I have a confession. I have an ongoing love affair with food. I love food. I love good food. I love the food that makes you say, “This it the best I have ever had!” Anymore, that experience is all too common. It’s not a conscious recognition as it is the verbal food epiphany that occurs with the substance strikes the taste buds, but a chemical reaction in the brain.
Umami is the natural fifth taste we experience when we taste delicious food. All too often, though, we Americans experience umami, but not the real thing. It’s induced by monosodium glutamate. This chemical is in so many foods – even where you wouldn’t imagine the salty substance would reside – and it alters our perception of food and out bodies.
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) mimics the reaction of glutamic acid. MSG can be hidden in ingredient lists under wording like: artificial ingredients, other seasonings, other flavorings. Organic and natural products may contain MSG as well, considering USDA Organic only requires 75% of the product to be organic and the term natural has no government standards attached. Even products toting stickers on the front stating “MSG Free” or “No MSG” may contain MSG. It seems as though the only way to find out what the product really contains it to contact the manufacturer.
On the Wikipedia website, MSG is not directly connected to illness; however, the financial stakes of the monitoring board of these inconclusive studies should be considered. The article also states:
MSG as a food ingredient has been the subject of health studies. A report from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) compiled in 1995 on behalf of the FDA concluded that MSG was safe for most people when “eaten at customary levels”.
Customary levels is vague, and, being that an increasing amount of our foods contain MSG, customary is not a good indicator. From literary research, I have found MSG to cause headaches from mild to severe, upset stomach, irritability, depression, and addiction to food containing MSG. Several studies have correlated MSG intake to Body Mass Index.
I know this sounds extreme, but we are being drugged. I know this is not the most horrific of crimes, but it is a crime against the masses. Billions of people unknowingly ingest an addictive substance causing mental instability and other physical symptoms. And all for the love of profit.
You eat food because of marketing.
You continue to eat food because your brain tells you it likes the umami the food created.
You buy more.
…rinse and repeat.
Chris and I have eliminated many chemicals from our household and purchase very few processed foods. I now make my own food (bread, jams, salsa, ketchup, sauces, salad dressing, yogurt, cheese, cookies, desserts, cereal, peanut butter, doughnuts, bagels, pickles). We want to enjoy real food. The art of dining is becoming lost in this fast food nation full of instant everything. Our effort is to go drug free by growing food, producing eggs and creating food from quality ingredients.