Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE salsa! It’s spicy, full of lycopene-rich tomatoes, and a nutritional powerhouse—if made right. After making tacos for dinner the other night, I was reading the nutritional label to the taco sauce I like to use and the salsa. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw some of the crazy ingredients! Today, I wanted to not only bring some awareness to how secret ingredients could be lurking in your salsa, but also offer you an alternative homemade salsa recipe that’s easy to make and tastes fantastic!
2 Hidden Salsa Ingredients: MSG and Aspartame
I wrote a post not too long ago for a freelancing gig where I exposed the evils of MSG. And it was through the research for that post that I realized how prevalent MSG is in our food world. The FDA currently doesn’t regulate MSG levels in food. In fact, food companies aren’t required to even list if MSG is an ingredient! Aspartame is another ingredient that food companies secretly slip into your salsa. Check out these unbelievable facts about MSG and Aspartame:
- MSG is in more than Chinese food. MSG is actually in about 80% of all processed or packaged food.
- MSG goes under many pseudonyms. These include but are not limited to: modified corn starch, modified food starch, maltodextrin, glutamate, and, my personal favorite “natural flavoring.” Get the full list here.
- MSG excites a part of the brain to promote hunger and fat storage. Studies have been conducted and shown that when ingested, MSG affects a certain part of the brain that makes you hungrier and triggers your body to gain fat. No wonder you can’t put down that bag of cookies or crackers. It’s not you, it’s the MSG!
- Aspartame can also trigger hunger. Because your pancreas can’t quite figure out with this sweet chemical is, even moderate aspartame consumption can lead to weight gain and eventually insulin resistance/diabetes.
- Aspartame didn’t originally get the seal of approval from the FDA. It was banned not once, but TWICE for causing brain tumors. Only after a political trade off and a heavy hand from Monsanto did aspartame become legal.
- Aspartame consumption is HIGHLY discouraged in the flying industry. Pilots know that aspartame can cause neurological problems, inhibiting their ability to fly. Even worse, the FDA already knows this, hence this report! My question is, why are pilots warned about this, but not the general public?
You might look at your favorite jar of salsa now and wonder where the MSG and Aspartame is. It’s all in the words “natural flavoring.” Food companies use this word to get around including gross ingredients like MSG and Aspartame. Know that “natural flavoring” can also cover food dyes, refined sugar, stems/leaves from food products, and even bugs! Save yourself the misery and make this homemade salsa recipe instead.
About This Homemade Salsa Recipe
I love making this homemade salsa recipe because it’s so easy! Simply throw the ingredients in your high speed blender or food processor and you instantly have a spicy and savory salsa that you can use in a ton of different dishes. Use this homemade salsa recipe in any of the following ways:
- Marinade chicken or fish with salsa for grilling or baking.
- Mix salsa with a touch of sour cream for a dairy-based veggie dip.
- Jazz up a classic burger, chicken sandwich, or wrap.
- Fold into scrambled eggs.
- Use in tacos, fajitas, or other Latin dishes.
Remember that on it’s own, salsa is naturally gluten-free and vegan!