Letters to the Editor

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A Message for Brian

"MSG in a Bottle" (by Brian Ries, Aug. 15-21) fails to mention that MSG is an addictive substance used by scientists to fatten rats for diabetes research - it triples the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas, turning the naturally lean rats into voracious eaters. The "natural substance" that modern MSG is made out of is starch, sugar or molasses from sugar cane and sugar beets. MSG from kombu seaweed is a distant memory.

The food industry is proud of their studies that show adding MSG to food will make seniors eat more. That's what it does. It makes folks consume in larger quantities than they would normally, just like the lab rats. Dieters despair because they don't know why their appetite is insatiable. How many people consume processed food in large quantities because it is addictive, and end up malnourished, with the absence of nutrients covered up with a chemical called "deliciousness"?

MSG is ubiquitous in the world of "eating out" as well as "eating in": it is now in almost all processed food, hidden under many names — 30 and counting. This "harmless" substance is an excitotoxin - loads of fun before producing neuron death. And as for the FDA declaring MSG to be safe, the FDA approved 17 drugs that caused over 10,000 deaths from 1997 through 2005. The FDA protecting our interests is also a distant memory.

This Creative Loafing article was written by a food critic who has to eat his way through a whole heap of adulterated food just to get to his paycheck. It is good that he likes the stuff. I prefer to know what I am eating, and want a choice in the matter. It is a peculiar fact in our compromised society that staying healthy requires, in part, that we stay a step ahead of the deceptive practices that dominate the food industry.

Maggy Graham, Palm Harbor, FL, Via e-mail

I find your recent cover depicting Bin Laden as a "muscled action hero" ("The War on Terror, So Far," by Andisheh Nouraee, Aug. 8-15) disgusting and outrageous. I'm sure the relatives/loved ones of those who have perished in terrorist attacks perpetrated for years by this animal must be so proud. Regardless of your opinions related to the war on terror, I am appalled that you would print such a cover. It's bad enough that the article is rife with left wing falsehoods and talking points, but the cover is over the top. I certainly will not read your magazine ever again, and will encourage others (both left and right wing) to do likewise. You may want to inform your writer that FDR invaded Germany first, not Japan, and that we remained in Germany for many years after WWII ended. Also, I would say that any dictator who paid off families of suicide bombers, killed hundreds of thousands of his own people, had invaded a neighboring country, and refused to allow proper UN inspections, a threat to the region and to the USA. Bill Clinton came to the same conclusion in 1998.
F. Gray, Via e-mail

Drawn from comments posted on our website, tampa.creativeloafing.com

John Gaunt rocks: I never met the man ("Squeeze Me," by Alex Pickett, Aug. 15-21), but I've done business with him, bought a nice accordion. I'd love to go to his shop if I ever get to Florida again. Like most things the U.S. is a bit behind the curve. Accordions never went away in most of the world, and they'll be back here soon. Thank you, Mr. Gaunt, for keeping the flame alive.
Rick Williams

Our Wetlands... : I believe In Kerr's issues ... ("The Destruction Starts Here," by Wayne Garcia, Aug. 15-21). We need the wetlands way more then we need developers. They need to be stopped! We need to preserve our natural resources. Rebuild farmlands and farm communities. Hillsborough has enough shopping centers to supply the whole state. And what happened to rebuilding old homes? I'm sick of seeing condos blocking our precious waterways and accesses to the beaches. Corporations and developers don't care about the earth's health. They only care how they line their pockets. This land is not ours to destroy. So stop developers and corporations and protect our environment. Thanks, Jadell Kerr, I support your cause.
Eddie Saint

Someone pick me up! I'm gonna fly the "FREE HITCHHIKER" sign ("The Hitchhiker's Guide to Florida," by Alex Pickett, Aug. 15-21), so if you see me and are going north towards Baldwin... pick me up! I'm even gonna take a shower...

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