What. The. Fuck?
Up until about a week ago, I always associated the acronym HPV with genital warts. Ok, that’s probably not going to stop, but now I ALSO associate it with some freaky thing called Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein which is suddenly all up in the news (as opposed to the other HPV which is all up in Lindsay Lohan).
I had no idea what the stuff was, so I went ahead and looked it up for both of us. I’m like Lady Jaye over here…’cause knowing is half the battle.
[The manufacturers] start out with vegetable scraps or soy extracts. They are boiled in hydrochloric acid, then neutralized with sodium hydroxide. The acid breaks down the protein into amino acids, one of which is glutamic acid, more commonly known in the form of its sodium salt, monosodium glutamate or MSG.
MSG? Didn’t you outlaw that shit back in the 80’s (I’m totally picturing an old wild west notice with the words “reward” and “dead or alive” in huge type). You were my knight in shining armor, FDA. I remember every Chinese restaurant back in Greensboro, NC proudly waiving signs that said “No MSG!” That did happen, right? I don’t remember any singing giraffes so I always assumed I didn’t dream it.
Oh FDA. I’m so disappointed in you.
So am I to understand that HPV (also known as “flavor enhancer”) is just another version of MSG? I’d buy that…in the same way that a riding lawn mower is another version of a car. Technically they have a lot of the the same characteristics, but they just aren’t the same, are they?
The way I see it, this is just a way for manufacturers to stick MSG in our foods without actually labeling it as MSG. Isn’t that like offering me some ibuprofen for my headache and instead giving me a roofie? Technically both would alleviate the symptoms of a headache. But again, they aren’t really the same thing, FDA.
You’ve always been about the bottom line though. When MSG became too expensive to produce, so you just twiddled your thumbs while they developed HPV, an even cheaper (and dicier) way to flavor our foods. hooRAY!! Good thinking, FDA.
But wait there’s more? Oh yes I see! Seems they also slip a little MSG into my food with something called textured vegetable protein (TVP). Textured? What – like “ribbed for her pleasure” textured vegetable protein? Blech – no thanks, FDA. I don’t appreciate your inappropriate advances.
I’ll concede I may be a little overly twitchy over the creepy (read carcinogenic) things that turn up in the simple things we interact with every single day, but I’d think this would get most gals’ panties all bunched up. On the plus side, now I have something to distract me from my BPA nightmares (though the zombie dolls where doing a pretty good job of that, too). By the by, way to step it up on that front and finally announce that BPAs are of ‘some concern.’ You’re killing me, FDA. Literally.
Seriously FDA, are you even paying attention?
So now I have to carry along this giant list of all the food ingredients that are just other words for MSG when I go grocery shopping. I’ll just slip it into my ever growing binder right behind the EWG’s Guide to Pesticides and Safe Fish List.
I hope you eat all those recalled, salmonella tainted foods, sleep with Lindsay Lohan, and experience all the joys that HPV can bring you.