Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

 

104 Comments

Comments

Jean Power says ...
I am a person who has celiac disease. I purchase Gluten-free food from Whole Food . I purchased the Gluten Free bakehouse Gheddar Biscuits and was sick all day after eating this Product. It has ammatto in the biscuits which makes some celiac like myself sick. Beware. jean
08/15/2009 9:53:31 AM CDT
guitarslim says ...
Further reading might also include Jeffrey Steingarten's "Why doesn't everyone in China have a headache?".........wherein he exposes the very questionable "science" which led to the official designation of "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome". He also conducted a "somewhat clinical test" which resulted in (at best), a very weak correlation between MSG intake and the presence of "symptoms".
10/05/2009 1:00:07 PM CDT
Frank says ...
I've noticed that your store does sell L-Glatamic acid as a supplement, which is indeed a "highly concentrated form" of glutamic acid. It should also be noted that the levels of glutamate present in autolyzed yeast and hydrolyzed protein are proportional to the levels of glutamic acid in protein--which is one of the most common amino acids on earth, and almost always above 10%. If you were really concerned about glutamate levels, you would evaluate finished products on the basis of those levels, rather than banning MSG. I'm disappointed that you make such a hollow distinction between "natural" and "artificial." It seems to me that you've just banned the ingredient because it has a chemical name.
10/24/2009 12:26:24 PM CDT
Michelle Brumfield says ...
What do you recommend as a substitute for soy sauce and oyster sauce that does not contain MSG?
11/01/2009 11:37:18 AM CST
Name ist Gilliame says ...
Myths and Misconceptions indeed. Thanks for straightening us out Joe. NOT!!!! Anyway, I really like whole foods, but I still read every label closely. The WF by my house has very skinny isles and there is no room to kneal and read. You are always in someones way. If WF continues to include these ingredients a designated label reading area would help.
01/13/2010 4:09:52 PM CST
maria says ...
The only reason to add in autolyzed yeast and hydrolyzed proteins is for the glutamates. It's an insulting way to skirt around the issue of dangerous exitotoxins being added into the food supply for the sake of flavor, sales, and profitability. MSG itself has a terrible reputation.. so now we have a growing list of alternatives that go unregulated and largely unnoticed. The blood brain barrier can handle these glutamates in limited quantities (ie what you would get from eating a tomato or so). Morningstar chick patties (seemingly healthy soy alternative) uses it in about 5 instances! 5?!! You add them up, it may as well be straight MSG rather than 5 different sources.
02/24/2010 1:59:51 AM CST
Jake says ...
Whole Foods totally miss the boat on MSG. Just remember that your are not health experts and do not conduct independent studies of the effects of food on people. You are a Fortune 500 company that cares about PROFIT. And you certainly don't care about the environment, otherwise you would not truck so many products for thousands of miles each day. And pretending to be involved in Community Agriculture... HUH! That's a joke in my store and I live in the biggest agricultural area in the U.S. For the amount of money your charge for products that can be found cheaper anywhere else, then well, it's clear, it's all about the money for Whole Foods, not people's health.
02/26/2010 9:52:20 AM CST
joe says ...
You say in the blog that "A number of consumer groups have claimed that certain food ingredients, such as autolyzed yeast and hydrolyzed protein, are MSG in disguise." Then you say "They are not." Then you refer readers to an article in the New York Times That says the exact opposite. This claim in the article is based on comments from nutritionists and the USDA. Who should we believe, you or them? Below is the paragraph I am referencing. "Since the 1970s, MSG has sidled back onto American supermarket shelves, under assumed names: hydrolyzed proteins, yeast extracts, protein concentrates and other additives that are not labeled as MSG but, according to nutritionists and the United States Department of Agriculture, are essentially the same thing: synthetically produced glutamates." The whey protein concentrate and liquid aminos that many Americans buy at health food stores are also, essentially, pure glutamate, Dr. Chaudhari said."
03/14/2010 11:20:45 AM CDT
Paul says ...
Dear Mr. Dickson, I pretty much shop at WHOLE FOODS exclusively, and compared to other chain supermarkets, I love it...BUT, your comments regarding MSG and it's derivatives ,is, from my view, the same doublespeak you get from food manufactures,the FDA, etc. Though in a legal sense, it may be technically correct, I think you (deep down inside) know what the real issue is. It's just a way to get around putting MSG in the label. I know that if these ingredients are not added to your foods, consumers would probably not purchase them again since most canned and packaged food won't taste good without it, and after all, WHOLE FOODS is a business and needs repeat customers. So, to repeat, you may be correct in a legal sense, but not in the spirit of the issue. I believe that shoppers of your chain are more intelligent than the average consumer and many, as I, see through this doublespeak. I don't buy these products at your store or any other store. I buy your fresh meats (not sausages-msg derivative added to them as well),your fresh veggies, fruits, frozen berries with no additives, and your brand of peanut butter (with NOTHING, including salt, added). For people concerned about their health, they should do the same. After all, organic food, with chemicals-even natural chemicals- added, is not much better than the junk at the other supermarkets. By the way, most of the organic PACKAGED products are way to high in sodium. Other than this, I still enjoy and appreciate you store for it's real products-unpackaged.
03/25/2010 10:48:43 AM CDT
Janie says ...
Have you read any issues of the Blaylock report? He has a lot of expertise on glutamates and would agree that the other glutamates are not as toxic as MSG, but he still believes they're all bad. I need to be very careful w/ my son's diet. He has autism and epilepsy. I've done a lot of research lately. We are on a mission to improve his diet in the hopes of reducing his seizures. The main thing we're looking for is lunch meat w/out MSG. Do you have such a thing?
07/29/2010 6:59:48 PM CDT
paig292 says ...
@Janie Much of our lunchmeat comes from Wellshire Farms. Their website says: "Briefly stated, over processed meats include substances such as nitrites, phosphates, food starches, food by-products, antibiotics, growth stimulants, and MSG. In many instances, these substances can have an adverse effect on mental and physical health of some children and adults. At Wellshire Farms, our products ate 100% All-Natural and contain no ingredients that are chemically abstracted." And also says: "There is no MSG in any Wellshire Products. Some people argue that the autolyzed yeast is some of our product is MSG. Autolyzed Yeast is a naturally occurring MSG, not an added MSG. The USDA does not define this as MSG." We suggest that you contact Wellshire Farms directly if you have further questions about their lunchmeat. Good luck to you and your son.
07/30/2010 11:40:55 AM CDT
Rene B says ...
When you study the chemical differences between manufactured MSG and naturally occurring glutamic acid you would realize that there is a difference. They are not the same and therefore can have different reactions. You would also realize that the making of the "hidden forms of MSG" can and do produce high levels of glutamate. This is what people are sensitive to. The glutamate is not in it's free form in nature (it is combined with something else) only when it is manufactured is it chemically separated. Look at water H2O and peroxide is H202. Very similar, yet very different.
09/20/2010 9:44:46 PM CDT
stacey gottsch says ...
Shame on you! You and everyone who has any good god given sense can see and feel what MSG does to the body! You better get a tighter handle on the items you allow or I will not shop there and mail out the truth to your consumers. Stacey Gottsch
10/09/2010 11:50:19 AM CDT
a1b5jj says ...
"Autolyzed yeast and hydrolyzed proteins, among other ingredients, are completely natural ingredients" according to Wikipedia: "Hydrolyzed protein is protein that has been hydrolyzed or broken down into its component amino acids. While there are many means of achieving this, two of the most common are prolonged boiling in a strong acid (acid-HVP) or strong base or using an enzyme such as the pancreatic protease enzyme". That does not sound 'completely natural' to me. Evidently these ingredients can be added to match the concentrations of MSG, so how are we to know unless there is a quantity specified on the ingredients as to how concentrated the glutamate levels are?
10/30/2010 10:49:38 PM CDT
a1b5jj says ...
also, the point in being concerned about MSG in whatever form, 'natural' or not, is its correlation to the obesity epidemic in making foods addictive. I would appreciate WFM taking a more clear stand on this important national health issue of MSG and obesity than the weasel words that are used in this position statement.
10/30/2010 10:58:19 PM CDT
Betsy says ...
I am doing various things to keep my bone density as high as possible. One resource suggested I avoid MSG and listed various other ways it can be listed in ingredients to be avoided. One was whey protein. I have been using 365 whey protein for smoothies for several months. While I understand what you said in the blog, would you recommend a different kind of protein because of glutamate content in whey protein? Thanks!
11/15/2010 11:47:19 AM CST
Chelsea says ...
You state that WF clealy marks it's labels--it does not. Allowing "natural flavors/flavoring" to be presented on your labels is not a clear to a consumer what the content is. Frankly, I don't care if you use artificial MSG or the "natural" ( yeast extract)form, they both make me sick and make others sick too--read Dr. Russell Baylock--Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet). Hiding behind "natural flavoring" is at least misleading and at best downright dishonest.I purchased food from WF containing "natural flavoring" and had to dump it out for causing an "MSG buzz." Good WHOLE FOODS stand on their own. Real WHOLESOME foods can be flavored in a variety of ways without resorting to a cheap method. Any chef/cook/company who needs to resort to these "natural flavorings" to make his/her dish/product palatable, doesn't deserve my money. Whole Foods has some great stuff, but many of your foods I will not eat it you offered it free. Oh, and the Canola Oil--is a mixture of omaga 3's and omega 6, but oxidizes.It's NOT a healthy oil. Olive oil, walnut oil is much more healthy--why not use them at your deli instead? After all, you charge a lot for your foood--oh, that's right, Canola oil is so much cheaper--better for profits. Consumers deserve more than what they're getting. At your prices, you should be food purists.
12/11/2010 2:12:32 PM CST
Kris Treat says ...
Fabulous answer for an adult which I am. Leave the "splainin" to an 11 year old out of your blogs. When adults understand they will pass it on.
02/24/2011 9:46:44 AM CST
Heidi McConnell says ...
I find it laughable that you link to an article that contradicts your own stance. On one hand the article praises MSG, which you have taken a stance against. On the other hand, the article also clearly states that MSG and hydrolyzed and autolyzed proteins are "essentially the same thing", which you claim is not the case. My issue isn't really with whether you sell this junk or not (I have learned to read labels, or just make my own food), it is much more with the fact that you claim that you don't sell foods with added MSG. I understand that glutamates occur naturally, but autolyzed yeast (for example) is an additive and it contains MSG. One of your 365 products contained no less than three additives that contain varying amounts of MSG (according to the FDA anything less than 100% pure MSG can be listed as something else). If you add enough small (or not so small) amounts, you could have just added MSG, put it on the label and been honest. If you look at the responses to this thread, it would seem that you have a large number of consumers calling you on your own double-speak. It wasn't that long ago that I was offended when I heard someone say that Whole Foods sells over-priced junk food, but now I agree that much of your packaged food is exactly that. I personally prepare everything that we eat (from tortilla shells to pepperoni), and we do not buy pre-made food anymore. You say that you "draw a clear line between natural glutamate-containing foods, which (you) allow, and highly concentrated MSG, which (you) don't.". I think there is also a great deal of difference between adding tomatoes (which contain glutamates), and including one or more additives that contains processed free glutamic acid (i.e. hydrolyzed proteins, autolyzed proteins, etc). On one hand, tomatoes are a whole food, and contribute an identifiable taste and texture to a dish, on the other, you simply have an additive (or several additives as the case may be).
03/01/2011 12:14:00 PM CST
cam says ...
I just recently became aware that monosodium glutamate kills neurons and that it's still present in many, many foods and that other salts of glutamic acid are added to food, but disguised by labelling. This morning I was dismayed to find "natural flavoring" on my kid's 365 gummy vitamins. From comments above, I take it that "natural flavoring" indicates glutamates, just not monosodium glutamate. Is this correct?
03/29/2011 5:32:52 PM CDT
Alan Gadsby says ...
Hello, Recently I saw on Dr. Mercola's site an interview with Ori Hofmekler about whey as a healthy food, not to mention good for athletes looking to build muscle and get rid of fat. Mercola has long been an advocate of whey, of course. My question arises from comments by them both supporting whey made from raw milk, but even more from Hofmekler's comment that whey concentrate is the best whey, knocking in the process whey isolates. So first, are any of the whey products you sell produced from raw milk, and your whey concentrate which I've just purchased a bag of - same raw question about it - has an unexcitingly unexpressive labelling beyond the basics? Perhaps it's enough to say it's a concentrate, no processes mentioned, and that covers it all. I'm used to being "brainwashed" by a ton of detail which my biochemically-untutored mind likes to think it's figuring out as it compares with other info sources. Anyway, the above gentlemen were strong on raw as the source, and that concentrate is the best kind. Thanks when you can, Alan Gadsby
04/24/2011 1:47:03 PM CDT
M. Christy says ...
Semantics: It is true that hydrolized vegetable protein is not MSG but it does contain MSG and that is a distinction worth noting. You might start with truthinlabeling.com and familiarize yourself with the list of substances in our food that do contain MSG. "Is" or "Contains" = same difference but levels are different going from pure MSG to percentages of MSG. If you are sensitive to MSG as millions of people are and you are speaking for a large corporation then you need to know this. It is disingenuous of you to make such a statement. The statement on hydrolized protein was not required in that paragraph. Take it out because it is misleading.........thank you for listening.....
05/26/2011 10:22:59 AM CDT
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07/22/2011 9:30:03 PM CDT
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08/09/2011 3:28:47 PM CDT
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11/03/2011 12:42:25 PM CDT

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