The monster in the cupboard
“I started researching what [MSG] did to the brain and I was absolutely astounded by what I found,” Dr. Russell Blaylock
What does MSG, monosodium glutamate, monopotassium glutamate, yeast extract, gelatin, calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate, modified yeast extract, yeast food, yeast nutrient, whey protein, whey protein concentrate, “anything” proteins, (such as hydrolyzed protein, textured protein, soy protein) malt flavoring, and natural flavorings (including chicken, beef, vegetable) all have in common? They are all MSG when listed on the ingredient label.
Yes, it is true, MSG is in almost every processed food you eat hidden under other names. There are over 50 different names for MSG that all sound like nummy ingredients but in truth are all the same thing. The list above is items that have over 78% MSG in them but they add a wee bit of something else and call it that.
Then there is the list of over 100 names of ingredients that are 50% or more of MSG. Those include nutritious sounding things like milk powder, dry milk solids, citric acid, caramel coloring or flavoring, bouillon, broth, stock, carrageenan and lecithin. Crazy huh? So the questions are why are they adding MSG to our foods and what sort of impact does that have on us?
MSG is universally thought of as a “flavor enhancer” invented in 1908 by Kikunae Ikeda, a Japanese man who identified the natural flavor enhancing substance of seaweed. He and a partner soon learn to chemically create this flavor and sell it on a mass scale. After WWII it became popular in the US, due to the fact that the Japanese soldier rations tasted much better due to the addition of MSG. Soon it began to infiltrate processed foods. The FDA grandfathered it in as a “safe food” around 1958 but it has NEVER been tested to this day by the FDA for safety. Never.
On top of that, the process for which was used to make MSG was radically changed in 1957 to a more efficient process that took it to new chemical heights. Soon after that was when “The Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” started to show up which included symptoms such as headaches, migraines, numbness, tingling in extremities, shortness of breath, rapid heart beat and tightness of chest for over 2 hours after ingesting of MSG. When this was brought to the FDA’s attention it was promptly shrugged off.
Since then the evidence has mounted that even the FDA has acknowledged, MSG is a very real danger to our health. Dr. Russell Blaylock, a neurosurgeon and author of “Excitotoxins; The taste that kills” explains that MSG is a excitotoxin which means it over excites your cells to the point of damage or death, causing the brain damage to varying degrees and potentially even triggering or worsening learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Lou Gerhrig’s disease. It is especially dangerous to young, forming brains where it can cause permanent damage. (And it is present in all infant formulas) It also been linked to many other health issues such as obesity, eye damage, depression, asthma and epilepsy.
Now the big question, why is it still in our foods?? Very simply put, greed. It was discovered that when MSG was used on lab rats they got fat. I mean really fat. It turns out the chemical is an appetite stimulant. A light went off in the food industry, add more MSG to processed food and people won’t be able to stop eating them. It is the same principal that the tobacco industry uses when it adds more nicotine to the cigarettes, it hooks people. But since MSG has such a bad name, the food industry has come up with clever ways to hide it.
Now go back and read that list again, learn it, be informed. You are the only one that can control what you buy and what goes in your mouth. One of the foods that always always has MSG in it is mayonnaise. Mayo also contains low quality oils and calcium disodium EDTA, which is a preservative made from formaldehyde. Processed mayo was a beloved ingredient in our fridge till last summer when I decided we were not going to eat it anymore. I decided to start making our own and have never turned back. It is not that difficult and tastes so wonderful! I encourage you to take your health in your hands and make your own mayo.
Homemade Mayo, your way
Making mayo is a magical thing; you just have to remember a few things. First of all make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature or you will have ”broken” mayo, which is a slurry of egg and mayo, yucky. Second, pour the oil into the running blender as SLOW as possible, or once again, it will break. But in truth, it is very easy if you follow the rules. Do not use extra virgin olive oil here, it turns the mayo green and tastes funny.
1 large egg at room temperature
2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice, at room temp
1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard powder
3/4 teaspoon of sea salt
1 and 1/4 cup of light tasting organic olive oil
1 tablespoon of a fresh herb such as parsley, rosemary, basil, sage or tarragon
2-3 fresh garlic cloves, minced
Or whatever spice catches your fancy
Break out the blender and crack the egg in there, add the lemon juice, mustard powder, salt and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. (Add the garlic, herbs or other spices here as well.) Put the lid on the blender then blend on mediumish speed until the ingredients are combined. Now for the exciting part, take off the middle of the lid of the blender and with the blender still going, start drizzling the remaining 1 cup of olive oil into the blender very very slowly. I mean pour in a tiny little trickle. Breathe, lower your shoulder blades, relax. This is a process.
Soon your will hear the blender begin to change in tone, this is when the magic begins and the emulsification starts. Do not lose your nerve and consider dumping the rest in! Continue to drizzle the oil in slowly till the mixture is this lovely creamy mayo and all the oil is distributed. Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to two weeks. (I mark on the jar when I made it since I never remember otherwise) Enjoy this wondrous food with all wholesome ingredients.