This ingredient has only one purpose in foods: To deliver free glutamic acid, or free glutamate, to your tongue. The idea is to mimic the chemistry and function of monosodium glutamate, or MSG, an ingredient that has been classified as an excitotoxin. Most people know to avoid MSG because they've been warned about the detrimental effects of this ingredient on the nervous system and especially the dangers to children and infants. But what a lot of natural food makers do is hide this free glutamate in their foods in another innocent-sounding ingredient: Yeast extract.
This ingredient is so common in the natural health industry that it's difficult to actually find what I call "clean natural foods" in the frozen food section of any health food store in this country. One food after another contains yeast extract that functions almost like monosodium glutamate. That is its only purpose in these foods. I personally, have a very sensitive glutamate detector in my body. If I eat any food containing high levels of glutamate, I immediately get a piercing headache that lasts for hours, so I can always tell when a manufacturer is hiding this ingredient in its foods.
But this article is about a manufacturer whose foods I have consistently been able to consume without ever having this glutamate headache. This is a company that uses no yeast extract, and yet somehow manages to create delicious and healthy frozen foods. It's a company that has mainstream distribution and that does an honest job of making natural – and frequently organic – foods that simply don't contain any of these dangerous additives or other undesirable ingredients. The company is Amy's Kitchen.
You can find the foods made by Amy's Kitchen in distribution in upper-scale grocery stores and health food stores all across the United States and around the world. Their web site is www.Amyskitchen.com.
I have been purchasing and consuming Amy's Kitchen food items for about two years now, and I have never had a monosodium glutamate incident from their products. This is remarkable because I have purchased and tested foods from many other companies that claimed to be natural, and I have found that they were not natural and have even found that many of them are hiding MSG in their foods and not putting it on the label. I'm not going to name names here because the point of this article is to talk about how good Amy's Kitchen is, and why I think you should purchase and consume their products if you're looking for healthy frozen food.
The one complaint I hear about Amy's Kitchen is that their food is relatively expensive. Of course it is. Using honest ingredients costs more money than putting in fillers, chemical taste enhancers and the cheap, low-cost ingredients used by many other companies. It costs more money to make a better-quality food product. So yes, you can end up paying four dollars for a small microwavable meal of honest, clean, organic food from Amy's Kitchen, and sure, you could spend half that on a frozen meal from some other company loaded with hydrogenated oils, refined sugars, monosodium glutamate and artificial food coloring, but is it really worth two dollars less to poison your body?
I gladly spend the extra two bucks to have clean food and avoid the detrimental effects of these additive ingredients. That's why Amy's Kitchen goes on my A-list. This is an A+ company, in my opinion. Amy's Kitchen makes outstanding products and has the right attitude and integrity in what they do.
Since I know the people of Amy's Kitchen will eventually read this review, I strongly urge them to avoid any chemical taste enhancers in the future, especially yeast extract or any free glutamate derivative, because that would be a violation of the trust that the company has built up with consumers after all these years. You see, consumers who know what they are buying actually read the ingredients, and consumers who really know what they are doing know to look out for chemicals like yeast extract.
Eventually, I'm going to do a full-fledged report on yeast extract, and I'm going to name every manufacturer that uses this ingredient in an effort to help educate people about what foods they should avoid. I believe, and the research clearly shows, that yeast extract has no purpose other than enhancing the taste of foods through the delivery of free glutamate to the consumer's tongue. That's the only purpose of this ingredient, and more often than not, it is used to make foods that would normally taste bland appear more exciting to the consumer. It also saves manufacturers money because they don't have to actually buy fresh spices. Instead, they can just throw some yeast extract into the mix, and it will taste good to people who don't know any better. So, Amy's Kitchen earns my recommendation for avoiding this ingredient and delivering honest, clean food that you can find at health food stores and even some grocery stores.
Remember, I earn no commission, kickbacks or revenues of any kind from Amy's Kitchen for doing these reviews. It's funny that every time I contact a company and offer to do an interview, they always ask me, "Is there a fee involved?" I'm asked this every single time, and it's quite shocking to hear this over and over again. Of course there's no fee involved, because I'm practicing honest journalism here. See our Declaration of Journalistic Independence for details.
I'm reporting on these companies because this is a service to the readers of this website. People deserve to know what's good and what's bad out there. They deserve to know what's worth consuming and what should be avoided. They should have access to this information without bias, without bribery, without corruption or any of the things that so many other publications do to earn revenues at the expense of their own integrity. I refuse to do that, and that's why this story, and every other story, is brought to you out of nothing but a desire to share useful information.
Whether or not you purchase Amy's Kitchen products makes no financial difference to me. I have never received free samples from this company. They aren't even aware that this article is being written. So, stay tuned for more informative, honest articles coming your way on this website in the months and years ahead.