Era ends

It’s the end of an era tonight; we said goodbye to our lovely houseguest. She left via Amtrak, cold-bound….

Science note

I’ve known to avoid good old MSG for years, but today I found out that there’re a whole raft of nasty sibling compounds lurking in our foods.

Since the 1970s, MSG has sidled back onto American supermarket shelves, under assumed names: hydrolyzed proteins, yeast extracts, protein concentrates and other additives that are not labeled as MSG but, according to nutritionists and the United States Department of Agriculture, are essentially the same thing: synthetically produced glutamates.

The whey protein concentrate and liquid aminos that many Americans buy at health food stores are also, essentially, pure glutamate…

According to USDA guidelines, “labeling is required when MSG is added as a direct ingredient.” But other glutamates—the hydrolyzed proteins, the autolyzed yeasts and the protein concentrates, which the USDA acknowledges are related to MSG—must be identified under their own names.

Alternatively, they may also be included under certain terms, like vegetable broth or chicken broth. Thus, these ingredients are now routinely found in products like canned tuna (vegetable broth is listed as an ingredient; it contains hydrolyzed soy protein), canned soup, low-fat yogurts and ice creams, chips and virtually everything ranch-flavored or cheese-flavored.*

Ick. Ick. And ick again.

* From Julia Moskin article in today’s NY Times.


  1. anne-bananne's eldest says:

    i am further and further convinced that raw vegetables are the way to go. now following through on that is a different story…

  2. Sammy says:

    At least buying them raw. Or frozen with nothing added….