How the FDA Gave Me HPV

Dear FDA,

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.

Read more

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.



Elly Lou


  1. Don’t forget your list of words that mean “Run to your homes! It’s a zombie uprising” in all common languages. That’s the most important list. Do you think MSG creates zombies? Hmmm..

    I bet they’d taste better if it did.
    .-= KeepingYouAwake´s last blog ..People Weird me out Sometimes =-.

  2. MSG is definitely not illegal. You could buy giant bags of it at my grocery store in Brooklyn. I know, because I picked up said bag one day, thinking it was flaked coconut for some baking extravaganza, but NO! It was a 1 lb bag of monosodium glutamate (aka: flavor enhancer).

  3. I have come to think of them more as a recommendation panel for “Things we shouldn’t allow but we don’t have the balls to step up and actually stop.” Really, they have allowed themselves to become another in a long list *ahem* of useless government agencies. (so used to it I can’t even pretend to be surprised vagina face)
    .-= Wicked Shawn´s last blog ..Why I Want To Murder People, Just A Little….. =-.

  4. I like a little MSG in my food supply. It gives my chest that warm, blotchy, strawberry red glow, where glow means random patches of fuck I think I just swallowed some MSG.

    You’re so picky, BugginWord. Next, you’re going to tell me that a little fecal matter in the water supply isn’t good for babies. I swear ……
    .-= Miss Spoken´s last blog ..Does This Meat Tenderizer Come With Lubricant? =-.

  5. Have you seen Food, Inc yet Elly? Cuz that will really get you on a letter writing campaign to the fuckers. As for me, I’ll stick to eating worms. At least I know what’s going on there. Cheezus.
    .-= Andrea´s last blog .."The Rainbow Connection" =-.

    1. If I see Food, Inc will I ever eat again?

      If I hadn’t read your post already, I’d totally assume “worm” was a euphemism for something else.

  6. The fuck?
    Dude. Thanks for identifying this aliens-sucking-our-soul danger because I was still back on like partially hydrogenated and red dyes with numbers. After seeing “Food Inc” AND reading this, I think I am just going to eat organic bananas. Everyone likes bananas. Right? RIGHT?!?!?!?
    .-= marymac´s last blog ..Did I Just Kill The Creepy Dead Baby? =-.

  7. This is why I go veg and eat all organic. Unfortunately, most of America remains uninformed about what they are actually consuming, and the FDA may be the least helpful factor in changing that. It’s also not always practical, or even close to possible, for many people to maintain an organic/veg lifestyle, if only because most are never taught how to do so in an inexpensive and healthful manner. I can see how you’d be over-cautious, but you have to live and obviously, eat. Will it make that much of a difference if you free one bottle of water on a hot summer day? Probably not. (And yes, I understand about BPA.) To quote someone I know, “all the really good things in life are absolutely terrifying.” I guess food is no different.

  8. Thanks to you Elly, my new diet plan is “don’t eat anything because they are trying to poison us with their food additives with weird acronyms”. I’m pretty sure starving myself will fit into my days nicely. Think how thin I’ll be for my funeral??

    Since we live in the country maybe we could just start living off the land. Except with my limited (which means totally horrendous) gardening skills we’ll soon be down to tomatoes and hot peppers. I’ll call it the salsa diet.

    .-= Spot´s last blog ..Respect. Or the lack thereof… =-.

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