Whole Story

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110 Comments

Comments

Linda L. Sack says ...
Is it true that they use msg as a pesticide now? I read an article from a thought to be reliable source who reported this. Also, is it true that almost all corn has been genetically modified? and in fact most of our grains grown here in the U.S.? This is such a horrible thing that they imposed on us.
02/08/2012 10:32:37 PM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Linda I reached out to Joe Dickson, our Quality Standards Expert. Here is his response.... "I'm not aware of MSG being used a pesticide. I'd be happy to review any source of information that suggests otherwise. It is true that most of the corn and soy grown in the US is genetically modified. At Whole Foods Market, we believe that the most effective action we can take is to clearly label products that don't contain GMOs, and accordingly, we provide a number of options for shoppers looking to avoid GMOs: •Look for the thousands of organic products we carry as certified organic agriculture prohibits the use of GMOs in organic production and handling. •Buy our 365 Everyday Value and 365 Organic store brand food products; they are sourced to avoid GMO ingredients and many have been verified under the Non-GMO Project verification program. •Look for the Non-GMO Project Verified seal on the many, many products currently on our shelves. We are working with our vendor partners every day to add more to our shelves. Each of our stores’ web pages has a shopping list of Non-GMO Project verified products carried in that store. (www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores)"
02/13/2012 10:58:00 AM CST
bones says ...
Autolyzed yeast extract and hydrolyzed proteins ARE another form of MSG. I suffer THE SAME allergic reactions to all three of these chemicals. The very same chronic itching after unknowingly consuming these so called "completely natural ingredients". When I look up what ingredients that particular prepared food contains low and behold autolyzed yeast extract or hydrolyzed proteins are listed. What special interest group does Whole Foods have to pander to in order to stay in business? I've even visited websites that say the connection between MSG and itching is a myth???? What?
04/11/2012 5:56:22 AM CDT
Nicole says ...
Hate to hear Whole Foods uses autolyzed yeasts.
04/12/2012 12:54:31 AM CDT
Albert says ...
For goodness' sake, the sooner people take an organic chemistry course, the better. Monosodium glutamate, the sodium salt of glutamate, is indeed natural in the sense that while it's manufactured, it can easily be found naturally in foods, in your body, etc. It's soluble in water, ionizing into sodium (ooh, salt) and a glutamate anion (ooh, protein). Any "reactions" people are having to MSG is either due to a third variable, or completely psychological. Unfortunately, the fear-mongering and media-driven scare tactics will never stop. Until then, I'll continue enjoying my yummy, MSG-containing food. If there's any reason to fear MSG, it's that it contains sodium; which is something we should all be watching anyways.
04/14/2012 11:20:13 PM CDT
Greg says ...
Autolyzed yeast extract is in fact an ingredient that contains MSG. It is often used in food products that claim no MSG was added. US laws allow "natural flavoring" to consist of "protein hydrolysates" containing free glutamic acid. That's why they do it - to have the free glutamate to act like MSG so they can declare a "clean label" while misleading the consumer. Shame on Whole Foods for supporting the use of autolyzed yeast or hydrolyzed protein, which can contain up to 20% free glutamic acid - the active part of MSG. Shame on Whole Foods for falsely claiming that "autolyzed yeast and hydrolyzed proteins, among other ingredients, are completely natural ingredients" when they are in fact highly processed, dangerous, addictive toxic food additives.
03/24/2012 12:04:26 AM CDT
Gerry says ...
Excellent comment Albert. IMO, if everybody would just stop eating processed food of any kind purchased from any store, and started eating nuts and twigs in their back yard, they'd be much better off. Good grief, you'd think that everything that WF sells is part of the great MSG conspiracy straight out of the CIA playbook of GMO foods worldwide. I wonder how many of these people notice how much sodium chloride (is it cancer causing?) chemical is in their food they eat every day!? It can be toxic in the wrong amounts and is a known cause of hypertension, can lead to heart attacks, stroke, hardened arteries and a lot of other things! This is PROVEN! Sodium Chloride is dangerous! I think that the inclusion of this ingredient in almost everything we eat is morally wrong, and should be avoided at all costs! The Mono-Sodium Glutamate (MSG) everyone is complaining about is nothing compared to the deadly threat of Sodium Chloride. It is the GMO Conspiracy to end all! Check your food labels people! :-) **(No squirrels were hurt in the production of this comment).
05/29/2012 12:28:31 AM CDT
Rusty says ...
If MSG is not all that bad then why do food companies go to great lengths to change the name of MSG on their ingredients list? Why not just list "MSG" as an ingredient? Because they no that people will avoid that product. Why do they avoid that product with MSG? Because it causes them great discomfort, pain and sometimes suffering. To say that a person that eats a food product containing MSG is suffering due to another variable is downright mean-spirited and ignorant. There is a reason Whole Foods is as popular and successful as they are. People like me believe we can purchase "clean" food without all the cancer/disease causing additives and preservatives. Think about this. Did your grandparents suffer from disease like this generation is now? NO!! They still fought disease like the flu and chicken pox but none of them had trouble digesting wheat products like we are now. Know why? People who are suffering from Celiacs disease or "gluten intollerance" are not actually allergic to wheat..they are allergic to the genetically modified vesion of wheat we are forced to eat now. Monsanto has genetically/chemically engineered all kinds of food products by changing the very essence of the food. Now our bodies do not recognize this new substance and treats it like an invader which triggers the bodys mechanism to eliminate the offendig substance. I got off on a rant..sorry. I could not be happier that Whole Foods finally opened up in my city. This place gives me choices not available at other stores. I actually wanted to put together a trip of WF customers to travel the country in a charter bus to visit stores in other states. My favorite WF store in located in Las Vegas.
06/26/2012 7:07:25 PM CDT
Turner says ...
MSG is in products at Harrys Farmers Market, Roswell/Alpharetta GA. Louisiana fish cornmeal product - the sample provided had Monosodium Glutamate in it. At leasst it was listed clearly on the product. Canola oil used so excessively at Whole Foods-why is this? Very cheap oil-canada oil-which is not a whole food!! We understand that Whole Foods is a publicly traded company and therefore the main objective is to make the shareholders money rather than health.
07/15/2012 10:15:18 AM CDT
Al Monaco says ...
Your 365 Organic Herb & Garlic Water Crackers contains BARLEY MALT. Are you "claiming" that that is not a hidden MSG?
09/05/2012 11:14:44 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@AL MONACO - Our Quality Standards prohibit the use of MSG as an ingredient in any products we carry in our stores. However, there are approved ingredients we use and sell, which may contain naturally occurring free glutamates.
09/06/2012 4:10:24 PM CDT
MARLA says ...
I appreciate this article and on a recent trip through Whole Foods I was surprised to see Autolyzed yeast extract in 3 out of the 5 store-made soups, among other names I have discovered in much study are the" free glutamin " equivalent to MSG. SO I was disappointed- though surely not swayed from loving WHole Foods, but VERY SURPRISED. I am NO expert, but my understanding is that there is a difference between the glutamate our body produces and those created through processing...I amcurious how something so detrimental in a smaller form is still acceptable..but I'd love to believe it, honestly, Joe...Do you have scientific data to back that up? from studies done comparing the effects of the other glutamates vs. MSG and the amounts, etc? I'd truly appreciate it. It seems hard to find solid answers to difficult questions like this.
10/18/2012 3:49:55 PM CDT
Michele Lux-Fulgencio says ...
[SENT TO CS - NN] Although you state that there is a clear distinction between autolyzed yeast extract and hydrolyzed protein and the MSG, those of use who are allergic to it still have the same reactions. I noticed that lately there has been a change in the chicken broth to add an extra ingredient along with a box change. This really upset me, as it was one I cannot consume. I cannot remember what it was at this point, because of course I did not buy it. I have driven across the island numerous time to go to Whole Foods in order to be able to have some chicken broth that has no MSG or other derivatives I cannot eat. I work seven days a week and don't really have the time to make my own broth and was so pleased that someone was smart enough to make a broth made from natural flavors, versus adding "natural flavor" enhancers, that I cannot use. I do understand that it is cheaper to use flavor enhancers, but for those of us with allergies, it is worth the cost of products without. Please don't cave to the low standards of other brands when considering what ingredients to use in your products.
12/01/2012 9:21:00 PM CST
Gilbert Moore says ...
I would like some clarification. You state that Whole Foods does not allow any foods with MSG in them. Is that limited to just foods under the Whole Foods brands, or does that apply to any foods that Whole Foods sells under any and all brands?
12/22/2012 2:58:16 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@GILBERT - This is a Quality Standard of ours that applies to any product that is sold in our stores.
12/27/2012 4:49:40 PM CST
DawnMN says ...
I'm always amazed at the "official line" that there is no direct connection between MSG and the physiological effects that people sensitive to it report. They say it is psychological, or caused by something else. Why don't they just put together a population KNOWN to have adverse reactions, and find out why it happens? I'm not allergic to apples, but a friend of mine is - that doesn't mean her allergy is psychological, or caused by "something else". I'm pretty certain it's the pure MSG form that I'm sensitive to - not the glutamates in general - because I can eat things with hydrolized yeast and not get a reaction. So I figure I'm rather low on the "Sensitivity scale". But if I touch a fingertip in something like "Accent" brand flavor enhancer (pretty much pure Monosodium Glutamate) I get pressure at my temples within 15 to 20 minutes, and a facial flush within 30 minutes - so it wouldn't take long for them to monitor the reaction!!! :) I've actually done that - had a fingertip of "Accent" crystals just to check to see if that was really what I was reacting to in food - and, sure enough! It happens! I've never had a fingertip of hydrolyzed yeast, but I'd be tempted to try a bit of marmite to see if "straight" hydrolyzed yeast does the same thing as the "Accent"... Maybe I'll look for it in the WF store and see if a team member will open it for me to try! But it doesn't bother me (so far) in the concentrations used as flavor enhancer. But I can see where if someone is VERY sensitive to glutamates in general, they really would need the labeling, and I think WF would be smart to comply - regardless of whether or not there is agreement that it is a "toxin in any form" (well, a lot of things are toxins - including Oxalic Acid, which will kill your kidneys and occurs in high concentrations in Kale and spinach, Kids! and I don't see people pounding the desks to have them cleared from the shelves - benefits outweigh the risks there). I'd just wonder if there have been any peer-reviewed and published medical studies involving people who have personally known and demonstrative sensitivities to dietary Monosodium Glutamate (as I have), to determine WHY we react the way we do to this compound. If anyone posts references - please note that I said "Peer reviewed and published" - not "HealthGuruJane's anti-MSG/pro-MSG website". And I'm asking about studies involving dietary Monosodium Glutamate; not the impacts/effects of Glutamates which the body produces naturally regardless of what you eat. If I was a betting person, Glutamate sensitivity will eventually be found to be similar to Cholesterol - your body needs both, your body *produces* both, but different people's metabolisms will react differently to those things in the diet - and health professionals and food manufacturers (and Whole Foods Market) will need to acknowledge it.
02/05/2013 5:15:33 PM CST
Donna B says ...
I just returned from Whole Foods so this discussion, which has been going on for years, is very relevant. I and my husband are very sensitive to MSG and its "hydrolyzed", "autolyzed", "natural flavors" cousins. I spent forever reading all the broth ingredients trying to find one that didn't have MSG or one of its cousins. I have a very simple solution to this problem. The name of the store is WHOLE FOODS. Why not sell only products that contain real whole foods like carrots, onions, celery, chicken, beef, etc. If the products contain any of the forms of MSG, don't sell them. If you don't sell them, the manufacturers will make the products without the objectionable ingredients. And your customers will be happy. And we will buy more, so the store will be happy. Would you make the same argument you're making for the MSG substitutes for a product that contains only small amounts of arsenic as opposed to larger amounts? The bottom line is that people have varying degrees of symptoms from a product that is known neurotoxin. Don't sell it. Period. At this point, I know I have to read each and every label at Whole Foods or suffer the consequences.
02/21/2013 2:21:29 PM CST
carol hoernlein says ...
In 1995, the FDA considered using foods that have high free glutamate content to be misleading and recommended that they be LABELED. The food lobby killed that idea and you are perpetuating the problem. Simply because free glutamate is 78% of MSG (not 100%) by weight and autolysed yeast can contain up to 24% free glutamic acid by weight is a very poor excuse to say they are different. It is simply a matter of degree. Your use of Ajionmotos' propanganda about Umami is not very convincing. Free glutamic acid is free glutamic acid. If someone is trying to avoid it, help them avoid it, don't lie to them and make them ill.
03/09/2013 12:19:28 PM CST
Lynn Kearney says ...
I just want to know if what "natural flavors" means when I see it on something I buy at Whole Foods. Where is it coming from? Lemon? Cashew Nuts? Tomatoes? Soy? And if it is soy, how much processing has taken place? Does it mean Yeast extract, autolized or hydrolized yeast or anything similar? If so, please let me know your take on these ingredients which are considered by some to be similar to msg and possibly causing over excitement of the taste buds neurological disturbances. Thank you.
03/29/2013 6:27:26 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@LYNN - Great question. Note that there is a specific FDA definition for the term, so you can’t sneak any unnatural ingredients under the term “natural flavors.” According to the FDA “The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional. Natural flavors include the natural essence or extractives obtained from plants listed in §§ 182.10, 182.20, 182.40, and 182.50 and part 184 of this chapter, and the substances listed in § 172.510 of this chapter.” Since soy is a major allergen that must be listed under the ingredients of a product, the manufacturer would have to list soy if the product contained it at all.
04/02/2013 12:25:20 PM CDT
Steve says ...
FDA regulations say that manufacturers do not have to put the term "monosodium glutamate" on the label as long as a particular ingredient doesn't contain more than 99 percent pure product. Recommended reading: Health and nutrition secrets by Dr. Russell Blaylock M.D. chapter 7 Link: Truth in labeling http://www.truthinlabeling.org/ Your labels that I diligently checked out when I started buying them have changed with more and more references to natural flavors. I will be actively seeking better alternatives.
06/20/2013 7:43:35 AM CDT
leahnaranjo says ...
wow im a teenager and more of this kind of research is making me realize how much our food system is messed up im scared to eat now :(
07/09/2013 6:08:31 PM CDT
Beth says ...
Whole Foods should revisit their claims of "No MSG". I think the store is now in violation of the FDA labelling guidelines. This is from the FDA website, November, 2012. (See the last sentence): How can I know if there is MSG in my food? FDA requires that foods containing added MSG list it in the ingredient panel on the packaging as monosodium glutamate. However, MSG occurs naturally in ingredients such as hydrolyzed vegetable protein, autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed yeast, yeast extract, soy extracts, and protein isolate, as well as in tomatoes and cheeses. While FDA requires that these products be listed on the ingredient panel, the agency does not require the label to also specify that they naturally contain MSG. However, foods with any ingredient that naturally contains MSG cannot claim “No MSG” or “No added MSG” on their packaging. MSG also cannot be listed as “spices and flavoring.” http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/FoodAdditivesIngredients/ucm328728.htm
08/16/2013 5:59:00 AM CDT
MattC says ...
It is unacceptable and corporate-cowardly to hide ingredients under "Natural Flavors". Please either be honest and list them, or, better yet, make a quality product that doesn't need this junk.
09/02/2013 1:01:40 PM CDT
Steve Mullen says ...
The bottom line for me is that free glutamates make me and my family sick.. spinning headaches, nausea.. immediately after eating anything that contains it. MSG, Autolyzed yeast extract, Modified corn starch and others all have the same effect. To call the connection a myth is insulting... the effect is very real. Yeast may be natural, but once the chemical wizards dissect and condense it to engineer this product it shouldn't be called natural. MSG is just a twisted fermentation of sugar... How is that different?
10/31/2013 6:48:48 AM CDT

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