Saturday, March 14, 2009

How to Explain MSG to Children

The other day I was trying to explain why MSG is unhealthy for you. However, my 10 and 12-year-old just looked at me with one of those "yah, whatever you say" looks. Obviously I didn't do a very good job of explaining. As many long-time readers know I have a campaign against MSG. It is a harmful flavoring that causes different health problems for different people ranging from stomach aches, insomnia and headaches to more major problems like diabetes, heart problems and cancer. Because of its dangers Chinese restuarants were pressured to take it out of their foods about 8-10 years ago.

What I have found offensive, since then, is that while Chinese restaurants have taken it out of their foods, places like Pizza Hut continue to add it to their sauces and many canned items include it in their sauces and soups. It is still used in many salad dressings and other food items.

However, I am getting "off track" here. If you want to know more about MSG you can visit this BLOG and find the words MSG to the right hand side and look at all the articles there.

This little note was to share an idea a student gave me about how to explain MSG in a way children would understand. She was completing her assignment on nutritional healing and included the following description of MSG:

MSG: Also can be named as hydrolyzed plant protein, natural flavor and Kmbu extract, autolyzed yeast, and yeast extract. The animal based MSG comes from animal blood or decaying protein. It has been linked to learning disorders in children and hyperactivity. Effects include headaches, nausea, diarrhea, mood changes, sleep problems, rash, sweating, and chest pain.

I think when anyone hears the words "animal blood and decaying protein" they will have enough information until they are able to understand the rest. That just sounds unappetizing!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Toxic Home Reminder & Affirmation

A student in the Naturopathic Healing Course turned in her assignment today on the "Thirteenth Principal of Healing". She chose as her topic, "Creating a Healthy Living Space". I thought her paper was a great affirmation for all of us that what we are doing to live more natural lifestyles is worth it! Sometimes we spend so much money, time and thought creating all those "perfect natural spaces" around our home, purchasing the "greenest" cleaning supplies and making sure our kids have the most natural toys. However, some days don't you find yourself wondering, "I'm I being nuerotic or is this all worth it?" Even if you don't think it - how many times have your relatives asked you this question?

This quote, take from the first part of the student's paper, sums up the "worth" of it all to me:

Siegfried Gursche, in the Encyclopedia of Natural Healing, quotes: “According to the Environmental Protection Agency, fifty percent of all our illness can be traced to indoor pollution, which is ten times more toxic than its outdoor counterpart.”