Did I say that correctly or did you hear me? Yes I am talking about Pizza! Are they addicting? Yes and you want to know why? The ingredients in most pizza chains have ingredients in them that cause it! Should we be concerned? Should we do something about it? Most people continue to put it off because they don’t read the labels, lack of education or just don’t care until the illness strikes home. That’s the scary part. AND the most scary part about it all is that it is SERVED WEEKLY in our school lunch rooms! Parents should be outraged! Can one person make a difference? Not really, or they will just be labeled as a trouble maker, but if more people would stand up and complain or if parents/families would decide to make a lifestyle change even in their own homes, we could change what America eats, and be much healthier.
Recently, the USDA conducted a study which revealed the enormous amount of pizza we consume in the United States. American consumption of cheese increased by nearly 30% in 10 years because the dairy industry is spending big bucks to promote pizza and partner with big chains like Dominos. Congress even voted to declare pizza a vegetable in the school lunch program. The government wants us to eat pizza – a lot of it. But there’s a lot going on behind closed doors that nobody wants us to know or talk about, and it all starts with the ingredients.
Restaurants don’t want to get a bad rap by putting monosodium glutamate (MSG) on their ingredient or allergen statements, so they have found another way to secretly add this potent flavor enhancer to your food, without the average customer realizing it. Instead of letting you know that they are putting MSG in your food, they are using an FDA loophole to sneak processed free glutamic acid into your food, which has the same effect as MSG – all without warning you. They simply use other forms of free glutamic acid (such as Hydrolyzed Soy Protein), which is the main component of MSG. This allows them to have “clean labels” and deceive us into believing their product contains no MSG – when it actually does!
MSG tricks your brain into believing that what you are eating tastes so great that you want more of it. Your taste buds sense that there is more protein in the food than there really is – which is great for food manufacturers that want to save money by using less or lower quality meat. These ingredients also promote an addiction to pizza so that you keep coming back to order more. Repeat business keeps their pockets lined with lots of cash. Ever wonder why you can’t stop at one slice? This is why.
MSG and hidden MSG additives are known to commonly cause headaches, obesity and depression – and this is just the tip of the iceberg. As an excitotoxin, its effect on the brain is so toxic that it has been linked to learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Lou Gehrig’s disease. Board certified neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, M.D. warns that, “Excitotoxins have been found to dramatically promote cancer growth… It also causes a cancer cell to become more mobile, and that enhances metastasis, or spread… When you increase the glutamate level, cancer just grows like wildfire”.
This is serious stuff. But the industry will tell you it’s harmless and that you are crazy for being concerned.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it is okay to eat this stuff occasionally, because these ingredients can stick around in your body for a long time, leach nutrients from your system, and can make you really sick. As put by my pal Kristen Michaelis at FoodRenegade.com, “Not only is MSG not a traditional food, not only are many people immediately sensitive to it, but it can also interrupt the hormonal and biological development of children! Lest you think this is all fanciful, it’s important to remember that a number of studies have found that the effects of MSG can occur cumulatively over time with subsequent exposure.”
Toxic hidden MSG ingredients buried in popular pizza menu items:
Autolyzed Yeast Extract (Hidden MSG)
Textured or Hydrolyzed Proteins (Hidden MSG and GMO)
Hydrolyzed Corn (Hidden MSG and GMO)
Modified Starches (Hidden MSG or Possible GMO)
Natural Flavors (Possible Hidden MSG)
Disodium Inosinate or Disodium Guanylate (MSG enhancers)
The ingredient lists that I could get my hands on are riddled with artificial colors, artificial and natural flavors, partially hydrogenated oils, cellulose (wood pulp) to keep the already shredded cheese from clumping, and GMO soybean oil.
Partially Hydrogenated Oils (Trans-fat) – There is absolutely no reason for anyone to still be using this. These oils are so bad that even our FDA has woken up and warns that it’s not safe to eat this in any food. Partially hydrogenated oils block arteries and the CDC estimates that they could cause up to 20,000 heart attacks every year! I found these dangerous oils in Pizza Hut’s hand-tossed crust, Round Table’s Creamy Garlic sauce, Papa John’s dipping sauces and Dominos Philly Steak pizza. Partially hydrogenated oils are found in 21 menu items at Cici’s Pizza – it’s even added to their cheese!
Soybean Oil (likely GMO) – You’d hope to see just olive oil in there, but soybean oil is the oil of choice for most pizza restaurants. It’s in the dough and pizza sauces, so it basically makes its way into every pizza. This genetically engineered inflammation causing oil is being used at these restaurants:
Mellow Mushroom – “Soybean oil is a major ingredient in our pizzas”
California Pizza Kitchen – “our Ciabatta Bread and our Wheat Dough do contain Soybean Oil”
Round Table Pizza – Creamy Garlic sauce
BHT/BHA (Butylated Hydroxytoluene.Butylated Hydroxyanisole) – BHT is used in embalming fluid and to fuel jets. BHA is toxic to your organs and linked to cancer. These were found in the pepperoni on every ingredient list I looked at from Uno’s to Dominos.
Sodium Nitrite – Whenever this is added to a meat, there is a really good chance that it contains cancer-causing Nitrosamines. Nitrites are often found in the pepperoni, ham, bacon and sausage toppings.
Enriched Flour – This is a dead food that has had some vitamins and minerals artificially replaced. It’s absorbed by your body as a starch, rather than a whole grain. This flour is used in pizza dough, except the gluten-free versions.
Artificial Colors – These are petroleum-based colorings linked to asthma, allergies and hyperactivity. I found them in the banana pepper toppings, the cheese at Cici’s, and specifically in the garlic oil used by Domino’s.
Caramel Coloring – This is often made by heating ammonia and sulfites under high pressure which creates carcinogenic compounds. You’ll find this very controversial coloring in the bacon at Pizza Hut, the Italian sausage at Round Table, the beef at Little Caesars, the zesty pizza sauce at Cici’s and in the BBQ Chicken pizza at Uno’s.
BPA (Bisphenol A) – You won’t find this on any ingredient label, but BPA leaches from the cans that hold pizza sauce in some restaurants. Many fast food pizza chains use canned tomato sauce that could have BPA. This substance exposure increases your risk for cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes and a slew of other medical problems.
Papa John’s – They add a lot to their “Better Ingredients”. For instance, their “100% Beef” topping is a lot more than just beef! It contains corn syrup, maltodextrin, natural flavor, natural smoke grill flavor, beef flavor and seasonings. Also, so much for believing that there is 100% real cheese topping their pizzas, as they add modified food starch (hidden MSG), preservatives and powdered wood pulp (cellulose) to their cheese blend. They also add natural flavors to their thin crust, pepperoni, and chicken topping, as well as hidden MSG (autolyzed yeast extract) to their garlic ranch and spinach alfredo pizza sauces. Those little dipping sauces that come with your pizza are loaded with partially hydrogenated oil, GMOs and (you guessed it) more hidden MSG.
Domino’s – One of the few pizza restaurants that openly publishes their ingredients online – and their ingredient list has hidden MSG written all over it. It’s almost impossible to avoid at Dominos, as it’s in their cheese, marinara sauce, white sauces, BBQ sauce and a slew of toppings (chicken, beef, Italian sausage and Philly steak). They also add “flavors” to their pan crust, cheese, pepperoni and shake-on seasoning. The garlic oil used on nearly every pizza is NOT what you’d expect (garlic & oil). It’s actually a toxic combo of over 20 ingredients including artificial colors, artificial flavors and TBHQ.
Pizza Hut – You get a lot more than “100% Real Beef” in this topping loaded natural and artificial flavors. Their sausage and bacon toppings have hidden MSG (autolyzed yeast or hydrolyzed proteins), and you are eating modified starches in their cheese, chicken and cream sauce (starches usually derived from GMO corn). The garlic sauce and seasoning used on every hand-tossed pizza is loaded with natural flavors, artificial flavors and partially-hydrogenated GMO oils. Pizza Hut recently reformulated their hand-tossed crust by replacing the high fructose corn syrup with sucralose (Splenda) – an artificial sweetener that has been shown to cause DNA damage to the gastrointestinal tract, reduces beneficial gut bacteria, and is linked to inflammatory bowel disease. Recent research indicates that sucralose is linked to leukemia.
Round Table – “The Last Honest Pizza” honestly adds straight “Glutamic Acid” to their creamy garlic sauce. They add hidden MSG ingredients to their pizza sauces, chicken and sausage toppings. Their cheese is far from “100% real” with “Natural Smoke Flavoring” and cellulose (wood pulp).
Little Caesars – Although their corporate office told me that their ingredients are top secret….the sauce contains natural flavors and the cheese contains wood pulp (cellulose). They also rattled off the beef topping ingredients to confirm it contains yeast extract, beef flavorings and caramel coloring.
Mellow Mushroom – Soybean oil, which is likely GMO – “Soybean oil is a major ingredient in our pizzas” …..The tool gives misleading, inaccurate and potentially dangerous information if you have a soy allergy.
Uno Pizzeria – They are not much better than the rest with hidden MSG in their BBQ Chicken pizza, Harvest Vegetable pizza, sausage topping and gluten-free crust. They also add caramel color, artificial flavors, and a large amount of natural flavors to their BBQ Chicken pizza.
Papa Murphy’s – It’s all about the sauces at Papa Murphy’s, where there’s yeast extract in their basil pesto sauce and modified food starch in their BBQ sauce, buffalo sauce, creamy garlic sauce and sweet chili sauce. They also add “flavors” to nearly every meat topping available and to their cheese.
Cici’s – They don’t really hide it by adding straight MSG to 10 menu items including their “Zesty” pizza sauce. Cici’s further adds hidden MSG to their buffalo sauce, ranch dressing, bacon cheddar sauce, sausage topping and beef topping. Quite frankly, I can’t believe how bad their “cheese” is – modified food starch, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, (added) casein, aluminum, natural flavors and artificial color! I was also astounded to find high fructose corn syrup in their BBQ sauce and dessert pizzas, as well as carrageenan and propylene glycol in several of their sauces, including the Alfredo.
On Papa John’s website, they say that their cheese is “crafted from 100% mozzarella and high-quality milk by one of America’s finest cheese producers” – But the ingredients tell the real story. Now we know their cheese also contains wood pulp and modified food starch… and that IT’S NOT 100% CHEESE.
I find it interesting in all the above statements and findings, just google for yourself. I hope you help me spread the word about the Poison Pizza by SHARING THIS ARTICLE!
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If you enjoyed this article: http://foodbabe.com/2014/03/23/if-youve-ever-eaten-pizza-before-this-will-blow-your-mind/
Other resources: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristin-wartman/pizza-is-a-vegetable_b_1101433.html