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What does Whole Foods have in common with Safeway and Walmart groceries?

It sells excitotoxins such as glutamate (MSG, monosodium glutamate) that is hidden using many different ‘trick’ words under ‘ingredients’. “Excitotoxicity is the pathological process by which nerve cells are damaged or killed by excessive stimulation by neurotransmitters such as glutamate…by glutamatergic storm”. (Wikipedia)

Everyone has heard about headaches as a result of ingesting MSG, but it turns out MSG is far more dangerous than just the occasional headache. Glutamate has a central role in obesity, heart disease, cancer, autism, neurodegenerative diseases, infertility, diabetes, depression and other mood & learning disorders—all of which have reached epidemic proportions. This is because the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain is glutamate (in very tiny, precisely controlled amounts!) and pouring large quantities of MSG into the body causes havoc by overwhelming and exciting the nerve cells to death. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lets food companies hide MSG under all sorts of disguised words so most of us are eating this stuff at every meal without being aware of it.

Can you find the excitotoxin MSG hidden in Whole Foods?

Disguised names for MSG include: Flavors, natural flavors, seasonings, broth, amino acids, glutamic acid, yeast extract, gelatin, Anything ‘hydrolyzed’, hydrolyzed protein, ‘anything’ protein (ex. tomato/pea/etc protein), Calcium caseinate,  Sodium caseinate, yeast food, yeast nutrient , autolyzed yeast, spices, gelatin, barley malt, maltodextrin, textured protein, soy sauce, soy protein isolate/concentrate, whey protein, textured vegetable protein, stock, chicken flavoring, bouillon, broth, carageenan, tapioca starch extract, condensed milk, powdered milk, enzymes. Complete list: https://www.truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources.html

Note that only when the additive is 99% or more MSG must it be labeled under ingredients as ‘MSG’. So if there is 98% MSG in a product then Whole Foods can claim “no MSG”. Often there are 2, 3 or 4 of the code words mentioned above found under ‘ingredients’ for just one product, meaning there are that many different additions of MSG in just that one product. Even (or especially) when you see the words “no MSG” or “no MSG added” you know to be on the lookout for the hidden MSG. And when a restaurant says there is no MSG in their food they may sincerely believe that but they are unaware of the myriad disguised words under which MSG is hidden in all their sauces, condiments,

etc. Virtually all of restaurant (and hospital) food is therefore loaded with MSG; ditto for many or most packaged products in the grocery stores including Whole Foods.  

Whole Foods sells a lot of MSG in products such as broth; chips; soups; sauces; spices (Bragg’s, Spike, etc); salad dressings; condiments; soy milk and soy products;

low fat and no fat milk products; protein bars, powders & drinks; vitamins; pet food; waxes applied to fresh fruit and vegetables; packaged and deli meats; frozen dinners, vegetarian chicken broth in bulk section, etc.

The multi-billion dollar MSG industry loves to say something like the following: “glutamate is an amino acid and amino acids are the building blocks of protein and therefore amino acids are good things and there is more MSG in that steak than there is in the packaged products you complain about”. But what they fail to mention is that the amino acids in a steak are bound in protein and released slowly into the body in a way that the body can precisely control unlike that in packaged products or restaurant food. What they also fail to mention is that the only research showing MSG is ‘ok’ has been funded by the MSG industry and is flawed research. Our bodies weren’t designed to have large quantities of the main excitatory neurotransmitter poured into it. Our bodies were designed to break down proteins into amino acids in a tightly controlled manner.

See the book, “Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills” by Russell Blaylock, MD (neurosurgeon).No one from the MSG industry will refute or debate Dr Blaylock because it would only cause the error of their ways to be even more visible.

Dr Blaylock: Glutamate is the most abundant used neurotransmitter in the brain and exceeds all the others put together. It makes up 90% of the neurotransmission in the cortex, and 50% of the total brain’s neurotrans-mission. It also controls other neurotransmitters including serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine. Glutamate plays a major role in neural and brain development, from inside the uterus through the critical first four years of life. We discovered that there are numerous glutamate receptors in all organs and tissues. The entire GI tract, from the esophagus to the colon, has numerous glutamate receptors. The entire electrical conducting system of a heartis replete with all sorts of glutamate receptors. The lungs, the ovaries, all the reproductive systems and sperm itself, adrenal glands, bones and even calcification are all controlled by glutamate receptors.

So, when you’re consuming MSG, the level of glutamate in the blood can rise as high as 20-fold. The thing about the cardiac conduction system glutamate receptors is this may explain the rise in sudden cardiac death. One of the things that has been noticed about sudden cardiac death is that most that have it, other than athletes, die after eating a meal in a restaurant and the death certificate is not going to say they died of MSG, because the admitting physician doesn’t know the first thing about any of this research. Most cardiologists I’ve spoken with have never heard of this. They didn’t know there were glutamate receptors throughout the electrical conduction system and in the heart muscle itself. You have a million patients in this country with arrhythmias that are life-threatening, and no one’s telling them to avoid MSG and aspartame, yet it’s a major source of cardiac irritability”.


When you increase the glutamate level, cancer just grows like wildfire, and then when you block glutamate, it dramatically slows the growth of the cancer. MSG also causes a cancer cell to become more mobile, and that enhances metastasis, or spread.


Given a very clever marketing campaign, soy products actually produce dementia and brain atrophy.

Dr Blaylock: When soybeans are processed, the excitotoxic amino acids (glutamate and aspartate) are not only released, they are concentrated. This is especially so in soy protein isolates and soy protein concentrates-which are used in soy milk. Extensive research connects aluminum in the brain with most of the neurodegenerative diseases. When hydrolyzed as in soy milk, the fluoride and aluminum easily bind, forming neurotoxic fluoroaluminum compounds. The concentration at which this occurs is 0.5 ppm, a very small concentration. Fluoroaluminum compounds interact with G-proteins, which are common cell
communication systems, especially in the brain and operate most of the glutamate receptors in the brain.

The worst of the things they’re doing are the soy extracts. When you hydrolyze it, you release the glutamate, such as with the soy protein isolates. The vegetarians are just eating it like it’s the healthiest thing in the world. There was a 25-year study done, which looked at people who consumed the most soy products, and they followed them for 25 years and did serial CT scans of their brain. They found out that the people who consumed the most soybean products had the greatest incidence of dementia and brain atrophy. These people are destroying their nervous system, and I talked to a lot of them who complained of severe migraine headaches. I said, ‘Get off the soy,’ and they do, and that migraine headache goes away. I think people ought to avoid soy products as if they were poison,he says.

Another excellent book by Dr Blaylock is “Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients” so if/when you or family or friends do get cancer you can have some good ways of fighting that cancer.

There are many besides Dr Blaylock who are warning about these dangers: According to Dr Mercolla, MD a few of the many chronic illnesses that have been shown to be contributed to by exposure to excitotoxins such as MSG ,include Multiple Sclerosis (MS), ALS, memory loss, hormonal problems, hearing loss, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, hypoglycemia, dementia, neuro-endocrine disorders. And reactions include: headaches/migraines, nausea, abdominal pains, fatigue, sleep problems, autism, vision problems, anxiety attacks, depression, asthma/chest tightness, ADD.

(Following quote from p 129 Goldfrank’s Manual of Toxicologic Emergencies’ 2007 ed.)

Glutamate is the main excitatory neurotransmitter in the CNS (central nervous system). Although glutamate receptor stimulation is necessary for normal brain activity, excessive glutamate receptor activation can produce convulsions, neuronal damage, and death. Conversely, glutamate antagonists demonstrate anticonvulsant activity and neuroprotective action in animal models of brain and spinal cord injury. Glutamate may be important in the development of drug abuse and subsequent withdrawal symptoms. Glutamate antagonists decrease drug craving and withdrawal symptoms in patients dependent on ethanol (alcohol), benzodiazepines (valium, etc), and opioids. The excitatory amino acid receptor system is the most complex of all neurotransmitter systems. This complexity is necessary for protection against the devastating effects of uncontrolled excitatory neurotransmission. At present, 11 different glutamate receptors are recognized.

Dr Blaylock, MD: Excitotoxins can alter how the babies brain forms. MSG impairs the ability of glucose to enter the brain, which is almost totally dependent on glucose for energy. The organ weights of MSG animal babies are shrunk: ovaries, testes, kidneys, adrenal glands spleen, pituitary are significantly smaller than normal and animals beca­me grossly obese. And the obesity is almost impossible to diet or exercise off because MSG alters the part of the brain that has to do with obesity. Abnormal reproductive function is very common in these MSG babies, have very small litters, and even the males become infertile. We find MSG associated with unprovoked rage and overt aggression and antisocial behavior and this lasts the entire lifetime. A tiny amount of MSG placed on a certain part of the brain can cause a mouse to attack a cat. It also causes impaired cardiovascular response, high triglycerides, cholesterol and very low density lipoproteins and this persists for a lifetime and puts them at high risk for having heart attacks and strokes and arteriosclerosis. Hormone function is permanently altered in these animals. This is reproducible in every animal species.

Some people maintain the blood brain barrier keeps MSG out of the brain. But there are certain areas of the brain that have no barrier. And glutamate itself can open the barrier. As you get older your barrier becomes less competent. Almost all Alzheimer’s patients have incompetent barriers. Other causes of impaired blood brain barrier are: strokes, seizures, head injuries, autoimmune disorders, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, diabetes, low blood sugar, brain tumors, brain trauma, infections, xrays to the head, heat stroke, vascular stroke, fever, neurodegenerative diseases, and some medications.

(Dr Blaylock, cont) When the child becomes, say, a 25 year old and is having problems with health who would think it was because what the mother ate when she was pregnant but we have good experimental proof that shows it is connected. We find that small doses of MSG can cause an early onset of puberty and loss of growth hormone, causing impaired development.

The hypothalamusin the brain controls all the hormone system, sleep-wake cycle, heartbeat, intestines, emotions, hunger and fullness. Anorexia is thought to be related to hypothalamus injury. MSG casues injury and lesions (cuts) on the hypothalamus. If you give MSG to animals you can produce intense fear or intense anger. It also controls immunity and if the hypothalamus is exposed to MSG in these experimental animals it will cause suppression of immunitythat will last a lifetime. Babies exposed to MSG in the womb become intellectually impaired. They tested normal for simple intellectual functions, but were severely impaired for more complex problems. So a child might appear normal in the first years of school but they are impaired later on in school when higher math, logic and reasoning are required.

In 1957 two ophthalmologists, Lucas and Newhouse, found a single exposure to MSG destroyed nerve cells in the retina. Studies by neuroscientist Dr John Olney in the 1960’s showed rodents and other animal species fed MSG early in life had lesions (cuts) on the hypothalamus and suffered life-long obesity. MSG-fed animals also become ‘lazy’ and lose their desire for activity. Humans are five times more sensitive to MSG toxicity than lab animals and babies are four times more sensitive than adults

Alzheimers and Parkinson’s can be aggravated by MSG. Blood glucose levels can test normal in the doctor’s office but the brain can be extremely deficient in glucose because the brain may not be receiving the glucose energy due to damage by MSG. It has been remarked by several observers that Alzheimer’s closely resembles when you see people having hypoglycemia. Glutamate is a major driving force in all addictions. It does this by acting on critical brain areas known to drive addictive behavior. Glutamate and inflammation also play a major role in depression. (end of Blaylock quotes)

Is it any wonder we are in the midst of a mind-boggling epidemic of cancer, neurodegenerative disease, depression and obesity? Not only are these excitotoxins contributing to or causing certain diseases, they are also causing mental deterioration and the loss of cognitive functioning in a way that might not be noticed right away. Kids are not as smart or as focused as previous generations and are being made pharmaceutical drug addicts with Ritalin, Adderall, Prozac etc—to ‘treat’ conditions arising from excitotoxicty caused by MSG hidden in food products (among other causes).

To see just how dangerous and unnecessary these drugs are for most people read the book “Prozac Backlash—Overcoming the Dangers of Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil and other Antidepressants with Safe, Effective Alternatives” by Dr. Glenmullen, MD Associate Professor of clinical psychiatry at Harvard, who prescribes antidepressants but only in very limited circumstances. Contrary to pharmaceutical industry propaganda, it has never been proven there are biochemical imbalances in the brain that need to be corrected with antidepressants.

Couric: “Well, obviously, are they (antidepressants) helping with brain chemistry”?

Dr. Glenmullen, MD: Well, we don’t know that. It’s never been proven. Do you know that the FDAs in other countries have actually banned pharmaceutical companies and doctors from making that claim because it’s actually never been proved. So it’s misleading to tell a patient, `You have a biochemical imbalance. This drug is going to correct that imbalance.’ It’s in TV ads, it’s in magazine ads. It’s said all the time in doctor’s offices. Transcript of Today Show 6/27/05

People are depressed, it’s true, but often the reason is because of excitotoxins such as MSG. One aspect of this are the rage killings and the school shootings like Columbine, most or all of which are connected with antidepressant use. Antidepressants are known to cause homicidal and suicidal behavior. “Let Them Eat Prozac” is another book which highlights how the pharmaceutical industry has corrupted science and medicine. It underscores the need for people, especially physicians to: ‘before believing what you are told, ask who profits by your gullibility and need’.

Why do the food companies put MSG in as many products as they can? 

Because it makes people eat more than they otherwise would and thereby boosts the profits of those food companies. Having essentially no taste of its own MSG has, however, the startling effect when mixed with food of stimulating the nerves and brain to make it seem like something ‘exciting’ is happening in the mouth.

MSG costs America hundreds of billions per year

We’re paying the food companies to give us everything

from headaches to depression to obesity to cancer, and the MSG makes us stupid and unmotivated.  How elegant–a food additive that makes us consumers stupid and depressed while it is sickening us but it also makes us not care enough to fight back. The medical and pharmaceutical industry then ‘treats’ the diseases that arise from this mass poisoning to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars a year. The addition of MSG to much of our food is harming many and helping to bankrupt the country.

This issue ‘underlies’ every other issue for if we are too sick and depressed and cognitively impaired then how can we fully and adequately address any other important issues? America is a sick nation thanks in large part to MSG and if this mass poisoning is allowed to continue will become even sicker.

“60 Minutes” did an expose on MSG back in 1991 and the producers were put under more pressure to kill that story than any other story ‘60 Minutes’ ever did. It is extremely noteworthy that since 1991 there have been zero stories on this important topic in any mainstream media outlet. This is due to the corrupting influence of the giant food companies who advertise heavily in major media.

Even books purporting to be critical exposes of the American diet, such as “Fast Food Nation”, missed the ‘MSG connection’.  And Michelle Obama missed this essential aspect when she was investigating obesity in America. It took Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) to do a piece on it some 16 years after the ’60 Minutes’ program. The New York Times and all other media pretending to tell the truth should feel shame that it is Pat Robertson telling this story and not them.

These substances are toxins—so it is not a question of ‘allergy’ (“I’m not allergic to MSG” or “MSG doesn’t affect me”). We are all under the influence of these excitotoxins virtually all the time so we are not fully aware of the how these substances impact our lives. How could we? We have no ‘normal’ (not under the influence) frame of reference with which to compare our feeling state. Being tired, depressed, and having ‘brain-fog’ is the norm so that we simply don’t know any other reality. It has become a kind of science-fiction drama of people not able to ascertain their actual condition because they are ‘under the influence’ of these chemicals 24/7.

If companies knowingly harm customers those companies are liable not just for damages, but for treble damages.  If you think the multi-billion dollar damage awards were big in the tobacco lawsuits just wait till some heroic attorneys or Members of Congress take up the battle cry for MSG.  Hollywood, please start taking notes now so you can prepare the sequel to “The Insider”, the Russell Crowe/Al Pacino movie about tobacco.    

What Whole Foods Can Do

Whole Foods must live up to its philosophy—“Let us help you rediscover the joys and healing benefits of delicious, nutritious, healthy foods as you take your wellness to the next level”–and stop selling any products containing the disguised words which are, in fact, the excitotoxin MSG.

What customers can do

Customers of Whole Foods should not buy any products containing MSG and disguised words for MSG.

Beware the word “natural”

Regarding those ingredient words which are ‘probable’ MSG—‘flavors’, ‘natural flavors’, ‘seasonings’, ‘broth’ etc, note that when questioned about hidden MSG most manufacturers lie outright as they know they can legally get away with calling 98% MSG ‘natural flavors’, ‘broth’, ‘hydrolyzed vegetable protein’, etc. One clue to whether MSG is in a product is the ‘taste test’. Good food should taste good. But when it tastes too ‘exciting’, like the 4th of July in your mouth, suspect MSG. A month or so of abstaining from all MSG will give one a clearer perspective.

Note there are many things in nature that you would not put in your mouth—arsenic, and human digestive waste, for example—and those are both ‘natural’ substances, so the word ‘natural flavors’ should raise a red flag. After all, if it so ‘natural’ then tell us, please, exactly what it is.

The ’60 Minutes’ expose is a groundbreaking piece done in 1991 that the food & MSG industries tried to prevent from being aired. To see the 60 Minutes short piece, go to youtube.com, and type “60 Minutes MSG” in the youtube search window. Look for the 13 minute version.

The only other expose to be seen on a large media outlet has come from a religious channel, CBN’s 700 Club, in 2005. Go to youtube & type “the hidden danger in your food” in youtube search window and watch parts 1, 2a, 2b, 3, 4 (you may have to include the ‘2a, 2b’ etc in your search terms when looking for 2a, 2b, etc)

More in-depth info can be found from lectures by Dr Russell Blaylock, MD (neurosurgeon, retired) at the urls below.

Nutrition and Behavior lecture by Dr. Blaylock, MD
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0kvaulUIfc or type “nutrition behavior Blaylock” in youtube search window. 48mins

Excitotoxins, lecture by Dr. Blaylock, MD
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTSvlGniHok (or type “excitotoxins Blaylock” in youtube search window) 1hr6mins

Questions/ comments or for electronic version of this brochure: harrellgraham@yahoo.com; PDF download from here: bit.ly/2ZcPby3