Why is WholeFoods STILL using Canola Oil? (Hint: It’s NOT good for you!)

In the last 10 years, Wholefoods has practically become a “religion” in the United States. People flock there (myself included!), swayed by good branding and a nice big fresh fruit and veggie section when you walk in the door that makes you think that everything after that is going to be just as fresh, organic, non-GMO and good for you. For the prices you pay, it better be…right?! Well…

Extra Virgin Olive Oil tastes wonderful in a homemade soup. Some people report getting headaches and blurred vision after eating Canola Oil.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil tastes wonderful in a homemade soup. There is simply no need to use inferior ingredients.

My personal “bad food” radar is usually set for food additives and various forms of hidden Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) found in so-called healthy foods, which I can find in mass abundance on the shelves in every supermarket, including Wholefoods. The food label trickery is simply through the roof. But, you don’t have to be a biologist or scientist to see CANOLA OIL on many labels right there in the ingredients. It’s one you should definitely AVOID. And the worse offender at Wholefoods is in their baked goods and salad bars.

What is Canola Oil and why it’s is Bad for you

You probably never really thought about canola oil and simply thought it was oil from canola, just like olive oil is from olives and sunflower oil is from sunflower seeds. That would make sense in a normal, non-genetically modified world. But, the reality is that there is no canola plant. “Canola” is a made-up word from a GMO plant that has unknown consequences to your health.

Canadian Oil + Low Acid = Canola Oil

Canola oil is made from genetically modified rapeseed plants. The problem was that “rapeseed oil” was so toxic that the FDA banned it for human consumption in 1956. In the 1970’s, Canadian growers bred a new variety of rapeseed with a lower content of the toxic erucic acid, and the name of the new oil was L.E.A.R. (Low Erucic Acid Rapeseed) oil. Eventually, it was renamed “Canola” for marketing reasons, because no company wanted to be associated with a product having “rape” in its name and “rapeseed” oil was well-known to be a toxic oil.

The term Canola was coined from “Canadian oil, low acid” to convince consumers that this “newer and better” rapeseed oil was safe to eat. You see, rapeseed oil was banned from foods, probably because it attacks the heart to cause permanent degenerative lesions. The truth is that rapeseed is the most toxic of all food oil plants. Even insects won’t eat it! That’s right, Canola oil is a very effective insecticide, and it is the primary ingredient in many “organic” (non-chemical) pesticide control products sprayed on vegetables to kill bugs.

The rape seed is part of the mustard family of plants. Mustard gas was made from rapeseeds and used in World War II for genocide.

It is estimated that 93% of the canola oil currently sold in the US has been genetically engineered (GMO). But, since pure non-GMO rapeseed is proven to be toxic and unsafe for human consumption, how can even 7% of canola oil be non-GMO? It seems to be a scientific impossibility, or simply a play on numbers. At best, I’d call it a marketing oxymoron!

Even IF you were eating the 7% “safe” canola oil, is it really safe?

The process of heating canola oil during manufacturing is so extreme that the oil actually becomes rancid and has a terrible smell. The odor is so bad that the manufactures have to deodorize the oil so it doesn’t smell bad! All food grade canola, including the varieties sold in health food stores, are deodorized by 300 degree Fahrenheit high-temperature refining to remove its natural terrible stink.

Symptoms of Intolerance or Allergy to Canola Oil

Rape oil itself has been shown to cause emphysema, respiratory distress, anemia, constipation and blindness in animals and humans. I have personally worked with clients who experienced intense heart palpitations after eating canola oil or products containing canola oil. Once we took the canola oil out of their diet, their symptoms disappeared. Can you imagine if you thought you were having an anxiety attack, only to find out that you were reacting to a frankenfood like canola oil?!

Why on earth would anyone want to eat a GMO rancid oil with deodorants (chemicals) added to it??!! I don’t know about you, but I just lost my appetite for anything except my own homemade Green Smoothie (yum).

Why is Wholefoods using Canola Oil?

This is the million dollar question, or better put…the million dollar profit. Because the only reason why Wholefoods would use a cheap unhealthy ingredient in their over-priced salad bar and baked goods is to maintain a better profit margin. Doesn’t that make you sad? I know it kills me. I want to to believe in a real supermarket that is going to sell me high quality organic ingredients and I am willing to pay more money for it! But, like you, I don’t like being swindled. What’s worse is the pathetic campaign that Wholefoods has started to try and justify the use of what they call “non-GMO Canola oil” in their salad bar. By definition, Canola Oil is GMO…so I cannot understand their faulty logic. Even IF their canola is non-GMO, then it would be pure rapeseed which is a known toxin! Either way, I don’t want it in my food!

While there are many other "bad" ingredients in this food like yeast extract, the CANOLA OIL is obvious.

While there are many other “bad” ingredients in this food like yeast extract, the CANOLA OIL is obvious.

Why spend so much time on this issue when you can easily switch to coconut oil or olive oil or pure sunflower oil? There are many vegetable oil options which are heart-healthy, not rancid and made from whole, non-GMO ingredients. 

Again, many other ingredients here would stop me like carrageenan and hydrolyzed corn, but the CANOLA OIL is a definite No Thank You!

Again, many other ingredients here would stop me like carrageenan and hydrolyzed corn, but the CANOLA OIL is a definite No Thank You!


As a side note, Wholefoods admits to allowing other companies to sell GMO canola oil on their shelves.

Here are some examples:

This product is gluten-free and wheat-free and "all natural"…well, except for the GMO Canola Oil

This product is gluten-free and wheat-free and “all natural”…well, except for the GMO Canola Oil

NOTE: This IS Genetically Modified Canola Oil  since it is not listed as “organic” or ‘Non-GMO.”

Notice how the label reads "No Synthetic Preservatives" instead of "No Synthetic Ingredients"? Hmmm….

Notice how the label reads “No Synthetic Preservatives” instead of “No Synthetic Ingredients”? Hmmm….

What can you do?

1. Start reading labels. If you see canola oil in a product, baked good or salad bar item, don’t buy it!

2. Sign the petition! Kathy Chism has started a change.org petition to Wholefoods to STOP using Canola Oil (Well done Kathy!).

You can be a part of the Change! Sign this Petition for NO CANOLA at Wholefoods!

You can be a part of the Change! Sign this Petition for NO CANOLA at Wholefoods!

Here is the link to sign the Petition to Wholefoods: STOP Using Canola Oil in foods you make and sell!

As Kathy explains, “In contacting my local Whole Foods, even the manager and many of the employees stated that, like me, they never eat the prepared foods there due to the Canola oil! I was asked to speak to the regional office, who took my information, and was told I would hear back from them in two weeks. That was weeks ago. Several employees at my local Whole Foods have actually encouraged me to start this petition, as they say their hands are tied.

It will cost so little for Whole Foods to replace the Canola oil they use in nearly everything they make and sell with 100% Organic Virgin Olive Oil instead, which is far healthier for everyone. Better yet, many of the foods don’t even need oil at all, and can be made just as easily and will taste just as good using pure water.

Let’s really get Whole Foods concerned about health before profit. Ironically, in doing so, their profits will soar as more of us will purchase!

I totally agree!!!

(Note: Some of the explanation of Canola Oil in this article comes from this petition.)

3. Share this Information!! The only way to get the word out is to spread the word!!

When companies see sales going down as a result of what we know and don’t want, they will change!

More on GMO:

More on Whole Foods and Food Additives:

Battle of the Blenders: Which one is best?

Are you ready to buy a blender but feeling confused over which features you need and overwhelmed from all the choices out there? Do you really need the most expensive blender in order to make a great green smoothie? If so, which one is best and if not, which of the less expensive blenders can do the job? I’ve tested the most popular blenders with the exact same green smoothie ingredients, so yes, it was a real Battle of the Blenders! Check out my results below and get started on your smoothie making (and smoothie drinking) skills!

With so many blenders out there - which one should you choose?!

With so many blenders out there – which one should you choose?!

Blender Buying Guide

Before you head to the store, think about where and how you’ll be using your blender:

1. What’s your budget?

2. How many people are you making smoothies for (1, 2, 4…or more)?

3. Where will you put your blender (on the counter or under/in a cabinet)?


Blender Basics: Motor and Size

Blenders have 2 main features: The size of the motor and the size of the blender container.

Size of the motor

The fastest blenders are the 3HP professional/commercial use blenders. Then, you have the 2HP which are still professional and heavy-duty. And finally, you have the more common kitchen blenders whose motors are usually listed in watts. You’ll see 600W, 700W or 800W, and they give you just under 1HP of blade speed. The 2HP and 3HP blenders are more expensive because of the better motor. A a better motor gives you a more finely blender smoothie. The green leaves in a green smoothie made in a 2HP or 3HP blender will be completely pulverized, and in a cheaper blender, you will see larger pieces, but still completely drinkable (see the example below).

Smoothie on the left: Made with 3HP. Smoothie on the right: 1HP. See the difference?

Smoothie on the left: Made with 3HP. Smoothie on the right: 1HP. See the difference?

Size of the blender container

If you’re making smoothies for a whole family every morning, then you’re going to need a big blender container! Blender container sizes range anywhere from 32 ounces to 64 ounces. (Because the Magic Bullet and Nutri Bullet have such a small blender container, I don’t recommend them for making green smoothies. I also don’t recommend the immersion blenders because it’s just to hard to immerse a stick into a pile of greens.) Check out the table below to see the different size containers in each model that was tested.

Think about where you have room in your kitchen for your blender before you buy!

Think about where you have room in your kitchen for your blender before you buy!

Size of your kitchen

Will you be keeping your blender on the counter in between use, or will you put it in a cabinet? Blenders like the Blendtec, Hamilton Beach and Cuisinart will easily fit tucked away on your counter-top and under a cabinet, but other models won’t. Taking measurements before you head to the store can save you valuable time later.

Other Features to look for

Some blenders have a timer function, which I personally really like. That means you can set the blender to blend for 30, 45 or 60 seconds and start cleaning up while you wait. Also, it’s a good idea to check the warranty (if any) before you buy. Spending more on a 2HP or 3HP usually gives you a better warranty, in some cases up to 10 years, which is awesome.

Comparing Blender Models

Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to compare few models.

High Speed Blenders (2HP and above)

Blender Model Peak HP (horsepower) Size (ounces) Pitcher Construction
Vitamix 5200 2 HP 64 BPA-free plastic
Blendtec Wildside 3 HP 90 BPA-free plastic
Omega 630 3 HP 64 BPA-free plastic
Ninja Ultima 2.5 HP 72 BPA-free plastic


Normal Speed Blenders (1HP and below)

Blender Model Peak HP(horsepower) Size (ounces) Pitcher Construction
Kitchen Aid Diamond Vortex 0.9 HP 60 BPA-free plastic
Cuisinart Smart Power Deluxe 0.8 HP 48 Glass
Hamilton Beach Smoothie Smart 0.9 HP 40 Glass


Battle of the Blenders results

As I mentioned above, I’ve actually tested all of theses models, and I have to say that they ALL make a good green smoothie! For sure, the higher power models blender a smoother, creamier and more finely blended green smoothie. With the 1HP machines, I had to add the water and fruit first, blend, then add the greens and blend again.

All of the blenders worked, however the 2HP-3HP blenders made a smoother smoothie than the 1HP blenders.

All of the blenders worked, however the 2HP-3HP blenders made a smoother smoothie than the 1HP blenders.

Here’s what I found in my field test:

Vitamix 5200

The Vitamix 5200 was excellent! It has a toggle switch to change the speed, although no timer function. This model is for you if you prefer a classic, tried and true brand like Vitamix. A nice feature with the Vitamix is that you can also buy an additional pitcher with a special blade for blending dried foods like nuts, seeds, and even flour. Price: $400+.

Vitamix 5200 blender

Vitamix 5200 blender


Blendec Designer Series

The Blendec Designer Series takes the prize for sleekest and most modern design. Also, it has a timer and a smoothie preset button, which I loved. It has a unique design in that the entire blender can fit easily under your kitchen cabinet. This blender is a great choice for a brand new stylish kitchen. The 3HP motor is incredible! Best color: champagne. Note: If you’re looking for smart ways to save, you can actually find factory refurbished Blendtec models for $100 less than the retail price. Price: $400+.

Blendtec Designer Series blender in champagne color

Blendtec Designer Series blender in champagne color


Omega 630

The Omega 630 is HUGE and I loved this machine. Although the base is large in size, it’s not heavy. Still, this is a blender that will need to be on the counter, so check where you can put it before you buy! This model has a dial timer where you can pick an exact time for blending. And, you just gotta love the 3HP motor. It’s great for a large family! Because this blender has every feature I would want (larger container, high speed motor, timer feature, nice design) and the price is very reasonable, I would have to declare the Omega 630 blender as the Winner of the Battle of the Blenders. Price: $250+.

Omega 630 blender

Omega 630 blender


Ninja Ultima

The Ninja Ultima was a real surprise for me. This machine has a 2.5HP motor, yet is almost half the price of its competitors. Admittedly, I thought the blender lacked a bit of style in its outer design but it definitely blends well. And, it has the unique Ninja double blade. If you’re somewhere between a standard blender and a super blender, this could be the one for you. Price: $200+.

Ninja Ultima blender

Ninja Ultima blender


Buying on a BudgetTip: If your budget is less but you want a more expensive model, you can always look for a used blender on ebay, craigslist or amazon. You can also put on posting on Facebook in a health focus group or on your local health food store’s page.


Kitchen Aid Diamond Vortex

The Kitchen Aid Diamond Vortex has a great look with a classic design, and you can order it in just about any color you can think of, from gorgeous red to lime green! The blender itself is good; it’s reliable and has a nice large size container for being in the low motor (less than 1HP) range. I’d call this a nice choice as a starter blender if you’re on a budget. Price: $150+.

Kitchenaid Diamond Vortex blender in empire red color

Kitchenaid Diamond Vortex blender in empire red color


Cuisinart Smart Power Deluxe

Having BPA-free plastic in mostly all new blenders makes choosing a plastic pitcher more comfortable these days, but some people do still prefer glass. The Cuisinart Smart Power Deluxe has a glass pitcher and the size of the pitcher is probably good for 1-2 people, but not more. This is a very good starter blender for a single person, couple or small family. Price: $70+.

Cuisinart SmartPower Deluxe blender

Cuisinart SmartPower Deluxe blender


Hamilton Beach Smoothie Smart

This blender was actually the most inexpensive one in the battle at less than $40, and yet I thought it did a really good job! The Hamilton Beach Smoothie Smart also has a glass container and the pitcher size is smaller. This is really the perfect blender for a college student on a budget who is looking for a reliable blender to start making green smoothies. Price: $40+.

Hamilton Beach Smoothie Smart blender

Hamilton Beach Smoothie Smart blender



Any of the above blenders is a good pick for green smoothie making in my book. The most important thing is that you actually make smoothies in it, and hopefully every day! If you have the money for an expensive blender, that’s great! If not, don’t stress out. You can always upgrade later and remember, making green smoothies is a new healthy habit for life!

I’ve got lots more information on green smoothies, blenders, how to wash your produce, green smoothie recipes, and even a green smoothie detox in my new book: Green Smoothies for Dummies (Wiley Publisher, NY):

Available on amazon in both hard copy and eBook format!

Available on amazon in both hard copy and eBook format!

Whether you’re a beginner to green smoothies or a pro looking for new recipe ideas and ways to share with family and friends, this book will help! Check it out, and happy blending!

Looking for a new juicer too? Check out my post on What’s the Best Juicer? How to Choose a Juicer

More on Juicing and Smoothies:

Restaurant Cards for Celiac, Gluten-Free & MSG-Free

The best part of world travel is the excitement and adventure of exploring new places, meeting new people and experiencing different cultures. The worst part if you are sensitive to gluten or Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) can be the food. While most people dream of eating exotic foods from around the globe, food allergy sufferers see it as a minefield, one which is even harder to negotiate a language barrier. And yes, this applies even to raw foodists! It can be very difficult in foreign countries to explain that you don’t want bread with your salad or croutons or crostini or some other fried breaded condiment on top. It can be even more difficult to ask for a salad dressing with no MSG and sauces with no MSG. Even if you do order something fresh like homemade salsa or guacamole, there can be hidden added ingredients like chili sauce which will inevitably contain MSG. The result? Spending your perfect dream vacation night at home in bed with a migraine, itchy rash, puffy face or rapid heartbeat wondering why you can’t seem to relax on your holiday! No way, we don’t want that!

Actually, these recommendations apply to any high-raw food people eating out, even in their own country…and you will soon see why.

A connection between Gluten Foods and MSG/Ribonucleotide Intolerance?

On thing that I have found in my experience is that the majority of foods that contain MSG also contain gluten. I discovered this in my own health journey when trying to determine the cause of an unbearably itchy rash that I suffered with for 2 years while living in Australia. After finally going on an elimination diet and taking all wheat and gluten out of my diet, my rash improved by about 85%. But, I was still occasionally eating flavored rice crackers, dried seaweed and flavored tofu products which have no gluten but do contain ribonucleotide, the food additive that I now know was the cause of my ‘ribo rash’.

After I removed all ribonucleotide-containing foods out of my diet, the rash cleared entirely, 100% without any reoccurrence! And, I went back to eating plain wheat and gluten products with no problem (this was about 1 year before I went on a raw food diet). What I discovered is that most snack foods, soups, sauces dressings, and flavored foods that contain MSG and/or ribonucleotide, also contain gluten.

It is my opinion that some people are in fact misdiagnosed with a gluten intolerance when actually they have an intolerance to MSG and ribonucleotide but are ‘labeled’ with a gluten allergy because it’s an easy and obvious label to put on a patient with the ‘typical’ gluten intolerant complaints. (Note: Gluten intolerance is different to a full gluten allergy (Celiac Disease) and most people fall into the intolerant category, one which is not able to be tested for definitively). When you look at the reactions that people get from gluten vs. MSG and ribonucleotide (itchy rash, migraine headache, insomnia, irritability, anxiety, puffiness, bloating, etc.), you will see that they are nearly identical reactions.

I’ve even seen many raw food clients who still complain of itchy rashes because, for example, they may be eating Vegenaise as a treat or they complain of headaches from drinking high-protein shakes with pea protein (another form of MSG in disguise). Even nutritionists and raw food chefs come to me for an Iridology session and we identify offending food additives in their diet which are making them sick. My point is: people don’t know about food additives and they are not taught about them in school!

Well, if the ‘experts’ don’t know how to eat clean food themselves, then how can one possibly eat gluten and additive-free food while traveling?

How to Order ‘Clean’ Food on the Road

First, order salads with no salad dressing. Ask for plain fresh lemon on the side. If you like, you can also ask for some extra-virgin olive oil. I personally bring my own organic cayenne pepper, cumin and paprika to add to all of my salads in restaurants.

Stay away from sauces, even if they look fresh and smell yummy. Yes, a little bit can do a lot of harm (think migraine on the beach under the moonlight, not good!).

MSG is a flavor enhancer and excito-toxin that overstimulates the brain

In Asia, you will always have to be careful with MSG, because in addition to the sauces, they love to add MSG in powder form to food. Take the gluten-free restaurant card that I suggest you travel with below and add “NO MSG” in the language that you need. You can use Google Translate for this. Take care of the details before you leave for your trip.

In South America, if you are sensitive to food additives, you will most likely have a problem with their salt which has a non-caking agent in it called Yellow Prussiate of Soda (YPS), a derivative of arsenic. This has proved to be a huge problem for me on my travels in Central America and South America, but luckily I figured out the problem pretty quickly. Bring your own Himalayan Salt. Add the words “No SALT” in Spanish “Sin Sal” to the bottom of your gluten-free restaurant card.

Do NOT trust what the waitstaff tell you.

That applies to all countries, everywhere, all the time. People who are not sensitive to gluten or MSG have no idea what’s in a chipotle sauce or a aioli sauce or a soup stock cube. They are thinking, ok this person can’t eat bread or Chinese food. I have had some of the best restaurants (and raw food restaurants) serve me food containing MSG or ribonucleotide when they swore there was none. I’m sure that has happened to many others too! Be sure your card gets to the chef.

Plan B

If unsure, don’t eat it! Why take the chance? It’s simply not worth it. In a bind, I have ordered plain rice or a plain baked potato or plain steamed veggies because that was the only uncontaminated food I could order. This will happen on occasion if you are traveling in different countries. I would rather lose 1% of my ‘perfect rawness’ and eat clean, safe food than eat some crazy raw food chipotle taco that is going to make me sick for 2 days. Every time I’ve had to do that, I have been so happy with my decision!

Use Restaurant Cards for Celiac and Gluten-Free

In addition to what I recommended above, definitely consider using the awesome restaurant cards for Celiac and Gluten-Free. These are available for free from celiactravel.com and are available in 54 languages. If you combine using these cards with a little bit of know-how, you are much more likely to get a clean, safe meal. Remember, most foods that contain gluten also contain MSG. In many countries, it will be difficult (or even impossible) to explain what MSG and ribonucleotide are (hey, it’s difficult even in the USA!). By using the card, you are explaining in a concise, easy way that will less stressful for you and there is a much better chance that the chef will understand your request. In my case, I simply cross out the part about milk, eggs, cheese, meat and fish being ok for me to eat.

It’s a good idea to laminate your card to keep it clean and readable during your travels.

Here are some example of the Celiac & Gluten Restaurant cards:

English Gluten-Free card (from celiactravel.com)

Spanish Gluten-Free Card (from celiactravel.com)

French Gluten-Free Card (from celiactravel.com)

Thai Gluten-Free Card (from celiactravel.com)

Even a Mongolia Gluten-Free Card! (from celiactravel.com)

Don’t forget, It’s a good idea to laminate your card to keep it clean and readable during your travels. Enjoy your trip, and enjoy health travels!

If you liked this article, check out my post on Why I don’t buy 90% of the ‘food’ at WholeFoods.

More on Traveling Raw:

MSG hidden in Packaged Foods: Why I don’t buy 90% of the ‘food’ at WholeFoods

What’s Wrong with WholeFoods?

It’s not easy to be the messenger of bad news when so many people love and revere WholeFoods. Well, I love them too…and there are things that I do buy there which I will mention later. But as the title to this article states, I do not buy 90% of their food. And today I’m going to tell you why.

Now of course WholeFoods does sell meat, dairy and cooked foods…so right away, I wouldn’t buy those. But I know a lot of you do, and you mistakenly believe that if you buy food at WholeFoods, that it’s organic, non-GMO and chemical-free. That is simply NOT true. While some foods at WholeFoods are certified organic, most are not. And even the organic foods contain suspicious additives.

I’m going to show you what to look for and what to avoid.

If I only I had a dollar for every time someone said to me, ‘I don’t eat MSG because I buy everything from WholeFoods’ or ‘I only buy organic because I shop at WholeFoods,’ well, I would already be retired by now! It amazes me how strongly people are influenced by a good logo, ‘clean and green’ marketing and nice lighting and music in a store. Did I mention how many clients I’ve helped recover from migraines, insomnia, itchy rashes, anxiety, digestive disorders, hot flashes (in men and women), dizzy spells, vertigo, adult acne, puffiness and chronic inflammation by going through a detailed list of what they eat from WholeFoods and getting the offending foods out of their diet? Often times people are resistant to believe me. They can’t imagine that their organic Annie crackers are causing their troubles. Or their Earth Balance or Smart Balance ‘Butter’. They sometimes yell at me and call me a liar. Well, I am taking the crack away from the junkie…so I know I will meet resistance (yes, these chemical additives are chemically addictive). Over time, if they do change, they come to accept what I have told them and when they take the suspicious food out, their skin clears, they sleep for the first time in years, they no longer feel depressed, their migraines are gone forever…and then the Thank You emails roll in. I’ve been teaching this stuff for 6 years, and I know what I am talking about. If you partner or child is exceptionally irritable and suffers from any of the symptoms above, your salad from the salad bar at WholeFoods could be causing the problem.

If you want to have good health, you have to check all food labels and you have to be responsible for what you put in your mouth.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), Ribonucleotide, Disodium Inosinate, and Disodium Guanylate are flavor enhancers which add a salty, savory taste to foods. They overstimulate the taste in food, making a bland food taste exceptionally good. They also overstimulate the brain, and are known as “excito-toxins”. They can be listed either by the food additive name or by the food additive number (sometimes called ‘E numbers’): 621, 635, 631 and 627.

Legally, these food additives can also be ‘hidden’ in terms such as ‘spices,’ ‘yeast extract,’ ‘hydrolyzed vegetable protein,’ ‘natural flavors’ and ‘flavoring.’

As an interesting side note, I checked the WholeFoods website before writing this post and I found a very funny article titled, “Myths and Misconceptions: MSG.” In the article, a WholeFoods representative discusses the ‘Myth: There’s Hidden MSG lurking in our aisles.’ He states, “We draw a clear line between natural glutamate-containing foods, which we allow, and highly concentrated MSG, which we don’t..” I actually laughed out loud when I read that, because I see Monosodium Glutamate in various forms in the salad bar ingredients in WholeFoods ALL THE TIME! Right there for the world to see! Well, I am usually the annoying one who is reading every label and holding up the salad bar line, and maybe even sneaking out my camera for a photo! (By the way, an example of a ‘natural glutamate containing food’ is pure tomato paste or parmesan cheese, NOT spicy barbeque flavored Kettle Chips!!)

The other part of the article tries to state that other forms on MSG are not really MSG, but for people who are sensitive, it is clearly written on the labels so they will know what they are buying. Well, how many people really know that legally the word ‘spices’ or ‘natural flavors’ can contain MSG already, and the label can still read ”No MSG’ or No Added MSG?’ And how many people know that even if a product is labeled certified organic, it can still contain these other ingredients that have MSG in them already, like ‘malt extract,’ ‘annatto,’ ‘natural flavor,’ ‘yeast extract’ or the new one I am seeing lately, ‘rosemary extract’? The real problem is when a product uses several of these ingredients, thereby increasing the glutamate concentration to real MSG-size proportions. can So your ‘organic’ product with ‘No Added MSG’ can still be causing your migraines? YES!!

What is a “hidden form of MSG”?

Ok, here’s the deal. Food companies know that Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is the best flavor enhancer there is; it is a food additive that adds A LOT of flavor to a product for little to no cost. BUT, savy consumers have caught on to MSG and most people know that it’s not a healthy additive because it can trigger migraine headaches, irritability, insomnia, rashes, hot flashes, dizziness, mood swings and even promote weight gain. A smart consumer like you will not buy a product containing MSG and the food companies know that. But they are already light years ahead of you! The food industry now uses new ingredients that contain what’s called factory created free glutamates. While one ingredient containing factory created free glutamates alone in a product may have a low concentrations of glutamate, using a combination of several ingredients together can add up to a considerable and dangerous amount of glutamate in one product, and in many cases you will actually find more glutamate than if the product had only contained MSG by itself! And that is why I called these ingredients MSG in disguise.

This is food label trickery at its finest folks!

The food industry has billions of dollars to research and develop new chemical food additives, and the government simply does not have the money to keep up with their technology (assuming the government was really interested in people’s health and not funded back-handedly by the food and pharmaceutical industry of course!) In short, there is TONS of hidden MSG at WholeFoods, and this is the main reason that I would not buy 90% of their food.

Please note that most of these photos were taken at WholeFoods, with the exception of 2 that were taken at Fresh Market in Florida, a very similar-type chain to WholeFoods (those photos are marked as Fresh Market). I have many more photos that I took which will be complied into an eBook for educational purposes. Knowing what to look for can greatly help you improve the quality of food you buy, and consume.

Let’s start looking at a few labels.

Rule #1: Never believe what you read on the front of a package

Oh, the beloved Kettle Chip. The only good thing I can say about Kettle is that there are very savy with their packaging. So many organic non-GMO bells and whistles! But it doesn’t stop me from seeing the offenders: Yeast Extract, Garlic Powder, and Jalapeno Powder. Why not use real garlic and jalapeno? Because the powders can legally hide MSG and they do not have to disclose that on the labeling. Maybe they are ‘safe’ because they are organic, but the Yeast Extract is a big NO-NO. That is always MSG in disguise.

Learn to know what ingredients to avoid

Another example of a tainted organic food. This is the WholeFoods brand, and from what I’ve gathered, they seem to hide their MSG under the term ‘Natural Flavor.’ Yes, legally that can have MSG in it. It is an easy way to hide MSG in food. And since WholeFoods claims that their brand is MSG-free, they don’t seem to want to use the classic Yeast Extract ingredient. Any time I see ‘Natural Flavors,’ I do NOT buy. This product also has ‘Malt Extract’ and ‘Annatto,’ two other forms of MSG in disguise.

There is no such thing as a healthy BBQ chicken wing.

I really have no idea who would go to WholeFoods to buy BBQ Chicken Wings, but who are we kidding here? This is NOT a healthy version! Note the ‘Spice Extractives,’ ‘Natural Grill and Smoke Flavor,’ ‘Spices,’ ‘Yeast Extract,’ ‘Natural Flavor,’ ‘Yeast Protein.’ I think I’m going to be sick.

Be wary of all soups in restaurants and salad bars, 99% of them have MSG in the soup stock.

Seems like a good idea…a nice warm filling soup. but read that label! ‘Soybean and Corn Protein,’ Yeast Extract,’ ‘Carrot Powder,’ ‘Pumpkin Stock.’ All MSG in disguise.

This salad just looks plain scary to me.

Nothing is sacred anymore. They even managed to ruin this dish by adding ‘Natural Flavor,’ ‘Soy and Wheat Protein,’ ‘Yeast Extract.’ You must start reading labels and if you see these ingredients, do not eat!

Organic food can still be tainted with flavor enhancers. Learn to discriminate!

Oh, the food industry is so good at food label trickery! Made with Goodness! Doesn’t fool me. Read ‘Yeast Extract,’ ‘Natural Cheese Flavor,’ ‘Paprika Extract’ and suddenly this so-called healthy organic food is no longer an edible item in my book. Yes, they can legally use this ingredients with hidden additives, and since they did not add anything themselves, they can label their product with ‘No Artificial Flavors.’ Never believe the marketing schtick on the front or side of a box. Always check the ingredients.

Again, ‘organic’ does not guarantee no added flavor enhancers

Think you’re doing your children a favor by buying organic Mac and Cheese? Does it still take 2 hours for them to calm down and sleep at night and are they cranky, irritable and fighting all evening? It’s probably from the MSG in disguise: ‘Yeast Extract.’ Kids go bonkers when they eat MSG. Their bodies are much smaller than an adult. Take out MSG and you will have a happy, well behaved child that sleeps through the night. For breast-feeding moms, the MSG is passed through your breastmilk, so if your baby is colicky and doesn’t sleep, try eliminating all MSG foods. You’ll be amazed.

Still not sure about ‘Rosemary Extract’

All I can really say about this one is: Watch this space. I saw A LOT of ‘Rosemary Extract’ in foods at Wholefoods and Fresh Market, and I have not seen it used so much before. It wouldn’t surprise me if the food industry is reinventing MSG once again now that we are onto the whole Yeast Extract, Spices and Natural Flavors thing. Anytime you see a vegetable with the word ‘extract’ after it, be very suspicious (unless it is Vanilla Extract, which is ok because it is not a salty deritive). I will personally avoid all foods with ‘Rosemary Extract’ until someone starts doing some explaining.

Beware of ‘clean and green’ looking products

Looks so healthy, proclaiming to ‘eat your vegetables.’ You should be an expert by now: ‘Natural Flavor,’ ‘Onion Powder,’ ‘Garlic Powder.’ Other flavors of this brand also have ‘Yeast Extract.’ Note this is Sea Salt flavor!

Don’t think bulk foods are food additive safe – still read the ingredients!

Bulk does not make a healthier option. You have to read all labels, always and forever. Here we have ‘Corn and Soy Protein,’ ‘Natural Smoke Flavor,’ ‘Yeast Extract,’ ‘Natural Flavor.’ Ever wonder why these ingredients are always in salty, savory foods and not in sweets and cakes? Because MSG is a salty, savory flavor enhancer. It makes salty foods taste even more savory and it is chemically addictive. This bulk snack mix is from Fresh Market.

Always check the ingredients, even if you think the food ‘should’ be ok!

An obvious offender: Monosodium Glutamate, or MSG. This photo was taken at Fresh Market (a correction to my November 2012 newsletter).

So what do I buy at WholeFoods?

I love fresh juice and smoothie bars, and fruit, aka REAL FOOD!

If the WholeFoods has a juice and smoothie bar, I’m so there! I also buy fresh fruits and veggies, preferably organic and on sale.

Choose 100% Certified Organic Superfoods to avoid any added fillers

I like to check out the 100% raw and organic Superfood section.

There are some healthy raw food options at WholeFoods

I look for organic flax and hemp seeds, bulk organic raw pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, raw apple cider vinegar and a raw granola, as a treat.

Stick to fresh raw vegetables with no added dressings or sauces

At the Salad Bar, I choose RAW FRESH VEGGIES only. I do NOT trust the pre-made salads or the pre-made salad dressings. I use olive oil, apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice as a dressing.

A quick lesson on Monosodium Glutamate:

Monosodium Glutamate is a flavor enhancer and an excito-toxin, also known as MSG. It can be listed on a food ingredient label as 621 or E621 (these are universal numbers used everywhere in the world). MSG is known to overstimulate the flavor in food, making it taste better. The problem is that it also overstimulates the brain (making it an excito-toxin). For some, the reaction can be headaches, sensitivity to light and sound (especially in children), insomnia or restless sleep, anxiety, irritability, vertigo, dizziness and even depression.

Because a lot of consumers are aware of the dangers of MSG, the food industry has invented new ways to hide MSG in food, the main way being to ‘hide’ it in another ingredient. This keeps the cost of production low (using cheap flavor enhancers to create a tasty food), and still makes the food very marketable, appearing food additive-free by promoting non GMO, organic or ‘all natural’.

The result: more consumers buy and that means more profit.

The other additives which are similar to MSG are Ribonucleotide (635), Disodium Inosinate (631) and Disodium Guanylate (627). These 3 flavor enhancers are what I call the ‘New MSG’ because they are being used more and more to give that same ‘salty savory tasty excito-toxin additive yumminess’ to a food, but the food can be labeled as ‘MSG Free’ or ‘No Added MSG.’ These flavor enhancers tend to react with people in a slightly different way: in men, they can raise uric acid levels resulting in early symptoms of gout, and in women: an itchy intolerable rash. Men can also experience the ‘ribo rash’ too but in my experience, the rash is more common in women.

So what’s the bad news?

The bad news is that ALL 4 of these flavor enhancers can be legally hidden under 50 other names. The most common ones I see, especially in ‘so-called’ healthy food are: Yeast Extract, Pea Protein, Spices, Natural Flavors, Smoke Flavor, Malt Extract, Annatto, Soy Protein, Wheat Protein, Corn Protein, and Yeast Protein. I have reacted to Onion Powder, Vinegar Powder and Garlic Powder enough times to add them to my personal list of ‘DO NOT EAT’ as well. For a complete list of hidden names for MSG or high factory created glutamate ingredients, go to msgmyth.com.

If you think you have reacted to a food which is either not labeled correctly or is label suspiciously, you have every right to contact the company by email and ask what’s in their food.

You can do this in every country in the world, even as an ex-pat living in a foreign country. I suggest that you word your email in this way:

“I recently ate your xyz product and x hours later I experienced the following reaction: (describe symptoms here). I have discussed this with my doctor and he/she has informed me that I need to know for medical reasons all of the ingredients that was in the food. Specifically, I need to know if you use MSG (Monosodium Glutamate), Ribonucleotide, Disodium Inosinate or Disodium Guanylate in any of the ingredients that you use to make your product. Also, I need to know how much factory created free glutamate is in the following ingredients (list suspicious ingredients like pea protein, yeast extract, malodextrin, soy protein, natural flavorings, etc here). Thank you and I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my inquiry.”

I do NOT suggest that you write any emails like this: “Jennifer said blah blah blah blah and Jennifer’s blog post says blah blah blah so what do you have to say about that?!” Please, be professional and courteous if you are writing an inquiry to a company. You have to ask the right questions to get the right answers. These companies have legal teams that know how to respond and get through hoops if you do not ask the right questions. My goal is that every product be required to label their total factory created glutamate concentration and any hidden ingredients or flavor enhancers so ultimately, you can make the best choice of food for you!

I’ll be writing more blog posts about this in the future, so be sure to sign up to my RSS feed!

For more on how to start an additive-free diet diet, how to manage food allergies or what minerals you may specifically be deficient in, book a private health consult with me via Skype.

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