Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Resolutions: HFCS and MSG

This month I'm planning on getting my resolutions in order. Like last year's resolutions, I have a variety of areas I want to work on. More baby steps. This year, though, I have a much broader direction that I can go in now that Witt has outgrown his milk allergy (Praise be to God!). I'm planning on doing several smaller posts for each of the areas I want to work on.

This post is about the High Fructose Corn Syrup and Monosodium Glutamate in my kitchen.

When HFCS is ingested, it travels straight to the liver which turns the sugary liquid into fat, and unlike other carbohydrates HFCS does not cause the pancreas to produce insulin; which acts as a hunger quenching signal to the brain. So we get stuck in a vicious cycle, eating food that gets immediately stored as fat and never feeling full.

MSG has now been implicated in a number of the neurodegenerative diseases, including ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and Huntington's disease.

Update: I'll be avoiding agave nectar, too.

Are these the worst offenders in processed foods? I really have no idea, but these are the baby steps I'm taking. I've picked two items that I am going to try to eliminate from our home as best I can. This may mean buying a different brand or learning how to make the item from scratch myself. I'm truly hoping to do more cooking. :) Plus, in removing foods with HFCS and MSG several other bad-for-you ingredients will probably be eliminated as well.

So this morning, I went through my kitchen. Being after the holidays, my kitchen pantry is probably more full of convenient, pre-packaged foods than any time during the rest of the year. Here's the list of what I found:


Ke.ebler Club Crackers: Original and Multigrain

Va.n Camp's Pork & Beans

Smuck.er's Concord Grape Jelly

Nab.isco Original Premium Saltines

Generic Animal Crackers

Nab.isco Honey Graham Crackers

Ri.tz Whole Wheat Crackers

Nab.isco Oreos


Hei.nz Worcestershire Sauce

Hers.hey's Chocolate Syrup


Old El Pas.o Enchilada Sauce

dale's Seasoning

Lip.ton Onion soup mix

Taco. Bell Taco Seasoning

Tennessee Pr.ide Sausage Patties

Not too bad actually. Looks like I need to learn how to make some crackers! LOL! However, I'm not starting with the crackers because that's not what we eat the most of. The two biggies on those lists are the Her.shey's syrup and the sausage patties. Those two are consumed on a regular basis.

I've got organic cocoa coming from my food buying club this week so I'll be testing out recipes (like these) on the chocolate syrup soon.

The sausage patties are gonna be a tough one. Will loves these. He's my picky eater. These are the only brand he likes. More thinking to do on this one and probably a lot of cooking, too! :)

How about you? Is your family choosing to reduce or exclude any foods, preservatives or additives? What's your action plan for 2010?

Oh, and btw... Got any recipes for sausage or chocolate syrup? :)

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Angela (HsvScrapGirl) said...

We have to keep MSG out because it is a migraine trigger for me. On the sausage, try Swaggerty's. They are made in east Tennessee and are minimally processed and contain no MSG. We love their patties and links. The links are a bit spicy, but my son loves spicy (I craved hot wings when I was pregnant with him). I get it at Kroger. It isn't with the other sausages. At the Kroger in Madison it is in a center aisle freezer thing (can't come up with a better way to describe it).

Angela (HsvScrapGirl) said...

Oh I forgot to mention that Pepsi Throwback is suppose to be out in stores again. It has sugar in it instead of HFCS. Jones Cola is another good option for a non HFCS soft drink.

Chef Penny said...

Angela beat me to the throwback soda! Also, I can get Mexican Coke at Sams that has sugar not HFCS.

My only advice would be to look at different brands as not all of them have HFCS so you may be able to keep the food but not the brand.

Andrea said...

1lb fresh ground meat
1T dried herb (sage, thyme, etc.)
2tsp. salt (I use Herbamare for more flavor)
1tsp 3 different spices that you like (onion powder, garlic powder, ground mace, etc.)

Form 8 thin patties in your hands and fry in a little oil about 5 minutes.

These aren't links but my kids love them! They have no MSG or nitrates or preservative & you can make a large batch ahead of time and freeze if you like. Play with the spices to your liking - it's so simple!

Camille said...

What a great recipe Andrea. I will try it. We have been using Farmland sausage. I find it at Wal-Mart. They have links, patties and the big roll.

Super B's Mom said...

I have been thinking about these same lines as far as cutting out the "bad stuff". But honestly, I feel so helpless. With our schedule, I am ashamed to say that most all of what we eat is all the pre-packaged and processed "convenience" foods.

I honestly don't know how to change this. I know I should take baby steps, but I feel so overwhelmed by it all. B is SUCH a picky eater...as he gets older, there are less things that he'll eat. I suppose I should just use the "you will eat it or starve" approach? LOL

You inspire me though and I applaud you for taking these steps for the health of your little guys. :) Love you!

Shobana Jayaraman (Srikumar) said...

It was shocking to read the information on HFCS. I was completely ignorant about this. I've still not introduced a lot of things to my son for fear of new and unheard allergies (the paranoid mother that I am). So Her.sheys and Pe.psi have not yet stepped in. I'll pay attention to reading ingredients next time.
As for MSG, my parents have always wanted me to stay away from it. They never told me why, all they told me was it was VERY VERY BAD!! :) So I automatically don't pick anything with MSG in it.

Lots of love

Scottish Twins said...

These are great resolutions! I don't have any recipes for you, but we do make our own hot cocoa here (I'm not sure what you use the syrup for). I buy pure cocoa and add two tablespoons to a cup of milk. Then sweeten to taste (about 1.5 tablespoons of sugar for me).

I buy an organic, no-nitrate sausage from a local health food store. I can't remember the brand, but I know they are out there (they just cost an arm and a leg). I'm excited to see if you come up with any recipes that are good. I'd love to try them.

Jamie Kaufmann said...

hi! i really want to cut out some of this too. with the allergies, it seems like i just take what i can get. we don't have a lot of convenience but when i find something, i run with it! i did just find a blog AND a hershey syrup recipe tonight! i wrote down that i want to try it. speedbumpkitchen is where i found it. :) would love to start making our condiments.

i am so happy for witt!!! now you can move onto other adventures in the kitchen, amazing!