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So... is there anything we can eat?

(59 Posts)
durness Tue 14-Jan-14 22:55:46

Hello, I'm here at my wife's behest as she's about to go out of her mind (and I'm close behind). She's been trawling the internet for advice and tips regarding pregnancy (we're into the thirteenth week & just had the scan today - amazing!) and what she's found has left her fearful of eating any of the foods that she's spent her life consuming.

This is the website page that concerns her:

Now, we both recognise that this guy is making quite a few controversial claims in the website that we don't intend to pay any heed to (concerning e.g. vaccines) so maybe this page should be taken with a gigantic snort of salt... but... we can't find anything conclusive in response.

Sticking with the MSG section as this is what is keeping my wife from her favourite foods, there are two issues here for us: one is whether or not MSG is indeed harmful to a foetus's brain development, the other is whether 'free glutamates' are just as 'bad'. We're not asking people to comment so much on MSG itself or we'll never get anywhere. Instead, our concerns are with the foodstuffs that the website claims have the same effect via free glutamates.

I've included the list of 'danger' foods below (with my exasperated annotations in {}). Worth noting that yeast extract does for a lot of stuff, ditto 'natural flavourings' (bye-bye Worcestershire sauce)... and 'Spices' (!) even rules out tomato ketchup. So not just a problem for consumers of oriental foods... if there is indeed a problem.

We'd both be enormously grateful if anyone could set our minds at rest. Or maybe you can back up the claims and my wife is going to have to put up with unseasoned tomato juice if we don't want a kid with mushy brains. But: science is good, we'd like to see lots of it.


PS: there's a whole 'nother issue surrounding scaremongering and such but let's save that debate for another day...!

That list:

^*Food Additives That ALWAYS Contain MSG*
Monosodium Glutamate [MSG]
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein [HVP]
Hydrolyzed Protein; Hydrolyzed Plant Protein
Plant Protein Extract
Sodium Caseinate
Calcium Caseinate
Yeast Extract
Textured Protein (Including TVP)
Autolyzed Yeast
Hydrolyzed Oat Flour
Corn Oil {REALLY...?}

Food Additives That FREQUENTLY Contain MSG
Malt Extract
Malt Flavoring
Bouillon {ARGH}
Broth {ARGH}
Stock {ARGH}
Flavoring {ARGH}
Natural Flavors/Flavoring {ARGH}
Natural Beef or Chicken Flavoring {ARGH}
Seasoning {WHAT???}

Food Additives That MAY Contain MSG Or Excitotoxins
Soy Protein Concentrate
Soy Protein Isolate
Whey Protein Concentrate^

mycupoffucksrunnethempty Tue 14-Jan-14 22:59:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MonsterMunchMe Tue 14-Jan-14 23:01:00

IMHO, don't drink, do drugs (prescription or recreational) don't eat uncooked, or out of date food, get your 5 a day. Cut out pate, soft cheese, shark, marlin and shellfish. Eat fresh home cooked meals that cover all food groups, Don't drink too much caffeine, annnnnnd that's it.

That link is awful!

Relax and enjoy the pregnancy smile

MonsterMunchMe Tue 14-Jan-14 23:03:16

And wrt brain development the major/majority has been developed in days 1-21 of the pregnancy iirc but feel free to tell me if I'm wrong.

So she's passed that so you can chill a bit.

thatstoast Tue 14-Jan-14 23:04:47

Try this website, it seems slightly more reputable.

firstbaby01 Tue 14-Jan-14 23:05:26

Woahh thats alot of food you cant eat! i was just told to avoid soft cheese, Pate, some sea food and anything with uncooked or undercooked egg (allthough i have since been told that Eggs with the red Lyon stamp on are ok to eat with a soft yolk as they have eliminated salmonella)

durness Tue 14-Jan-14 23:08:02

Thanks for the replies so far, can't fault any of them 'cos they're what I believe. But madam needs the Big Scientific Sledgehammer of Justice to smite this source of worry and I'm not going to get anywhere without it, I'm afraid...

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 14-Jan-14 23:13:48

Take the laptop away from your wife!
As someone else said, brain development has pretty much taken place by now.
Stick loosely to the NHS website guidelines and don't panic.
can I suggest that your wife tries to divert her mind with something else? Complicated knitting works for me. smile

eurochick Tue 14-Jan-14 23:14:12

If she's going to believe complete quackery then I'm not sure that anything anyone says here will help. Follow the nhs advice. That's fine. Btw plenty of very good brains come out of China...

whereisshe Tue 14-Jan-14 23:15:46

See the thing about big scientific sledgehammers is you can't have it both ways - if she's going to believe random unscientific crap off the Internet she can't demand scientific proof that aforementioned crap is untrue. Just follow the NHS guidelines and be done with it - sadly in pregnancy and forever more once the baby is born there are very few conclusive answers - she's just going to have to get on with it.

summerbaby2014 Tue 14-Jan-14 23:18:44

Step. Away. From. Google

Honestly, it sounds like there's some excessive worrying going on. That website is ridiculous. You aren't going to find any conclusive evidence in response to it because people aren't in the habit of testing on pregnant women. That is why so much of the advice is based on common sense.

I can't offer any scientific proof, you should visit your GP for that. Remember the vast majority of women follow a normal healthy diet and the vast majority of babies are completely fine.

Casmama Tue 14-Jan-14 23:18:55

If you wife is going to believe this information unless someone can disprove it then she is in for a long wait. No one is going to do a study to prove Worcester sauce is safe in pregnancy- not even Lea and Perrins.

Casmama Tue 14-Jan-14 23:23:54

Perhaps you would like to peruse this website which is apparently based on writing of the same person

bumpertobumper Tue 14-Jan-14 23:47:01

Zoe Williams: Being pregnant and receiving unscientific advice go hand in hand

sleepyhead Wed 15-Jan-14 00:01:44

Webster Kehr (author of that website) is the author of several quacky websites. Here he's telling us about how the Theory of Evolution is false.

If it quacks like a duck...

Seriously, I've never read a bigger load of rubbish. How on earth did she come across it?

sleepyhead Wed 15-Jan-14 00:05:01

Here our friend Webster , modern Renaissance Man, takes time out of his busy cancer research schedule to create yet another website debunking that scientific charlatan Einstein.

How does he find the time?

dats Wed 15-Jan-14 00:11:42

What would David Icke do?


mel0dy Wed 15-Jan-14 00:26:15

From a scientific perspective it's all about risk management. There might be a 1 in million chance MSG can harm a foetus but having given up drinking and smoking I'll be damned if I'm giving up Chinese food but I will avoid pate and undercooked eggs, stuff with a much bigger chance of damage.

cookiemonster5678 Wed 15-Jan-14 04:53:48

That website is terrible and over the top.

Tell your wife to enjoy her pregnancy, follow the nhs guidelines and speak to a midwife if ever unsure.

Google is evil when it comes to pregnancy, there is way too much crap like this floating around. People have been having healthy babies for millions of years without needing useless crap to follow like this website smile

pinkglitter80 Wed 15-Jan-14 08:30:56

seriously she has to stop googling everything or it will be a nightmare when babies here- so much bad advice out there. make yourself only look at reputable websites eh NHS / babycentre

pinkglitter80 Wed 15-Jan-14 08:37:31


Foxeym Wed 15-Jan-14 08:44:45

Def stay away from those unsubstantiated sites. I'm a vegetarian and eat most of the things on that list and all 3 of my DCs are fine and healthy. I think you just have to use common sense

Mummytobe2014 Wed 15-Jan-14 08:48:11

One of the mw's i have seen said you can eat anything in moderation, i was specifically asking about nuts as was desperate to eat peanut butter and she said it was fine in moderation. I dont eat shell fish or raw fish anyway but she implied this too was ok!?

LastOneDancing Wed 15-Jan-14 08:48:18

If she'd like evidence that the website is a load of bunkum, can I suggest taking a walk past any local
Primary school and seeing 100+ perfectly happy, able and typical 4-10 year olds running about?

Because I would bet my life savings that NONE of their mums have read, let alone actually followed the advice on that quacky site. I've never heard of it.

FrumiousBandersnatch Wed 15-Jan-14 08:53:23

Buy her a copy of Bumpology:

It reviews the evidence for a while range of pregnancy-related issues and is excellent. I'm afraid that otherwise your wife really needs to chill out - she is on a path to anxiety if she keeps reading that quackery and it will only get a lot worse once your baby is born.

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