Ultra-processed foods: The ultimate in bad eating

The Washington Post published an interesting article recently about ultra-processed foods: “What are ultra-processed foods? What should I eat instead?” by Anahad O’Connor September 27, 2022.

According to O’Connor, “Ultra-processed foods are extra tasty concoctions that we eat every day. They are also linked with chronic diseases and a higher risk of early death.”

What O’Connor doesn’t seem to know however, is that ultra-processed foods also contribute to the obesity crisis that followed the 1957 introduction of the mass-produced excitotoxic – brain damaging – free glutamate component of MSG developed specifically for use in food, see: http://truthinlabeling.org/blog/2023/02/14/a-short-explanation-of-the-obesity-epidemic/

It’s worth thinking about

It’s worth thinking about.  There’s always been Alzheimer’s disease, but not in the numbers we’re seeing today.  If fact, the same is true of every neurodegenerative disease.  Prior to 1950, the incidence of neurodegenerative disease was unremarkable. 

What happened to change that?

The Perfect Poison: The Story That Big Food and Its Friends at the FDA Don’t Want You To Know

A tell-all about the toxic effects of free glutamate and the U.S. regulatory agency that has been successfully suppressing that information for over 50 years.

This is the story of one man’s battle to survive unlabeled poisons in food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and supplements. Poisons that put everyone at risk. Poisons found even in infant formula.

Part memoire, part history, part exposé this book will introduce you to the men and women who manufacture and market toxic chemicals dressed up as food. You will meet the people hired to execute carefully rigged research guaranteed to conclude that excitotoxic — brain damaging — free glutamic acid is safe for human consumption. People who get the government, media and medical community to do their bidding.

This is a story of Jack and Adrienne Samuels, who evolved from typical consumers to consumer advocates. A pair with the courage to stand up to one of the world’s most powerful, heartless corporations and the government agencies that empower it. A couple who worked tirelessly to solve the puzzle of Jack’s curious food sensitivity, and in so doing found that the manufactured free glutamate that caused his medical problems also plays a significant role in the obesity epidemic, various behavior disorders, and the infertility crisis, and likely contributes to a vast number of poorly understood abnormalities of the nervous system such as multiple sclerosis, autism, and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

More than a myth-shattering book, The Perfect Poison provides readers with the tools needed to deal with reactions to excitotoxic manufactured free glutamate found in processed and ultra-processed food, or better yet, to avoid it altogether.

Available in paperback and e-book format

A short explanation of the obesity epidemic

I know something you don’t know.  I know that man-made free glutamic acid (free glutamate), the active ingredient in monosodium glutamate (MSG), caused and maintains the obesity epidemic.

Evidence? Some things are easy to understand.

1. Anyone who was reading medical journals in 1969 and the 1970s knew that monosodium glutamate (which contains manufactured free glutamate) fed in large amounts to newborn animals causes brain damage in a particular area of the hypothalamus — brain damage that is aways followed by gross obesity, infertility, behavior disorders and other abnormalities (1).

2. The obesity epidemic materialized in the 1960s.  Prior to 1957, there were people who had problems with obesity, but not in numbers so significant that they couldn’t be explained (2,3).

3. In 1957 the major U.S. producer of MSG and the free glutamate contained in it started producing free glutamate in sufficient amounts to cause that free glutamate to be excitotoxic – brain damaging (4).

Studies done over the years leave no question that there are three requirements for glutamate-induced brain damage, and that humans can meet them all:

A vulnerable brain

The vulnerable brain in humans is the immature brain of a fetus or newborn, never protected by a blood-brain barrier. 

Sufficient free glutamate to cause the free glutamate to become excitotoxic

Virtually unlimited amounts of free glutamate became available in 1957 when production of free glutamate for use in food changed from extraction of glutamate from protein to production of free glutamate by bacterial fermentation (4).

A way to deliver the toxin to the vulnerable brain

You couldn’t feed glutamate-containing ingredients to a newborn with a fork or a spoon.  But if a pregnant woman consumes enough glutamate during the course of a day (which she will do if she is eating processed and ultra-processed foods), she will pass that glutamate through the placenta to her fetus, damaging the fetuses’ vulnerable brain.

It’s the timing that tells the story of the obesity epidemic.

Prior to 1957, there was obesity, but not in such amounts that it would be called an epidemic.  During that time, glutamate was produced using a slow and costly method.

After 1957, there was sufficient production of glutamate to cause it to be excitotoxic – brain damaging.  And sales of products containing free glutamate, not just MSG, were vigorously promoted.

Increases in the incidence of obesity began to be noticed in the early 1970s, when the first glutamate-induced brain damaged fetuses reached maturity as obese adults.


1. The first study to address the possibility that glutamate from outside the body (from eating for example) might cause brain damage followed by obesity and reproductive dysfunction was published in 1969.  At the time, researchers were administering glutamate to laboratory animals subcutaneously using Accent brand MSG because it had been observed that MSG was as effective for inflicting brain damage as more expensive pharmaceutical grade L-glutamate (7).

In the decade that followed, research confirmed that glutamate given as monosodium glutamate administered or fed to neonatal animals causes hypothalamic damage, endocrine disruption, and behavior disorders when given to immature animals after either subcutaneous (8-29) or oral (15,21,22,24,30-34) doses. 

15. Olney, J.W. Glutamate-induced neuronal necrosis in the infant mouse hypothalamus. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 30: 75-90, 1971.

21. Burde, R.M., Schainker, B., and Kayes, J. Acute effect of oral and subcutaneous administration of monosodium glutamate on the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus in mice and rats. Nature(Lond) 233: 58-60, 1971.

22. Olney, J.W. Sharpe, L.G., Feigin, R.D. Glutamate-induced brain damage in infant primates. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 31: 464-488, 1972.

24. Burde, R.M., Schainker, B., and Kayes, J. Monosodium glutamate: necrosis of hypothalamic neurons in infant rats and mice following either oral or subcutaneous administration. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 31: 181, 1972.

30. Olney, J.W., Ho, O.L. Brain damage in infant mice following oral intake of glutamate, aspartate or cystine. Nature(Lond) 227: 609-611, 1970.

31. Lemkey-Johnston, N., and Reynolds, W.A. Incidence and extent of brain lesions in mice following ingestion of monosodium glutamate (MSG). Anat Rec 172: 354, 1972.

32. Takasaki, Y. Protective effect of mono- and disaccharides on glutamate-induced brain damage in mice. Toxicol Lett 4: 205-210, 1979.

33. Takasaki, Y. Protective effect of arginine, leucine, and preinjection of insulin on glutamate neurotoxicity in mice.Toxicol Lett 5: 39-44, 1980.

34. Lemkey-Johnston, N., and Reynolds, W.A. Nature and extent of brain lesions in mice related to ingestion of monosodium glutamate: a light and electron microscope study. J Neuropath Exp Neurol33: 74-97, 1974.

2. Monitoring Human Tissues for Toxic Substances (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK234172/)

3. Overweight and Obesity in the United States, 1960–2000 https://www.infoplease.com/math-science/health/fitness-nutrition/overweight-and-obesity-in-the-united-states-1960-2000

4. Sano C. History of glutamate production. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Sep;90(3):728S-732S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.27462F. Epub 2009 Jul 29. PMID: 19640955.

Not all glutamate is created equal

There are two types of glutamate. One is bound glutamate, glutamate tied or “bound” to other amino acids in protein.

Bound glutamate causes no damage in the brain or peripheral tissue. It triggers no adverse reactions.

Then there is free glutamate.  Free glutamate does three things simultaneously, it:

1. Triggers glutamate receptors in the mouth and on the tongue causing them to swell, so to speak, giving the food with which they were ingested a more robust taste.

2. Triggers glutamate receptors in the brain. In well-regulated amounts, glutamate enables the brain to function properly. However, in excess amounts such as those presently available in processed food, glutamate becomes an excitotoxic neurotransmitter firing repeatedly until its targeted glutamate receptors die.

3. Triggers glutamate receptors in peripheral tissue.

Note to the Washington Post

To:   The Washington Post

Subject: Re: 99 reasons to love The Post

From: Adrienne Samuels – TruthLabeling@gmail.com

On Feb 10, 2023, at 1:53 PM, The Washington Post <email@washingtonpost.com> wrote:

And Adrienne Samuels responded:

And telling about poisons added to food that their manufacturers don’t want the Post to tell would be awesome.

Adrienne Samuels


It’s time to set the record straight

The Creator didn’t design amino acids to be created outside of the body.

And in 1957 when industry did just that to enhance profits the result was a product that causes reactions like asthma, fibromyalgia, seizures, and migraine headache, brain damage followed by uncontrollable obesity and unrelenting infertility, and that very likely, plays a part in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism, macular degeneration, and other abnormalities that are tagged as “glutamate-induced.”

This patented invention is known as glutamic acid or glutamate.  If you want to enjoy good health, start by avoiding all free glutamate — not just MSG.  Free glutamate will be found in more than 40 different ingredients — making them all toxic just like monosodium glutamate is toxic.  With rare exception, you’ll find that processed and ultra-processed foods all containtoxic free glutamate.

The Perfect Poison tells it all, from the names of ingredients that contain free glutamate to how industry riggs the “scientific” studies used to “prove” that their toxic product, MSG, is harmless — with help from the FDA.

The website of The Truth In Labeling Campaign is presently being reworked to supplement the book.   

The Perfect Poison is available in print and e-book here.

The Truth in Labeling Campaign website can be accessed at www.truthinlabeling.org

Spread the word

The Truth in Labeling Campaign website is getting a facelift.  References to monosodium glutamate (MSG), the flavor-enhancing food additive that causes adverse reactions and brain damage are being replaced with references to free glutamate, the excitotoxic amino acid component of MSG that actually does the damage.

What’s the big deal?

Those who have noticed having “MSG reactions” after eating processed foods containing yeast extract, corn starch, soy protein, maltodextrin, or natural flavor, for example, and nothing listed as “MSG” on ingredient labels will understand right away.  There’s a tremendous amount of manufactured free glutamate out there just waiting to do damage to unsuspecting consumers. Avoiding the one product/ingredient called MSG isn’t enough.

Take a look – www.truthinlabeling.org

Birth of excitotoxicity

Monosodium glutamate, the food additive, was invented in 1908 at which time the glutamate component was produced by extracting glutamate from protein — a slow and costly method.

It was reinvented in 1957 using genetically modified bacteria to produce glutamate. Following reinvention, virtually unlimited amounts of free glutamate became available, and great quantities of free glutamate, often in the ingredient called monosodium glutamate, were poured into processed foods. For the first time in history, there existed the excessive amounts of free glutamate needed to produce excitotoxicity.