that unused planting area next to the garage. I've been meaning to grow some vegetables there for a while now, and while it won't necessarily eliminate MSG in my diet, it might help to at least reduce it...

      Just in case they're sneaking some of that stuff into my fresh produce as well.

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Then I'm going to become an air-iterian. How sad that we're somehow forced to eat foods from shadowy sources. Anyway, there's a silver lining - I'm rating this up once again.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 8 years ago from south Florida

      Celery is safe . . . if you grow it or any other vegetable yourself. No MSG. But it could have traces of pesticides or other foreign substances when you buy it at the grocery. Just the chance we take.

      Don't gnash your teeth any more; it could ruin your lovely froggy visage.

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      drbj - I'm going to live on celery. That should do it, right? Or won't it? Does celery have MSG in it? I hope not, else all is lost. The frog will whither, fade away and become but a speck of primordial green soup on the ass of the cosmic Pooliverse.

      *will probably whither and fade away from eating celery but at least she'll be MSG free*

      *mutters mumbles meemos. Gnashes teeth too*

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 8 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, sweet froggie, Have to confess. Your comments always make me laugh. I'm still chuckling at the image of you wandering off "muttering evil things ..." You do know how to turn a phrase.

      You're absotively right - it's disgusting and depressing and deplorable that we should have to examine food labels so carefully in order not to ingest something harmful that we didn't have a clue existed therein in the first place.

      Now I have to add a third rule to my rules for living:

      1 - Look out for number One. 2 - Don't step in number Two. and 3 - Don't eat anything you can't decipher.

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 8 years ago

      Good grief drbj - that's a disgusting practice. First off - what a fantastic, informative hub. I will be rating up several times.

      Second - you've got me writing down the list. I rarely if ever eat processed foods but I do eat out on occasion. I don't want to become overly obessessive about it all but you know ... I want to eat because I need to, not because of some god-awful crap laced in my food.

      No matter where you live, you never could trust the bloody government!

      Thankyou for the very clear and concise way in which you presented this :)

      *wanders off muttering evil things about sneaky tricksy bloody science, politicians and MSG ... *

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 8 years ago from south Florida

      Hey, Gus, that's how it always starts.

      You learn to play the game and then someone (like a government agency) changes the rules.

      But you know all about that with your "Friendswood" hubs.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 8 years ago from south Florida

      Dear Green Lotus - it blew my mind, too, to learn how easy it is for food processors, manufacturers and the FDA to keep us in the dark about negative side effects, and even worse to cover up the presence of a dangersous substance by calling it by other names.

      Thank you for such positive commednts. Unlike MSG, your presence is always welcome!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 8 years ago from south Florida

      Anna Evanswood - if you are eating whole foods most of the time, then you are way ahead of the game.

      Most people, including myself till now, have little awareness of the harm that MSG can do.

      Nice to meet you and the pleasure is all mine.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 8 years ago from south Florida

      Dear wrenfrost56 -thank you for your lovely comments.

      It's very rewarding, as I'm sure you know, too, to put time and effort into something and have it appreciated by earnest hubbers like yourself.

      Thanks again.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 8 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, advisor4qb - nice to meet you.

      As you read, paying attention to food labels is more important than ever since food processors have become so creative in disguising MSG in their products.

      I'm intrigued by your avatar - does "qb" stand for quarterback, Queen bee or something in between?

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 8 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you for your helpful comments, Earthbeat.

      I must admit that until I did the research for this hub, I was unaware of the extent to which MSG permeates, or should I say poisons, our food supply.

      You are wise to be so careful of what you eat. Thanks for stopping by.

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 8 years ago from USA

      Doctor bj - First the chow mein and next the world!

      Gus ;-)

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      You've outdone yourself dr. This Hub is so mind blowing and so well researched. Thank you! I was especially horrified by the food additives that always and often contain MSG. What an eyeopener.

    • Anna Evanswood profile image

      Anna Evanswood 8 years ago from Malaysia

      I was unaware of these issues. I try and eat fresh whole food most of them time. The incentive to keep doing this is provided in this article. Thank you.


    • wrenfrost56 profile image

      wrenfrost56 8 years ago from U.K.

      Great hub, full of information, well written and very well researched. Thank-you for covering such an important and interesting issue.

    • advisor4qb profile image

      advisor4qb 8 years ago from On New Footing

      Interesting and informative hub. I will be sure to pay closer attention to food labels!

    • profile image

      Earthbeat 8 years ago

      I appreciate your MSG hub so much. MSG is a problem in all kinds of ways - and it is a substance we really do not need in our foods.

      Since I use next to no pre-packaged foods, and am careful where I eat, MSG isn't a big problem for me. But occasionally I check out ingredients on labels, or talk with friends in the restaurant industry, and I am so amazed at the prevalence of MSG, even with all the information put out about it during the years.

      There are lots of good and interesting ways to enhance flavors using spices and herbs, many of which also have positive healthful benefits.


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