September 2006

The MSG-obesity connection

By Art Goodtimes

MSG A POISON? … John Erb, a research assistant at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, spent years working for the government. Now he’s written a book, “The Slow Poisoning of America.” He found out that in hundreds of government studies around the world, scientists were creating obese mice and rats to use in diet or diabetes experiments. No strain of rats or mice is naturally obese, so the scientists had to create them, by injecting them with Monosodium Glutamate when they are born. The MSG triples the amount of insulin the pancreas creates, and voilá obesity. They even have a title for the fat rodents they create: “MSG-Treated Rats” … Check your cupboards. MSG’s in everything! Campbell's soups, Doritos, Lays flavored potato chips, Top Ramen, Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper, Heinz canned gravy, Swanson frozen prepared meals, Kraft salad dressings (especially the “healthy low-fat” ones). Items that don't have MSG on the product label have '”Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein,” which is just another name for

MSG. As is “Accent,” “Aginomoto,” “Natural Meat Tenderizer”, and more … So what restaurants make MSG a feature of their menu? Try Burger King, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Taco

Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, even sitdown ones like TGIF, Chili’s, Applebee’s, Denny’s … So why is MSG in so many of the foods we eat? Is it a preservative or a vitamin? Neither, according to John Erb. He says MSG is added to food for its addictive effect on the human body. Even some foodmanufacturer web sites agree, citing the food additive’s ability to make people eat more … A study of the elderly showed conclusively that people eat more of foods when MSG is an additive. The Glutamate Association lobby group says eating more benefits the elderly, but what does it do to the rest of us? … Since its introduction into the American food supply 50 years ago, MSG has been added in larger and larger doses to the pre-packaged meals soups, snacks and fast foods of the American diet. The FDA has set no limits on how much of it can be added to food. They claim it's safe to eat in any amount. How can they claim it’s safe when there are hundreds of scientific studies with titles like this: “The monosodium glutamate (MSG) obese rat as a model for the study of exercise in obesity” [2002] … Or this: “Obesity induced by neonatal monosodium glutamate treatment in spontaneously hypertensive rats: an animal model of multiple risk factors” [1998 Mar] … Or this: “Hypothalamic lesion induced by injection of monosodium glutamate in suckling period and subsequent development of obesity” [1978 Oct]. … Yes, that last study was written in 1978. Both the medical-research community and food manufacturers have known about MSG's side effects for decades … Erb’s book cites links between MSG and migraines, autism, even Alzheimer’s … Want to lose weight? Start checking for MSG in your diet.

THE TALKING GOURD

Married to War

There’s something I need to tell you
I’m getting married to War
It will be wonderful
Our wedding will be publicized internationally
The media loves to talk about my fiancé
With his broad shoulders, manly weapons
And his ability to change the world
The entire planet will be at our wedding
Pro war on the right side of the aisle
The more peaceful bunch on the left
I want to get him in bed with me
So I can tell him how I really feel
Nag him for his devilish ways
Maybe even
Try to change him
Women love to try and change their men
My mother always told me
Never marry a man who you plan on changing
They are stuck in permanency
Ornery and scared of self reflection
But War will hear me
He’s got to

Hope Logghe
Española, N.M.

GLOBAL WARNING … American cars and pickup trucks are responsible for nearly half of the greenhouse gases emitted by automobiles globally, even though the nation's vehicles make up just 30 percent of the nearly 700 million cars in use, according to a new report by Environmental Defense … Cars in the U.S. are driven more miles, face lower fuel-economy standards and use fuel with more carbon than many of those driven in other countries, the authors found. www.truthout.org/ issues 06/062806ED.shtml

COLORADO DAY … August 1st came and went without much notice. But it was once a state holiday. The day citizens in this state celebrated our Centennial entrance into the Union – achieving statehood after a couple decades of failed attempts. Colorado got bumped in favor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s national holiday, since the legislature wouldn’t add a new holiday for state workers, but was worried about public opinion if they didn’t celebrate it. And that wasn’t the only connection between Colorado statehood and civil rights for African-Americans. My buddy Ed Quillen over in Salida, who writes for the Denver Post, recalled some of the earlier history in a recent column … In 1864, Lincoln needed Nebraska , Colorado or Nevada territory to become a state, in order to guarantee enough Republican electors to keep the presidency. But Colorado’s state constitution went before the voters, and failed 4,672 to 1,520. One reason was the federal military draft applied in states, but not territories, and many of our pioneers were not eager to send their sons off to join the North-South conflict. Writes Quillen, “Colorado tried again in 1865, just after the Territorial Legislature amended the voting laws to disenfranchise African-Americans. On March 13, 1866, the U.S. Senate rejected Colorado statehood, partly on that account. Denver entrepreneur William Hardin, son of a free black woman and a white father, had circulated a petition against the racist Colorado constitution, and presented it to Congress. Another lobbyist against statehood was Barney Ford, an escaped slave who had become a Denver hotel and restaurant operator after his mining claim near Breckenridge was jumped.” … There ought to be statues to Hardin and Ford in Colorado. But, of course, there aren’t … Quillen goes on, “[T]he Senate reconsidered statehood a month later and passed it, as did the House on May 3, 1866. President Andrew Johnson vetoed it, partly because of Hardin and Ford's efforts. Colorado amended its laws to allow black suffrage in 1867 and tried again. Johnson vetoed it, this time because he didn't trust John Evans and Jerome Chaffee, who would have become U.S. senators in time to support his impeachment and removal from office.” … After all those shenanigans, Colorado drew up a constitution that outlawed racial discrimination in 1875, and a year later Ulysses S. Grant made Colorado the 38th state in the Union. … Another writer friend and fellow county commissioner, Forrest Whitman of Gilpin County, noted in his column, “Rollinsville Caboose,” that “[o]ur state constitution and the laws enacted in 1876 are interesting for a couple of reasons. First, because they were passed as written in both English and Spanish, (some in German also). It wasn't until the early 1900s that English versions of the Colorado Constitution eclipsed the bi-lingual versions.” … The second focus was on water. Probably the most important resource in a state with vast stretches of semiarid watersheds. As Whitman explains, “The new Colorado Territory in 1861 adopted these ideas [about water] from the mining districts and farmer's cooperative organizations almost as written. The Gregory Mining District was especially quoted. ‘Beneficial use’ and ‘sufficiency’ were key. Also as a practical matter ‘first in time, first in right’ began to play a larger role in distributing the water. This ‘Colorado Doctrine,’ as it came to be called, was widely influential and was frankly designed to prevent control of water by capitalists and to keep access open to the local users. Water companies hated it because it gave power to farmers, ranchers and miners to resist the efforts of water monopolies to take river basins and charge the going rate for their commodity. Today's worshipers of ‘free market capitalism’ would have hated living in Colorado in 1859.” … The first territorial constitutional convention met in Denver on Aug. 1, 1859, forming the Territory of Jefferson, which was never recognized by the Federal government (a competing group of folks elected a legislator to the Kansas territorial statehouse representing Arapahoe County – which is how the Colorado section of Kansas Territory was known). Although technically illegal, the new Jefferson territory drew up a constitution, elected governor and representatives to a legislature, and denied the vote to Native and African-Americans (not all of history is pretty) … But the renegade government was soon dissolved when Congress formed the Territory of Colorado in February of 1861.

Art Goodtimes is a San Miguel County commissioner.