Freaking Out About MSG, Part 2

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Actually, it wasn't all that easy getting out the door to the store. I had no meal plan made. And I didn't have all 5 dozen code names for the dread MSG memorized. So as the kids were making their way out to the Burb, I was at the computer typing out an alphabetized list of what NOT to buy. I could have scanned the page from the book, but the lists in the book aren't alphabetized, which makes it pretty slow going when you're trying to look for something quickly.

So, got that typed, printed it out, and got in the car. The kids asked about the list, so I broke the news to them. We probably weren't going to be buying all of the usual stuff today. Instead, we'll be reading labels. Lots and lots of labels. And trying to get stuff that doesn't have any MSG (or cousins) in it.

(I thought you might like to have a copy, so here's your What Not to Buy if You Want to Avoid MSG list. Either right click and then save target as, or regular click to open, and then just save it as you would for any other Word document. :) )

At the grocery store they were really good sports about the whole thing. We went to our first normally purchased item. "Let's look at this one! I bet we won't be able to get any of that." one kiddo said. Yep. Sure enough. Baddy cat ingredients were all over that stuff. gah.

On we went through the store, making our choices as carefully as we could.

Since I wasn't prepared to go completely cold turkey on this venture, I did still get some things that weren't ideal. Mainly I wanted to get a feel for what we definitely couldn't get if we wanted to completely avoid glutamates, and what was left. :)

I had to have several pep talks with myself. "Baby steps!" "You don't have to be 100% perfect 100% of the time!" "Do what you can, when you can!" It's VERY hard to feel relaxed about eating when you're concerned that MSG is killing off brain cells in your family members. You know? but I did my best.

Mid-way through the shopping trip my kids were looking in the cart saying, "NO WAY can we possibly live off of this amount of food, Mom! It isn't possible." I assured them that we would not go hungry, and that we would just get what we could figure out for now,and if we have to come back to buy more food in a few days or a week, we will. They realized that I've never failed to keep 'em fed, so they were pretty calm about it. :)

By the end of the walk through the store they were actually really, really excited our experiment. They love it when I bake, and I haven't done a whole lot of that lately. I used to bake with my children probably every single day, and that had definitely fallen off the schedule as other things have gotten busier.

We had some good finds at the store as well. Things we were able to buy as usual included:

whole wheat pastas

Kashi cereals (Heart to Heart, and Autumn Wheat)

unsweetened applesauce

I bought extra baking supplies since I plan to try my hand at making homemade crackers and other bread items. We also bought more produce than usual since we at least do know what to do with that. :)

Since I'm sure I'm not the only one interested in this topic, I'm going to try to keep blogging about it here when I have stuff to share. I plan to share recipes with you that worked well for us, plus anything else that comes up that's blog-worthy. :)

I am thinking about offering the MSG Myth book here in the store. Let me know if you're interested.

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