Monday, June 22, 2009

Don't help me with that hand!

"MSG is a food additive that enhances flavors in food.
It virtually has no flavor of its own,
but neurologically causes people to experience
a more intense flavor from the foods
that they eat containing the substance...

...To millions of consumers,
it means experiencing an adverse effect
from the additive and possible adverse health effects
in the future.
To the food industry,
it means increased profits,
a simple way to balance taste in a product line
and mask unwanted tastes,
and to make otherwise unpalatable foods

...A growing number of neuroscientists
believe that MSG may be a
'slow neurotoxin, resulting in
neurodegenerative diseases such as
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
later in life.'"

- Dr. Jack L. Samuels of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation
in MSG: Dangers and Deception

Happy to be part of
Fight Back Fridays!
click here

When Oprah gave away Kentucky "Grilled" Chicken I had mixed feelings, but not enough feelings to write about it.

Now Beyonce is doing a commercial for Hamburger Helper and their "Helping Hand" campaign.
I guess I'm annoyed enough to speak up about it now, but not to bash Beyonce or Oprah.
They have their reasons. I don't know their reasons.
I'm not sure I care what their reasons are.
I'll speculate that they really do believe they're doing the right thing.

What gets my goat is the manipulation of associating a charitable act with a poisonous product.
They pull on our heart strings then make big profits off us with crappy non-foods.
It's just plain sneaky.

It's clever because if I speak up against Beyonce and the Helping Hand campaign I risk appearing callous to the needs of the food banks that stand to benefit from Hamburger Helper sales (click here for their slick ad campaign featuring Ms. Knowles).

There's got to be a better way to raise money to feed the hungry.
Pushing a non-food product disguised as food cannot be the only way to get meals to food banks.
Can it?

Folks who care about health and nutrition (enough to read labels, understand what they're ingesting and make better choices) come across as whining when we speak up about MSG and other chemical additives.

The effects of eating a toxic diet are not obvious or immediate.
They're cumulative.
It takes time for the SAD (Standard American Diet) to manifest symptoms in the standard American.

Connecting symptoms to food requires differential diagnostics, testing, finances and a doctor who will prescribe the tests. I have yet to meet a mainstream health care provider who will even entertain that disease and diet might be directly connected.

We also have the Smilex factor (click here for my blog on that one).
Sometimes it takes more than one neurotoxic food additive to show up in multiple places in order for illness to manifest.
But put a little aspartame plus MSG plus HFC with your GMO eaten day after day after day and whammo!
You've got an illness that's "all in your mind", falsely attributed to genetics or just plain bad luck.
Suggest to your doctor that you might be sensitive to MSG.
See what kind of response you get.
(click here for a great resource on how to avoid MSG)

I had a student who told me the other day how she learned in a nutrition class that corn syrup is not that bad as long as you eat it in moderation.
Where would she get an idea like that except from research done BY the folks who stand to benefit from corn syrup profits?
These big corporations would much rather "prove" that the American public must be eating "too much" rather than admit that their product is bad.

Rather than be accountable for purveying a poison product they hide the facts, stretch the truth and craft ad campaings designed to associate their neuro-toxic franken-food with charity and good will.
Hence, the Helping Hand debacle.

Consumer advocate agencies, non-profit or not-for-profit, scrape to bring lawsuits against these giant corporations while the FDA helps the bad guys to dodge the bullets Matrix-style (click here to read Samuel's article on the failure of Truth in Labeling Campaign). Imagine that. A federal agency working against consumers. Hmph.

Do I blame Beyonce?
Beyonce is just the mast-head at the front of the ship (click here for the commercial).
She may be the siren whose singing gets the other boats to crash up against the rocks
I'm not sure how accountable she needs to be on this one.

Maybe it's time for us, the consumers, to say No-Thank-You to poison foods.
Maybe send a dollar directly to the charitable organization with a short note saying we'd prefer not to spend money on MSG laced non-foods but that we do support the cause of feeding the hungry.

But let's not feed them Hamburger Helper, ok?

*Lisa's Video Pick of the Day*
Dr. Vincent Bellonzi is a chiropractor and a Certified Clinical Nutritionist who's talking about the dangers of MSG. He explains why it makes food tastes "better".
He says we can make dirt taste good with msg.
click here or click below

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JC said...

Great post.
Locally I have done something to address this issue. I've started a project, coordinating with the local food pantry, where we have a table at the farmers' market and we ask for food donations from the shoppers. The idea is to give fresh produce, meat and eggs to the members of the pantry instead of the usual canned and packaged junk and stale bread from WF. For the shoppers it's pretty easy because they can even just buy a head of broccoli or a dozen eggs and it's a small amount for them but if lots do it we can get a good amount of food for the pantry. We keep track of the donations for tax purposes. The farmers benefit too.

foodrenegade said...

Great post. And I love JC's idea here in the comments!

Thanks for joining in the Fight Back Friday fun.

(AKA FoodRenegade)

greenspell said...

Awesome post. Interesting problem - wanting to help charitable causes, but not wanting to promote the use of dangerous additives! Way to go, putting this out there!