What’s Wrong with Bragg’s Soy Seasoning?
In Canada it is called Bragg’s Liquid Soy Seasoning, and in the U.S. it is called Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, and many people believe it is a viable option to tamari, or natural soya sauce. But there are some serious problems with this seasoning agent that are not well know.
First, it is misleading to imply that one is getting any significant amount of amino acids from a tablespoon of soy extract, which is why they were made to change the name to Soy Seasoning when they wanted to sell it in Canada. The amount of amino acids that you would get from Bragg’s would be comparable to what you would get from a tablespoon of soy milk: not much. A cup of soy milk provides a significant amount of protein (amino acids), but a tablespoon of any soy liquid would provide an insignificant amount of protein.
So far, no big deal; a slightly misleading name (Liquid Aminos). But now, to the crux of it. Perhaps you have tasted plain soymilk, or plain tofu: the very definition of bland. This is because there is nothing there but soybeans and water; just like with Bragg’s seasoning. So how come Bragg’s soybean and water mixture is brown and flavorful when any other soybean and water based food is white and bland?
Well, the trick is, if you hydrolyze a vegetable protein (HVP) you get a high amount of glutamic acid, or monosodium glutamate; thus the flavor and color difference. Note the “sodium” constituent, and remember that MSG is a flavor enhancer; that is its only function.
It is well known in the natural foods field that when MSG became an issue, companies used many ways of hiding it and HVP was one way that MSG could be disguised on the label.
Now, I will admit that HVP is not as bad as synthesized, pure monosodium glutamate (also known as “free” glutamine acid). This is because when glutamic acid is bound to other amino acids, the body limits its absorption of the glutamic acid. (This occurs with nutritional yeast and protein powders, which are high in glutamic acid but do not cause an MSG reaction.) Still, you will note that the product does not say “No MSG” on the label, and if one were very allergic or reactive to MSG (kids with ADHD or Autism for example), this would be a product to avoid.
Bragg’s seasoning came to prominence when the candida paradigm was first building. Since, at that time, it was thought that all fermented foods would contribute to yeast overgrowth, people were advised to avoid miso, sauerkraut, and tamari. Bragg’s presented their product as a viable non-fermented alternative to tamari. However, most practitioners now believe that fermented foods are actually beneficial for fighting candida, since they support colonization of good bacteria in the gut.
Finally we have the issue of the soft plastic bottles that Bragg’s comes in (PET). As research for my forthcoming book, Health Secrets Volume 2, revealed, PET plastic will leach xenoestrogens into water and food stuffs (including soymilk).
In conclusion I suggest returning to old fashioned tamari or shoyu (natural soy sauce), organic and in glass bottles; this is a natural substance that has been used safely for centuries. In fact, according to the Wikipedia entry on Soy sauce: “A study by the National University of Singapore showed that Chinese dark soy sauce contains 10 times the antioxidants of red wine, and can help prevent cardiovascular diseases.”