As I mentioned in my previous articles, which can be found on my website (see end of article for instructions), toxins are a serious health concern for all of us. I once thought their negative impact was mostly pertaining to the ozone layer and that even though they are obviously not good for us, surely the situation couldn't be as bad as all these health nuts were saying. Boy, was I wrong. Honestly the situation of poor regulation, and lack of real testing down right scary. Seldom, are companies required to provide safety data to be given a green light for the nearly 1,000 new chemicals approved for U.S. products annually. In fact the Toxic Substance Control Act hasn't been updated since the 1970's. A lot has changed since then and there is real reason for us all to consider becoming one of those “health nuts!”
Poor regulation, along with the fact that “environmental factors” are being identified as a leading cause for our growing crisis of chronic disease in the United States, are the main reasons why we need to be more vigilant than ever about what we are exposing ourselves too. We really can control a large portion of our exposure. Since nearly all of us have smart phones, I say “google” it if you're not sure and install the EWG's apps for Food Scores, Household Cleaners and Cosmetics. The only way we are going to turn out different than the statistics, is to live different than the majority. I heard this at the end of the movie Food Inc. and the idea of it really stuck with me. It went something like...“We vote for the types of products we will tolerate every time we checkout. As long as we are willing to purchase that hormone laden, low quality milk, meat, GMO breads, cereals, etc., that's exactly what they will keep stocking the shelves with.” When we stop buying it, guess what? They will stop making it. Thankfully we do have many stores that are now stocking the shelves with quality products. Unfortunately, they are difficult for the average American to afford. Our modern farming practices and government subsidies have made it nearly impossible for the natural farmer to survive.
[Side note: Food Inc. is an incredible documentary, I highly recommend it. If you watch it, be sure to watch as the credits are rolling, at the very end and notice the former Monsanto employees and board members. It allows for a clearer understanding of how Monsanto was able to push it's greedy self into this country, patent seeds and bully farmers. Hint: politics.]
In this article, focus on Neurotoxins. Sometimes I think we throw around that big word and never really think about the meaning. So for starters, it means toxic to the nervous system which is our complex network of nerves and cells that carry messages to and from the brain, spinal cord and to other parts of the body. Basically, impacting every part of our body. In short, chemicals that are toxic to the brain.
With Adult Day Cares, and Memory Centers on the rise, let's first talk about my biggest pet peeve- MSG (monosodium glutamate). People will argue that it's “naturally occurring.” That's true. So is arsenic. Yet, we know better than to add it to all our foods. And that's basically what has happened with MSG. It's added to practically all processed foods and most likely added to all your favorite foods at restaurants big and small. Yep, that mouth watering, flavor explosion of deliciousness that you can never achieve at home but it leaves you craving more, they haven't discovered a new art of cooking, it's the highly addictive flavor enhancer MSG.
Aside from the obvious health detriments (obesity and diabetes for a start), from these high calorie, nutrition-less, food-type products, what's so bad about MSG? MSG is considered an “excitotoxin” and it's being hidden in our foods. Let's look at what exactly that means and what they do. An excitotoxin is a chemical that binds to a nerve cell receptor and causes the cell to become overexcited and fire uncontrollably, leading to cell death in the brain. Now the effects may not be noticeable right away, and thankfully with 100 billion neurons, we can spare a few. But the big picture of what is happening overtime from constant exposure, is developing in a very real way, and it's not a pretty picture. This is one family photo that I hope none of us are in. Unfortunately, our friends at the FDA do not require manufacturers to list MSG on the label unless the “added ingredient” is 99% pure MSG or if MSG is produced as a result of protein hydrolysis or a byproduct of protein processing. Otherwise, the FDA does not require MSG to appear on the label at all. Clearly this makes it super easy for food manufacturers to add it to everything.
There are so many brain related illnesses or nervous system malfunctions. Even many autoimmune conditions are nervous system related. Why would we ever knowingly, intentionally cause nervous system or brain damage? The truth is that most of us wouldn't choose exposure intentionally to substance known to cause damage. We just aren't being told the whole story.
What makes me so angry is about all this MSG is that there is only ONE reason to ever add it to any food ever - GREED. Food manufacturers have studied, researched and learned that they can take cheap, seemingly cardboard quality food, add chemical concoctions, containing MSG. They've spent gobs of money researching how to use flavor enhancers to over excite a part of the brain to create feel-good hormones, and create a profit with repeat business, at our expense. Just think fast food. There's a reason why it's hard to resist. There's a reason your mouth will start to salivate as you approach the golden arches, or see that juicy burger on the commercial. And there's a reason why they can offer a “Dollar Menu.” Low quality food-type meals loaded with “artificial flavors and spices” with “enhancers,” loaded with MSG. All with the stamp of approval by the FDA. The only reason is GREED. There are no nutritional benefits to MSG only detriments. And the reason we take our chances with these foods is because of the addiction the producers knowingly, deceptively programmed us to have. Seems like it should be criminal.
What if a product says “MSG Free”? Then it's safe, right? Because marketing would never be intentionally deceptive, right? (eyes rolling) Greedy corporations are hoping that you don't learn their hidden names for MSG, but we are spilling their dirt. Here are the seven words to watch out for, but do your homework- there are MANY more! Easy to google search.
-Glutamate – Basically if you see this word in any form, it's MSG.
Glutamic Acid, Monosodium Glutamate, monopotassium glutamate, Calcium Glutamate, Monoammonium Glutamate, etc.
-Yeast Extract - Autolyzed Yeast, Yeast Food, Yeast Nutrient
-Hydrolyzed protein- Can appear as hydrolized: Vegetable Protein; Animal Protein; or Plant Protein. Just keep your eyes peeled for the word Hydrolized.
-Casinate- Calcium Caseinate or Sodium Caseinate
-Textured Protein- Soy Protein, Soy Protein Concentrate, Soy Protein Isolate
-Vetsin- Commonly used in Chinese food.
-Ajinomoto- a proudly labeled brand of MSG. They have a big “Just say yes to MSG” logo on their website.
MSG is just one of the MANY neurotoxins we are being bombarded with but I think it's imperative to understand this one because it is MOST definitely an area that we can control. I'll discuss the others in my next article.
We Americans get complacent so easily. I've noticed this tendency, especially when our taste buds are involved (I'm guilty too). How easily we convince ourselves that “It's okay every now and then” or “It couldn't be that bad, right?” After all, they couldn't put it in our food if it is really a brain destroyer, right? But they do... and they will just build more memory clinics. This has become part of our everyday life. MSG (and other excitotoxins like aspartame) can inflict permanent damage to the brain and nervous system. These chemicals also cross the placental barrier, and can likewise harm the brains of unborn children. We need to be vigilant.
The bottom line is, we are not forced to fall prey to the incessant marketing tactics, or drive like zombies through their golden arched drive-through-windows. Choosing healthy may be hard at first. Just count on it, it will be. Since most of our brain centers are addicted to the processed junk, it will require a firm resolve. But think long term. What's the picture you want your family to look like in 10, 15 years? Yes, it may cost a dollar or two more today... to buy organic. Yes, it may take a few extra min to prepare it, but you are worth is. Make it a priority. Take this next weekend and plan ahead. Here's a list of 100 meals to get you started- http://www.stacymakescents.com/100-days-of-no-processed-meals-crock-pot-style There are tons of easy quick yet healthy things you can throw in a crock pot. Fill up on the good stuff. This is a pay me now or pay me later option in my opinion. There really are no cheap choices. They all cost something. Convenience today has a debt to pay tomorrow. Make the decision that you're not going to be a statistic.
To learn more about getting toxins out, check out the front section of this magazine and join a class or have your church or small group host me. I share what I know for free because I hope to inspire a new culture of “health nuts” :) Creating a community of friends old and new that are changing to make good choices helps so much.
Until next month,
Let's live well!
Fall is the perfect time for enjoying the outdoors, but don't spray your family with toxins to make it enjoyable. Here's a toxin free recipe to use to enjoy the outdoors annoyance free!
Non-Toxic Outdoors Annoyance-Free Spray
5 drops Young Living Peppermint
5 drops Young Living Purification Blend
1 pinch of epsom salt
4 ounces of water
Place in a PBA free spray bottle, shake and voila!
If you would like to learn more or purchase Young Living oils wholesale, check out my website: