Hidden sources of MSG

I lately decided to reexamine all the foods I’ve been eating and make sure that I am comfortable with all the ingredients, and I discovered something rather disturbing.  I have been eating foods that contain MSG without even knowing it.  Yes, I do check the label for MSG but did you know that certain substances contain MSG and can be listed as an ingredient without full disclosure that they do contain MSG?  Here is a list of substances that are listed as ingredients and that contain a high percentage of MSG:

  • MSG
  • Monosodium glutamate
  • Monopotassium glutamate
  • Glutamate
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Vegetable Protein Extract
  • Gelatin (not a vegan food)
  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)
  • Hydrolyzed Plant Protein (HPP)
  • Autolyzed Plant Protein
  • Sodium Caseinate
  • Senomyx (labeled as artificial flavoring, another reason to avoid those flavorings altogether)
  • Calcium Caseinate
  • Textured Protein
  • Yeast Extract
  • Yeast Food or Nutrient
  • Autolyzed Yeast
  • Autolyzed Yeast Extract

To a smaller degree, natural flavors, soy protein, corn syrup, items marked “low/no fat,” caramel flavoring, barley malt, oat protein, wheat protein, corn or rice protein, and carrageenan all contain MSG.  These ingredients don’t contain that much on their own, but can add up!

(See this site for more information.)

Needless to say, this realization made me rethink a lot of things that I have been eating.

Why do these companies believe that there is no other way to make vegan food taste good?  I make my own seitan and prefer the flavor to the packaged version -- why can’t these companies make their products taste good the natural way?  We vegans deserve better than this.