Soup Scoop – MSG War

Campbell's Soup I (1968)

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The chilly autumn evenings are an invitation for a hot bowl of soup. Two of the biggest canned soup manufacturers are also heating up the advertising wars between them. Campbell’s and Progresso have taken up newspaper ads extolling their health benefits, with Progresso recently boasting 26 soups sin monosodium glutamate.

From Marion Nestle’s blog:

Pity the poor makers of canned soups. Canning blands out the taste so they add grams of salt to cover the blandness. But less salt is healthier, so the companies add MSG (monosodium glutamate) instead.

Only now they’re taking out MSG as well.

What you need to know:

MSG is considered safe by the FDA and other health agencies around the world. However there are health controversies surrounding it since the 1960′s and some people just don’t want to take a chance. The Progresso marketers are playing on our MSG fears with their MSG free lineup. The best solution? Prepare your own soup at home. It’s easy, tastier, and healthier.

What to do at the supermarket:

For those who prefer the convenience of canned soup – If you are sensitive to MSG, or plain don’t want it in your soup, just look out for monosodium glutamate in the ingredient list. Also look for high levels of sodium. Campbell’s low-sodium version has 660mg, which is over a quarter of the recommended daily intake.

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