A Must Read!

Available at Amazon.com, see link below.

The Perfect Poison is a tell-all about the toxic effects of monosodium glutamate (MSG) and the U.S. regulatory agency that has successfully suppressed that information for over 50 years.  

But 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.   

The Perfect Poison also offers an introduction to the thought-provoking hypothesis that excitotoxic manufactured free glutamate, ingested on a daily basis, plays a significant role in the many abnormalities with which glutamate toxicity is associated. 

Available in print and e-book format at Amazon.com

Neither Fish nor Fowl, as Imitation Foods Flood the Market the FDA Looks the Other Way

It doesn’t take a degree in marine biology to know that a concoction of pea protein isolates, soy protein concentrate, lentil and faba protein (all brain-damaging free glutamate ingredients), mixed up with some spices, yeast extracts, and natural flavors isn’t anything that came from the sea.

Yet, fake seafood abounds in the supermarket, even in some restaurants. Labeled as crab cakes, fish burgers, fish sticks, salmon burgers, prawns, shrimp, and even tuna, these imitation products are labeled to confuse.

We’ve told you about Good Catch “tuna” in a pouch, TUNO, and a few others, but the market for fake food is increasing so fast, it’s hard to keep up. We’ll give a closer look to some of these products in a minute, but first, let’s look at the labeling – something you would think the FDA would be doing.

According to the trade group the National Fisheries Institute these “alternative” products are “misbranded” and violate FDA’s labeling requirements. While not mentioning the toxic nature of the ingredients, the group says that due to their overall deficiency in nutritional benefits compared to real seafood, they should be required to say “imitation” prominently on package labeling.

“The FDA’s existing requirements state that nutritionally inferior substitutes must be labeled as “imitation.”  Mislabeling food is a serious infraction and can harm consumers both by depriving them of expected nutritional benefits and by possibly exposing them to food allergies.  The FDA statutes state labels that are misleading in any way are regarded as “misbranded.

“…the FDA refuses to enforce such a requirement on highly processed, plant-based alternative products designed and marketed to imitate fish without containing any fish protein.”

The National Chicken Council is also up in arms about fake chicken products labeled as “chicken tenders,” “chick’n strips,” and “chopped chick’n,” to name a few. The council states that such products are “misbranded under the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act.”

But despite such complaints on behalf of industry, it seems that more and more imitation foods are being introduced and purchased by confused consumers looking to eat healthier. While “plant-based” is a great marketing term, all it typically means is that the product came from a manufacturing plant.

Think about it — how many manufactured, toxic flavoring additives does it take to make pea protein or soy protein taste even remotely like crabmeat or tuna?

An Imitation Game

Two companies flooding the market in the fake food business include:

Gathered Foods, makers of the Good Catch line of imitation seafood. This company, which recently opened a manufacturing plant in Ohio (about as far from an ocean as their products are from fish), uses its proprietary “6-plant protein blend” along with a host of natural flavors, oils, starches, yeast extracts, corn starch, methylcellulose, corn maltodextrin, and corn flour to make a “tender, flaky whitefish texture.”

The special protein blend consists of pea protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, chickpea flour, faba protein, lentil protein, and soy protein isolate, all sources of brain-damaging free glutamate.

The company markets fake “crab cakes,” “tuna,” “fish fillets,” “salmon burgers,” along with food service versions so restaurants can cook up seafood fakery too.

Mega-food company Conagra Brands jumped on the pretend protein bandwagon with a complete array of pseudo-foods under the Gardein name. Its “f’sh filets” for example, contain a full line-up of chemical concoctions including “textured vegetable protein product,” “soy protein concentrate,” “titanium dioxide,” “yeast extract,” “natural flavors,” and “autolyzed yeast extract.”

Despite the fakery involved in the marketing of its products, Gathered Foods executives say on their website that they are helping to “feed” and “save the world.”

But however much funding they receive, fancy packaging they create, and cliché mission statements they post, they are nothing more than purveyors of imitation foods filled with toxic, brain-damaging ingredients.

Fake tuna?!

The ever-expanding market for imitation food has reeled in a host of phony fish dishes, the latest coming from “Good Catch,” with its “fish-free TUNA.”

This product contains more brain damaging MfG ingredients than any other product we’ve previously looked at, including pea protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, faba protein, lentil protein, soy protein isolate, citric acid and yeast extract.

Why the company has not been challenged by the FDA for false and misleading labeling isn’t clear, since the FDA has a long list of what can legally be called tuna, which is limited to actual varieties of real fish. Nestle, which also makes a faux fish product at least calls it “Vuna,” a product that “tastes like tuna.”

That little detail hasn’t stopped “Good Catch” from netting millions of dollars in investment capital, including close to $30 million in its latest round of funding.

Exactly what are ultra-processed foods and what makes them so unhealthy?

What makes a food “ultra-processed?”

Apologists for Big Food are working hard to make us believe that (with a few exceptions) ultra-processed foods are simply the natural evolution of food processing. Bread, they tell us, is likely the very first “processed” food, originally crafted over 30,000 years ago. Then there are cheeses, beer, and fermented foods – all created by humans to advance how we eat.

But along with the introduction of more and more novel ready-to-eat processed foods (such as canned beans and grape jelly in the 1920s and breakfast cereals hitting the market in the 1940s), something odd happened to large categories of these items. No longer did they retain the basic identity of food itself, with some being made entirely of laboratory-created ingredients.

These new creations, later labeled ultra-processed foods, surreptitiously emerged around the 1980s.

Before this sneaky shift in how many “foods” were being manufactured was realized, however, the effects of consuming these items became quite obvious — a growing epidemic of obesity along with a marked rise in chronic diseases.

And despite the increased scrutiny these types of foods have garnered lately you won’t find any kind of FDA-sanctioned labeling or notice that what you’re considering serving for dinner may look like what’s traditionally thought of as food, only it really isn’t.

The ‘Ultra-Processed Food Group’

Investigations by Dr. Carlos Monteiro, a professor of Nutrition and Public Health in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and other researchers at the University of Sao Paulo led to a first-of-its-kind classification of processed foods called Nova in 2010.

Using Nova, Monterio and others published a paper in 2019 that defines what makes up ultra-processed food.

Ingredients characteristic of ultra-processed foods are either food substances of no or rare culinary use, or else classes of additives whose function is to make the final product sellable, palatable and often hyper-palatable.

Classes of additives used only in the manufacture of ultra-processed foods are flavors, flavor enhancers, colors, emulsifiers, emulsifying salts, artificial sweeteners, thickeners, and foaming, anti-foaming, bulking, carbonating, gelling, and glazing agents. All of them, most notably flavors and colors, either disguise unpleasant sensory properties created by ingredients, processes, or packaging used in the manufacture of ultra-processed foods, or give the final product intense sensory properties especially attractive to see, taste, smell and/or touch, or both.

Manufactured flavoring agents, such as MSG and dozens of other additives containing brain-damaging free glutamate are key indicators of these ultra-processed foods. And all of these additives that make a non-food look and taste like real food have been given free rein by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Monterio gives this tip as a way to ID ultra-processed foods:

Generally, the practical way to identify if a product is ultra-processed is to check to see if its list of ingredients contains at least one item characteristic of the ultra-processed food group. These are either food substances never or rarely used in kitchens or classes of additives whose function is to make the final product palatable or more appealing.

The FDA has done its part to help in the proliferation of this “ultra-processed food group” by distracting consumers into reading its mandated and relatively meaningless nutrition facts label and declaring these toxic additives to be either “safe” or GRAS — generally recognized as safe.

Sadly, also making the Nova list of ultra-processed foods are infant formulas and “meal replacement” beverages for the elderly and infirm.

As Dr. Monterio said in an interview in 2023, the “main purpose of ultra-processed food is to make products that can replace real foods (to) amplify profits of the food industry.”

And when the food industry has friends like the FDA to help it along, you can bet the farm that more ultra-processed foods will be replacing real farm-grown foods than ever before.