According to the United States Department of Agriculture, MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is an amino acid that is found in all foods. Certain foods such as meat, poultry, fish and cheese may contain higher amounts of MSG. MSG may also be generated in a lab and used as a preservative. There is plenty of debate about the effects of MSG in one’s diet. Some advocates proclaim there is no harm done while others proclaim serious health effects as a result of adding MSG to our food supply.
Organic Fruits and Vegetables
Organic fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables do not contain any added ingredients or chemicals. The MSG Truth website states that in order for fruits and vegetables to be labeled organic, farmers and food manufacturers must ensure that their products did not use most conventional pesticides or fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients, and did not go through bioengineering or ionizing radiation. Check labels to determine whether artificial ingredients were added during the packaging process.
According to Sustainable Table, a nonprofit organization that educates the public about the problems with our food supply, about two-thirds of American cattle raised for slaughter are given hormones in order to make them grow more quickly as well as other chemicals during the pasteurization process. Whole organic milk as well as organic dairy products such as butter contain no added ingredients or chemicals by law. Check the label on the butter to make sure it contains only cream and salt. Other dairy options include homemade mozzarella cheese, and rice, almond and hazelnut milk.
Naturally Raised Meats
Farmed animals that are raised for slaughter are given a whole host of hormones and chemicals to help produce bigger, juicier cuts of meat. More chemicals, such as MSG, are then added during the packaging process in order to enhance flavor and lengthen the shelf life of meats. When choosing beef, pork or poultry, pay attention to labeling. Meats labeled USDA-certified Organic or those that claim the animals were naturally raised should contain no added MSG. Naturally raised animals mean that no form of bioengineering or other form of conventional farm raising was used.
Homemade Sauces and Dressings
Many store-bought sauces, seasonings and dressings like gravy, ranch salad dressing, seasoning salt, vegetable dips and more contain high amounts of MSG. What’s more, many companies are deceptive in their labeling, according to MSG Truth, claiming the product does not contain MSG when it really does. In order to avoid MSG, it’s best to make sauces and dressings from scratch. For example, fresh tomatoes and other vegetables can be used to make spaghetti sauce. Combining olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and/or vinegar, with other spaces for added flavor, will result in an MSG-free salad dressing.