MSG is Fine With Me

I went to Master’s of Social Gastronomy this evening and learned quite a few things about tonight’s topic: Monosodium Glutamate, also known commonly as MSG.

MSG appeals to our savory taste. Think of worcestershire sauce, fish sauce, meat, and mushrooms. MSG gets a bad rep in the USA. People claim they are sensitive to it and everyone thinks it;s this awful thing that’s going to kill us. I’m guilty of being a part of that group before this evening.

I walked away from this lecture with these points:

  • MSG was found by a rad guy, Profesor Kikunae Ikeda, who wanted to make the less tasty, healthy food delicious for the Japanese population. He isolated MSG after his wife made a kombu stock (which is amazingly savory) and boiled it down to its essence. Then, he commercially produced it.
  • MSG, a naturally occurring protein, is in almost everything it seems like. It is concentrated in ripe tomatoes, kombu, and parmesan cheese.
  • “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” is all in our heads- it’s the salt that’s making us sick (and it’s not just at Chinese restaurants). Salt dehydrates you which causes the aches and pains.
  • A Taiwanese person eats as much MSG is one day as the average American eats in 6 weeks. It’s perfectly safe.

Having a historical gastronomist and a food scientist explain the safe nature of MSG was enough to convert me. Where do you stand?

Author: 2birds1scone

My name is Shayla and I talk about food. A lot. I live in Brooklyn, NY where I work as a data nerd in the startup world. As much as I wish I could say I've been a healthy vegetarian for the past 8 years, I can't. I started off as many veg's do: eating primarily processed soy products, pasta, and pizza. I also brought meat back into my diet when I started a job in catering. When I realized that cutting out meat didn't make me feel any better and I was still gaining weight, I decided I needed to make some major changes. I started experimenting and researching; I found that the fresher the food was, the more I enjoyed it. I believe we are what we eat. How we feel and what we eat is so profoundly interconnected. It's impossible to exclude factors like diet and lifestyle when you are trying feel better overall. I understand how difficult eating (or just finding) healthy food can be which brings me to this blog. I aspire to help people make healthy living easier. 2birds1scone is a place for suggestions, inspiration and shared information. It's about bringing healthier perspectives to every part of your life. Please feel free to submit your thoughts and recipes! Namaste. "One choice at a time, with intention and compassion for our selves and our planet, we can eat clean and live well." -Terry Walters

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