Toxic veggie burgers: MorningStar Farms exposed

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Morningstar-Farms-veggie-burger(NaturalHealth365) Having pre-made food options can be very exciting for vegetarian lovers – especially when schedules are busy. It’s “just what the world ordered” according to MorningStar Farms®. While the brand pleads with America to take the “green” challenge by eating more veggies and less meat, MorningStar Farms® is hoping you won’t read this article and discover what’s really in their food products.

Thanks to powerful (suggestive) marketing techniques, vegetarian and vegan shoppers are led to believe that the brand’s “Veg of Allegiance” must mean that their products are safe to eat.  But, reality reveals a very different story. (it’s not what you think)

Toxic chemicals found in MorningStar Farms® foods

MorningStar Farms® offers lower fat products for the health conscious consumers, but buyers may be risking the very thing they are trying to protect – their bodies from toxic chemicals. The following are some of the unwanted ingredients.

Hexane is a neurotoxin found in soy-based foods that poison the body.

According to a CBS News article, products such as MorningStar Farms® veggie burger patties contain hexane which is a neurotoxin that severely damages neurons within the body. Neurons are found throughout the brain and nervous system and are critical for various tasks.

According to a senior researcher at Cornucopia Institute, “If a non-organic product contains a soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, or textured vegetable protein, you can be pretty sure it was made using soy beans that were made with hexane.”

Unfortunately, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not set a maximum residue level or require food manufacturers to test for hexane. Yet, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has made lengthy statements about hexane’s negative effects on human health such as neuropathy, muscular weakness, blurred vision, headache, and fatigue.

Note: Many of these genetically engineered soy products have been linked to sterility, infant mortality and can actually contribute to breast cancer.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is an excitotoxin that is extremely harmful to health.

The list of ingredients for MorningStar Farms® veggie burger products includes textured vegetable protein (TVP) which is made from soybeans. While some health conscious dieters believe soybeans are a healthy protein choice, the processing of them into TVP includes chemical alterations that are unhealthy. More than that, the processing adds artificial colors, emulsifiers, thickeners, and flavorings. (does this sound healthy to you?)

One of the additives used for flavoring TVP includes monosodium glutamate (MSG). Even though it is the world’s most extensively used food additive, it is extremely harmful to human health. The fact is that MSG is an excitotoxin that enters the brain through membranes in the mouth, thus entering the bloodstream as it is digested.  MSG then overstimulates neuron receptors, damages and kills neuronal cells within the body, and causes a degenerative effect on the brain and nervous system.

The term “MSG” may be hidden on food labels as it has received a bad reputation over the last several years. Its disguise names may include hydrolyzed vegetable protein, soy protein isolate, calcium caseinate, and autolyzed yeast extract.

You can see that MorningStar Farms® includes all of these ‘hidden’ MSG names in their products. This label (below) is from their Grillers® Original:

Morningstar-Farms-ingredientsNote: Choose your food products wisely by learning all you can about the hidden names for MSG.

Other unhealthy ingredients in MorningStar Farms® food products

Because MorningStar Farms® food products are non-organic, they are loaded with genetically altered food ingredients because their products include soy, corn, wheat, and gluten. These so-called “health foods” also include refined sugars, unhealthy oils, artificial colors and flavors, and many other unnatural ingredients. To make matters worse, they are “fortified” with vitamins – which means that the main ingredients added have been stripped of their natural nutrients.

Are you really interested in taking the “Veg of Allegiance?” (keep reading)

Though MorningStar Farms® boasts that their products are “the kinds of foods that do more than make you feel good,” you may go to their webpage to research the ingredients for each product yourself.  All I can say is, beware of the lies.

However, in the end, you may still want to take their “Veg of Allegiance” to eat more fresh (organic) vegetables and fruit – during the day.  Just be sure they are really natural and chemical-free.  Because, we know that pesticides, GMOs and artificial ingredients will not keep us healthy.

Final note: Beware of soy sauce used as a flavor enhancer as it may contain human waste.

About the author: Abby Campbell is a medical, health, and nutrition research writer. She’s dedicated to helping people live a healthy lifestyle in all aspects – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Abby practices, writes, and coaches on natural preventive care, nutritional medicine, and complementary and alternative therapy.


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  • Libby N

    I don’t buy this product due to the list of ingredients. Now, I really feel good about my choice. Awesome article, exposing this kind of marketing is noteworthy.

  • Joel Favini

    It seems the packaging is more health minded than the patty. The pendulum is swinging in favor of processed health foods.

    Accommodating health minded consumers is not what these convenient foods do.They seem to be carefully thought out ways to profit from this market.

  • Niomi

    Manufacturers are shifting consumer attitude by taking away confidence in these type of products. This is the equivalent of junk food and is just packaged and branded as health food.

  • Mark Fletcher

    My mom and sister eat these, and I’ve told them for years that they are toxic. The ingredient list alone should be enough to turn people off. Why someone would need to wait for a news article to come out to know that these are bad is beyond me.

  • Marc

    Well to be fair you ought to do an analysis of meat products and see where they stand

    • True, Marc. But, this article is about MorningStar Farms’ products.

  • Dan Soukeroff

    By now the folks should have figured out that if it is processed it is not good for one to consume.

    • pam r

      The day folks figure it out – You’ll now these companies would be out of business. In the meantime we need articles like these to wake people up

  • William

    If you look at ALL processed foods you will find most of these ingredients on all the labels, so what’s the difference between the processed foods and meat products that have all the toxic chemicals fed and injected into the animals. If you are going to write about harmful foods you need to include ALL harmful food. Guess we all need to starve and die! Even ORGANIC food has its pitfalls, read the information about regulations to be called ORGANIC and you will be disappointed. We’ve been lied to about how HEALTHY it is, well guess again so to sum up my rant it really doesn’t matter how hard and how diligent you are at reading labels or researching your food ingredients you will not ever find something that is 100% healthy, chemical or toxin free food! There I’m done. Have a great healthy day.

    • Thank you for your comments, William. I am continually writing on foods that cause health problems. Unfortunately – and like you stated – there is so much on the market that contain chemicals and toxins. This is why it’s difficult to write just one article. As far as meats, you make a great point. However, it will have to be said in another article. But, if you’re going to bash organic regulations, please state your disappointments. 😉

      • Lion

        I can’t stand this horrible, misinformed article, or the snide responses in the comments section from the author who continuously uses the word prerogative incorrectly. Please consult a dictionary, at least, before attempting to misinform and persuade people on complex issues. Also, if you aren’t aware of the basic deceptions and risks in organic food regulations, then you are completely unfit to be writing articles on food health. A quick Google search will yield a number of peer-reviewed results from scientific publications and universities. But don’t take the plunge if you aren’t prepared to be disillusioned. Sometimes ignorance is a happier place.
        A little preview: the regulations for organic food allow a plethora of dangerous naturally derived chemicals to be used that are harmful to the human body and the environment. Some have unknown long-term effects on the environment because most money has gone into funding research and regulation on conventional agriculture, while people have blindly trusted organic regulations because “natural = healthy” to those who don’t understand how many natural toxic substances there are in the world. On the other hand, the generous amount of research on conventional agricultural chemicals makes it clear how long these chemicals last in the environment and what effects they can have. We know what to expect when we use them.
        The idea of organic agriculture is important and there are many benefits to it, but it is important to be aware of the dangers and risks as well, and that there is need for vast improvement to the current regulations. As it stands, when you buy organic you could be getting pure unadulterated food or a chemical-cocktail with higher levels of harmful substances than many conventional foods contain. Organic is a gamble, as any food choice is. It is in many ways the better choice to take than conventional foods, but it is not the panacea the industry would like you to think it is.

  • ttdog_00

    i only trust what i grow myself anyways..

  • Robin Caldwell

    Yep, pretty much anything that tastes good has something bad in it. Meaning, pretty much 90% of stuff on the market. So I’ll still be eating my Grillers! 😛

  • insertwittynamehere

    Ugh. Another of these “natural news” sites infiltrating my news feed. I’m going to research actual scientific journals to see if this is true or if this is yet another Food Babe-style case of fear-mongering. I have a feeling this is fear-mongering by quoting articles and taking them out of context. Do your research, people. Some ingredients sound scary, but if you take the time to research them and read credible news outlets, you’ll find they are harmless. And I’m not a paid Monsanto shill.

    • pam r

      It sounds like you work for someone in the food industry – since your fine with companies selling crap and passing it off as food. The ingredients label is on the box – all the ingredients soy ans corn contain GMO and tons of hidden MSG with no real food or nutrition. Plus, a ton of other crap the author did not mention. Pretty basic stuff for anyone with a little common sense. But, I guess you need the mainstream news and experts to tell you what is good or bad.

    • Credible news outlets? If that is what you prefer, it’s your prerogative. I actually research scientific journals and the main source. You can even see the ingredients taken directly from one of MorningStar Farms’ products. There are numerous scientific studies on MSG, so go ahead and do your homework.

  • pam r

    You don’t need any sources to look at the ingredients on the box and figure it out on your own. When you read ingredients you need a panel of experts and mainstream news sources to tell you if something is good of bad?

  • roycturner

    Seventh-Day Adventist live a lot longer then the average human. They consume an awful lot of Soy in their diets over their lifetimes. Most of them are Vegetarian. I believe the meat industry had a lot to do with this article.

  • dianab

    Current studies on Hexane in soy suggest you would have to eat 350,000 veggie burgers a day to have any effect at all on your body. Many foods, natural or processed can have toxins at such low levels that they don’t matter (fish, cooking oils also contain hexane). Most food toxins are eliminated in the digestive process by your liver and kidneys anyhow. Coffee, alcohol, eggs, meat… have all had studies confirming how great and evil they are, you can go crazy. MSG is basically a synthetic salt and it’s not proven scientifically to be “extremely harmful” to anyone. It is only due to anecdotal evidence that it is required by the FDA to be on all food labels. My boyfriend was sensitive to MSG, so he had to avoid it but most people don’t have to. I’m also diabetic and lactose intolerant, so for me sugar and milk fat are toxic. My friend who has cluster headaches avoids cracker meal which for her is a trigger. My boss is on a medical diet (due to a metabolic issue) that excludes starchy vegetables. You have to use your head, your experience, before you throw your food away, and read from multiple research sources (some research is biased and paid for by competing food industries). I personally don’t like the MSF products, I prefer unprocessed or when I need a quickie, Amy’s, but I am a fan of truth and fair reporting.

  • If you want to fill your body with MSG and chemical fats, it’s your prerogative.

  • Criostoir

    i gave up eating meat last christmas, i had high blood pressure and the doc wanted to put me on cholesterol meds. 8 months later despite eating like a horse i have lost 20 pounds, my blood pressure is in the normal range and i have stopped the blood pressure meds, i don’t know about the cholesterol as i haven’t been back to the doctor.
    i eat morning star sausage patties almost every morning in a wrap with tomato and cottage cheese.
    the choice is to die from meat or to die from soy byproducts.
    while i still miss meat i have not felt this good in years.
    i am male and 62
    forgot to say that i do still eat some seafood,

    • kathleen

      That’s great. You can upgrade your health even more by opting for an organic version

  • kathleen

    This article is sourced from CBS news.

  • kathleen

    Very true

  • gayle himebaugh

    This seemed like a good article until “chemical free”.

  • Geoff

    Hexane is NOT used to “make soybeans” as stated above —

    “If a non-organic product contains a soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, or textured vegetable protein, you can be pretty sure it was made using soy beans that were made with hexane.”

    Hexane and other solvents are used in extracting the oil from the soybean before it is processed into soybean meal and its byproducts (soy protein isolate).

  • JJ

    It seems obvious that proof of hexane residue actually existing in Morningstar products should be provided before publishing such an article, no?

    None of the cited references have any information about test results about what levels of hexane residue, if any, are present in these products. It appears sensationalism is more important to the author than professional journalism.

    Personally, I avoid Morningstar products because most contain GMO’s and non-vegan ingredients. I do feel that potentially harmful hexane levels being in food products is worth investigating, but have not seen facts from the testing of products yet.

  • Kimberly Ireland

    MorningStar has organic options as well.

  • Miriam Gennuso

    Interesting ! Thanks

  • Miriam Gennuso

    I guess that’s why I have a headache now after eating a morning star garden veggie pattie

  • April Manuel

    I had just found out they use monsanto gmos in their food. I won’t be buying their products anymore!

  • Katherine Stewart

    So what CAN we Vegan “wanna-be’s” eat?