Tuesday, May 18, 2010

More Foods Recalled

 

Just read a long list of foods that have been recalled because they have an ingredient called hydrolized vegetable protein.  Another word for a substance that has been processed chemically from corn. Here is the complete list : http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/HVPCP/

I have been reading the Omnivores Dilemma  and highly recommend this book to each and every one of you.  It goes along with the video Food Inc.  I would say it will go on my top ten list of books that have changed my life and my thinking process. It is about an author's search for where food comes from.  He went to the farmers and the feedlots and chemists and discovered how corn has become a huge commodity and is being used for all sorts of things that seem invisible in our food.  Most of those items that have long names are really derivatives of corn. I am not saying corn is a bad thing read the book.  I don't want the corn industry on my back for sure!



A point I do want to make is please create a storehouse of good food for your family.  You could experience a natural disaster, loose your income or be faced with food call backs and find yourself without food for the family.  One example is right now they are calling back bullion. I use it a lot in cooking and would miss it if it weren't on my shelf.  I have been storing it for quite a while so my bullion has not been affected by the call back.  Buy extra food each week and develop a years worth of storage.  Sounds impossible but it is not and is worth more than any bank account or stock certificate that could be lost in an instant.  I have taught classes on food storage over the years and lately can not find anyone interested.  I shake my head and keep reading more and more reasons to be preparing.  Preparing should be on the list of your goals and the whole family should be learning about it and its purpose.


I just read an article what was referred to as MSG's little brother HVP.  Hydrolized Vegetable Protein, a flavor enhancer commonly used in processed foods. It turns out that the amino acid in HVP that is responsible for "enhancing" the taste of foods is glutamic acid. In its crystalline form, glutamic acid is more commonly known as monosodium glutamate, or MSG. Using HVP is a way for manufacturers to use glutamic acid to add flavor without using MSG -- and having to put those oft-avoided letters on the label.  So here is another thing to watch out for.

Learn to can, put good food away in it's purest form, teach your family what is in the food they eat, educate them, have a family garden.

Recent massive snack recalls are turning attention to HVP, a "substitute" for MSG that's basically the same thing

This week has seen a rash of foods recalled due to possible contamination with Salmonella Tennessee, ranging from selected flavors of Pringles to Herb-Ox bouillon to Quaker brand snack mix (see the complete list here). The common ingredient in all these products is hydrolyzed vegetable protein, or HVP, manufactured by Basic Food Flavors, in Nevada, where Salmonella bacteria were found on the processing equipment.
As the story unfolds, however, possible Salmonella contamination is not the only thing raising eyebrows about HVP, a flavor enhancer commonly used in processed foods. It turns out that the amino acid in HVP that is responsible for "enhancing" the taste of foods is glutamic acid. In its crystalline form, glutamic acid is more commonly known as monosodium glutamate, or MSG. Using HVP is a way for manufacturers to use glutamic acid to add flavor without using MSG -- and having to put those oft-avoided letters on the label.
Glutamic acid occurs naturally in many foods that are aged or fermented, like soy sauce and cheese. In 1908, a researcher named Kikunae Ikeda at Tokyo Imperial University discovered glutamic acid in a search to isolate the savory flavor of dashi, or kombu seaweed broth, a traditional and fundamental ingredient in Japanese cuisine. Ikeda named the taste of the isolated acid umami, and it's now recognized as one of the five basic tastes, along with sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. American chefs typically refer to the ineffable taste by its Japanese name, but it's sometimes described as being "savory" and "meaty," and is often most recognized as the aftertaste of mushrooms, ripe tomatoes, and, well, meat.
Ikeda’s isolation of the delicious umami taste led to the mass production of monosodium glutamate. MSG came under public scrutiny in 1968, when a Chinese-American physician wrote to the New England Journal of Medicine and described the symptoms of what he called Chinese Restaurant Syndrome -- including sweating, weakness, heart palpitations and headaches -- after eating Chinese food. The physician assumed that the symptoms were caused by MSG, and his theory became so well known that the additive was blamed for symptoms as far-ranging as numbness and chest pain, although studies have never shown a statistically relevant link.
In 1969, scientist John Olney coined the term "excitotoxin" for substances, chiefly glutamic acid, that overstimulated and destroyed brain cells in mice. In 1996, Dr. Russell Blaylock, a neurosurgeon, published "Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills," a book that discussed a possible relationship between excitotoxins to neurological diseases in humans. Large-scale FDA, World Health Organization and United Nations studies have shown that normal consumption of glutamic acid is safe, but MSG continues to be shunned by many consumers. Of those, though, few recognize that HVP and MSG share the ingredient that Blaylock alleges is dangerous to health.
The FDA considers it misleading to put a "No MSG" label on foods containing glutamic acid, but the substance appears without calling attention to itself in food additives such as hydrolyzed plant protein, sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, yeast extract, textured protein, autolyzed yeast and hydrolyzed oat flour.

2 comments:

Createology said...

Thank you for sharing such important information on our foods we eat.
Also, thank you for visiting my blog and leaving me such a nice comment.

Marie said...

Thanks for the post! I loved Food, Inc. Well, I was totally horrified, but I really appreciated the impression it had on me. So, I'm about to borrow the book from the library and can't wait to read it!