This journey would not be complete without potholes.

I'm currently snacking on pistachios. They seem innocuous enough - but I decided to look them up on Fooducate to be safe.

This is where a smart phone would really come in handy - I could figure this shit out before buying it!

Fooducate informed me that the pistachio brand on which I currently chew contains "MSG-like ingredients." I've been hearing a lot about MSG lately. For some reason I thought it wasn't a thing anymore after all that trouble with the Chinese restaurants, or that the MSG I've been hearing about is somehow different. Not so, my naive self, not so.

My pistachios have "yeast extract," which, as it turns out, is one of the "Many Names of Monosodium Glutamate" (MSG). And, goodness gracious, it has a lot of names. This scared me a bit, so I went to find some research on MSG.

I wanted a legitimate source. If you've ever tried to research anything related to food, you'll know that it is nearly impossible to get a consistent, seemingly well-researched and proven answer to your questions. There has to be a trick to all this - Google search results, being ranked by popularity, are little help. I usually find myself on a "fitness blog" from some skinny, perfect blonde who doesn't cite her sources.

To my somewhat surprise, I found a posting by a doctor - or at least someone claiming to be a doctor. I am ever the skeptic of the internet, and I wish I could drill into my students' heads that they should be wary of technology too. HAL. Anyway. This guy is seemingly what I wanted, and provided me both with a history of MSG, and a confirmation that my damned pistachios do, in fact, contain MSG. Fooducate called it MSG-like, but it is MSG. According to the doc, anyway.

I like the article. You should read it. He offers a history of MSG, including the Chinese food scare, and this tidbit:

Think your diet is MSG-free? Think again. Thanks to creative marketing and PR campaigns, MSG masquerades as glutamate, monopotassium glutamate, autolyzed yeast, yeast extract, gelatin, hydrolyzed protein, calcium caseinate, and sodium caseinate. (And this is just a partial list!) 

My journey would not be complete without potholes. This is a big one. I try to shop wisely and think about my food choices. Now, I feel like I have to search the ingredients of every product that I buy. I suppose it shouldn't be too hard, as I am not too much of a snacker. 

This is quite irritating. I've known for awhile that the scary ingredients are hidden by the food companies. The lack of accountability is astonishing, and depressing. If I dig too deep, my findings will probably lead me to a very difficult and expensive food road. As it stands, I haven't really felt the monetary effects of trying to eat well. Some day, I'll feel that pressure. It's coming for me.

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