The Many Names of MSG

Posted in Uncategorized on March 31st, 2011 by Lacey – Comments Off

Better Than Bouillon

Better than Bouillon image courtesy of Superior Touch

Recently, we ran out of bouillon which I use for my Whatever Soup. For at least a year I’ve been really enjoying Better Than Bouillon because it is so much more flavorful than other veggie bouillons. I also usually buy it at Whole Foods, which is a grocer who I probably over-trust, but I figured most everything there is probably bad chemical-free and okay for my family to consume in moderation. However, my husband made an interesting discovery when picking a new jar up for me: Better Than Bouillon has hidden MSG in it, disguised as something called “Hydrolyzed Soy Protein”. Also note that it is the second ingredient, right after vegetables. Very interestingly, their website claims up and down not to have any MSG in any of their foods. Here are the ingredients:

  • Vegetables and Concentrated Vegetables(Carrots,Celery, Onion, Tomato, Onion*, Potato*, Garlic*),
  • Hydrolyzed Soy Protein,
  • Salt,
  • Yeast Extract,
  • Sugar,
  • Maltodextrin(from Corn),
  • Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil,
  • Spice Extractive. *Dehydrated

As you can see, to add insult to injury, there are also trans-fats listed (“partially-hydrogenated” anything is a trans-fat). The FDA says that you can claim to have “0 grams trans fats” even if your product technically does contain them. Sneaky, sneaky. Apparently, this isn’t a new thing for manufacturers to get all sneaky with their MSG. I’d like to think, though, that smaller manufacturers are, as this article claims, being misled by the FDA…

I also am suspicious of Wikipedia’s entries on MSG because they don’t accurately reflect the public’s opinion. All the wiki articles I read were vague about the health implications of eating MSG and even claimed in some places that it is harmless. I know way too many people with MSG sensitivities to believe that people would let that go so easily…so be cautious about the info you trust out there.

Your little trivia tidbit of the day is that KFC apparently uses MSG in every single food item they have. Yum yum! More on that and other fast food favorites in this entertaining article.

So that very tasty bouillon: loaded with salt and chemicals I was trying to keep out of my family’s life. I should have known it was too good to be true!

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