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University of California San Diego Monosodium Glutamate Humanities Discussion Response

1- The food additive I am focusing on is high fructose corn syrup which is a food sweetener made from corn that is very prevalent in a lot of popular foods like soda, candy, and many snack foods. High fructose corn syrup offers no benefits for nutrition or health and is known for its adverse effects on health as well as its links to one of the most lethal diseases in America, obesity. “High doses of fructose punch little holes in your intestinal lining, causing what we call a leaky gut, this allows foreign food proteins and bacterial proteins to enter into your bloodstream, which triggers inflammation, makes you gain weight and causes type 2 diabetes.” (Team, 2020). Unfortunately, high fructose corn syrup is hidden in many foods that Americans consume on a daily basis since it is an incredibly cheap resources for manufactures to use and it is also much sweeter than standard sugar meaning manufactures can cut on production costs. Despite recommendations to avoid HFCS entirely, many Americans consume them in excess. To avoid this mass consumption of HFCS and all the ailments that accompany it, the industry should make a much needed switch to Stevia which is a naturally derived no calorie sweetener that would be more beneficial to the body than HFCS. Overall, I do not feel that food additives are helpful or beneficial to our diets. A vast majority of them are simply preservatives or things to enhance taste, neither of these are necessary for a nutritionally balanced diet. Sure, they can add convenience to our lives by making food last longer or make our food taste richer, but these things come at a cost when you analyze the effects of some additives like HFCS. Food additives can easily be avoided by sticking to whole foods or by reading the ingredients list. A good rule of thumb is to stay away from ingredients you cannot pronounce.

2- The food additive that I am going to discuss is Monosodium Glutamate (MSG). The purpose of this additive that is added to intensify and enhance the flavor of savory dishes. You can normally find it in frozen dinners, salty snacks, and canned soups. There are some drawbacks to this additive especially since in 1969 when they did a study on mine that found that consuming large amounts of MSG caused neurological effects and impaired growth and development. But then again it was disputed because they also believe that it has little to no effect on the brain health because it can not cross the blood brain barrier. Also, MSG is linked to weight gain, and metabolic syndrome in some studies but then again other studies and research shows there is no association. (Link, 2018) Some other things that could be used as a replacement for MSG. For example, if you are using MSG at home use soy sauce, parmesan cheese, and even making your own beef stock. The food industry could also use things like herbs, such as garlic, tarragon, maybe even rosemary. There are not really any health benefits to using MSG as a food additive. It is purely there just to add flavor. I think that food additives are more harmful then helpful. Most food additives are used to help with flavor, coloring, and appeal. I say they are harmful because there is no nutritional value to them and if you do the research there are other alternatives that people including the food industry could use to make things better and healthier.


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