Monosodium Glutamate.


Monosodium Glutamate. Big words. Right? It's actually abbreviated into MSG. You might ask, how the heck do you know about some chemical name when you're not even a science major?
Well, I know because Monosodium Glutamate recently has been the hot issue over in South Korea, where I'm originally from. I didn't even know what it was until I turned the news on and everybody made it sound like it's a fetal chemical. 

So, I researched it a little. Chemically speaking, Monosodium Glutamate is " approximately 78 percent free glutamic acid, 21 percent sodium, and up to 1 percent contaminants." (MSG: Is This The Silent Killer Lurking In Your Kitchen Cabinets) MSG "is a flavor enhancer commonly added to Chinese food" (What Is MSG? Is It Bad for You) "but that's actually added to thousands of the foods you and your family regularly eat, especially if you are like most Americans and eat the majority of your food as processed foods or in restaurants." (MSG: Is This The Silent Killer Lurking In Your Kitchen Cabinets) Then I thought it might be a good thing because it helps a lot of moms to cook easier, and personally, I would LOVE that because I'm not a good cook (well, that's what everybody who tasted my food.) 

Then I started to question. Let me ask you this: Have you ever gotten sick right ever you eat Chinese food? I have. Almost every single time I eat Chinese, I get stomachache and I HAVE to be near my bathroom. So why do I keep eating it when it makes me sick every single time? The only reason is "I love Chinese food"... Then why does it make me sick? It was all Monosodium Glutamate. It might not be a good thing then, right? 

If it makes people sick, is it okay for people to use it when they cook? Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. says "the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified MSG as a food ingredient that's "generally recognized as safe," the use of MSG remains controversial. For this reason, when MSG is added to food, the FDA requires that it be listed on the label."

Researches on MSG have been done over the recent years; but results vary. some "Research has documented several effects related to MSG, including burning sensations of the mouth, head and neck, weakness of the arms or legs, headaches and upset stomach approximately 15 minutes after the MSG is consumed. Further research again points to problems such as flushing, headaches and hives or allergic-type reactions with the skin. (The Danger of Monosodium Glutamate) But on the other hand, "other reports suggest that there is really no link between MSG and these symptoms" (The Danger of Monosodium Glutamate). So, it either can be false negative or false positive. In fact, an experimental study been done as "a double blind study (where both researchers and test subjects were not aware who was in the control group and who was getting real MSG) found that MSG exposure caused muscle tightness, fatigue, numbness or tingling, and flushing. One study in mice concluded that injections of MSG produced obesity, inactivity and many other hormone fluctuations" (The Danger of Monosodium Glutamate) So, there probably are big chances that MSG will probably be the cause of all the sicknesses, but like most of other issues, it is not certain. 

So, will you still eat Chinese food or use MSG when you cook or will you stop eating Chinese food? 

Umm. if you ask me, I'd say I can't really give up Chinese food for anything. :)


I've always walked past Chinese places and see huge banners that read, "NO MSG!" I didn't know what it was, but obviously if they have a huge banner, it's probably a good thing that they do not include it in their food.

Wikipedia has some good information on the studies that were performed on MSG. A double-blind study found that the reactions to MSG were insignificant and most stories relating to obesity were anecdotal.

Although the FDA may say that it is sage, with such mixed reviews, I think I will try my best to stay away from the stuff until I know, for sure, that I won't be running to the bathroom after I eat it.

MSG is something I am passionately against. Although I enjoy Chinese food, I try to avoid it since MSG is so detrimental to one's health. Many simply associate MSG with Chinese food, but it can be found in a number of other things. One example is Doritos, which are a common snack to millions of kids and teens across the nation. I find it disturbing that parents allow kids to put MSG into their bodies. If they are not aware of foods that contain MSG, they should look more into it. Here is an article desribing MSG in Doritos.

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