family, food, parenting, Svara

Sometimes I wish I lived in the future.  It seems that so many things are up in the air about what’s good for you, what’s bad for you, what’s dangerous and what’s safe.  I’m sure there will always be problems like that, but sometimes it all seems a bit much to deal with.  When it was just myself I was taking care of I could determine what was worth the risk and what wasn’t, but it all becomes more complicated when you have a child.

Today this dilemma hit me in the face again.  Everyone knows what MSG is.  Everyone knows that there is a lot of controversy about whether it has bad effects on people or not.  You have to take everything with a grain of salt (no pun intended).  Until the day comes when government studies can be trusted, we have to read all the available information ourselves and decide.  When it comes down to it, I know I have problems with eating too much MSG.  I get a bellyache.  That in itself leads me to believe that some people do have problems with it.  So while I do sometimes eat foods with MSG I generally try to stay away from it and have definitely tried to keep it away from Svara.

One very common convenience food here is instant noodles.  Quite awhile ago I did find one brand that claimed to have “NO MSG added”.  So this is the only kind that I eat.  Svara would occasionally eat it, but I still didn’t like her eating packaged noodles and there were still a couple ingredients I didn’t recognize, so I found an alternative.  I buy organic noodles and I make her own soup with miso and some seasoning powder as the flavoring base.  She eats noodle soup almost every day as she loves it and it’s one of the only ways she’ll readily eat vegetables.  She eats almost as many carrots as noodles in her soup.  The seasoning powder I bought at the organic shop and the ingredients looked recognizable and fine.  What could be wrong with mushroom extract and kombu extract afterall?

Well… apparently MSG was originally extracted from seaweed.  Extract is not a whole food, it’s just something from the food that they’ve extracted.  And according to the good ol’ world wide web, mushroom extract and kombu extract contain MSG.  So I’ve been feeding my dear baby MSG all these months?????  I feel terrible.  Why didn’t I look this up earlier???   I mean, it doesn’t seem as if she’s had any bad effect, but there is so much they don’t know about MSG and what it can do, you know?

I didn’t see anything about miso on any of the MSG things I read, so I’ll just make her soup with plain miso base from now on.

Apparently companies know that many people don’t like to consume MSG, so they just hide it in their labels and can even say “NO MSG added” when in reality the ingredients they use already contain MSG, they just don’t add pure MSG to it, so they can put that on the label.  That really stinks.

Don’t take anything I’m saying as facts, please.  But if you are interested, do a google search and there is more than enough info to keep you reading for days.  But I’ve had enough.  I’ll be a bit more careful about certain “extracts” in the ingredient labels from now on, but I’m sure another day will come soon when I’ll find out that I’ve been “deceived” by yet another label…  sigh…


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