How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love MSG

How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love MSG

Never in a million years ! The title is just a play on words from the 1964 classic film “Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb”. I thought it was a good way to capture your attention and explore this flavor enhancer called MSG. First lets establish what MSG is. MSG is Monosodium Glutamate and is a sodium salt of the naturally occurring non-essential amino acid glutamic acid. It is used as a food additive and is commonly marketed as a flavour enhancer. Monosodium glutamate is one of several forms of glutamic acid found in foods, in large part because glutamic acid, being an amino acid, is pervasive in nature. Glutamic acid and its salts can also be present in a wide variety of other additives, including hydrolyzed vegetable proteins, autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed yeast, yeast extract, soy extracts, and protein isolate. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has concluded that MSG is safe for most people when “eaten at customary levels”.


Mad Flavor Scientist?


So whats the big deal?

Well for starters MSG can result in side effects from mild headaches and indigestion to chronic migraines, depression, obesity and possibly even seizures by over stimulating brain neurons.Obesity experiments often rely on treating lab rats with monosodium glutamate, which is a fast and reliable way of inducing obesity in animal test subjects. It is now considered an “Excitotoxin” – a substance added to foods and beverages that literally stimulates neurons to death, causing brain damage of varying degrees. When neurons are exposed to these substances, they become very excited and fire their impulses very rapidly until they reach a state of extreme exhaustion. Several hours later these neurons suddenly die, as if they were excited to death. This can also attribute to overeating because these substances actually trigger the satiety center of our brains and tell us “I need more food!” when in reality, we are not truly hungry. An example would be Chinese take-out and being hungry an hour later.

O.K. . . But I don’t use MSG. Really?


mmm ... mmm .. good?


The flavor enhancing industry is a 1.5 billion dollar a year giant and they are going to make your fast, convenient and processed food taste great  . . . even if it KILLS you. Lately I’ve been really watching what I buy and analyzing those food labels. I keep seeing this ingredient “Natural Flavors”. Natural Flavors is far from natural, it is concocted in a laboratory by a food scientist known as a “Flavorist”.Labels such as “All Natural,””Organic” and even “No Added MSG” may also be misleading, as MSG is technically a naturally occurring amino acid, and, therefore, may still be found in such product. The FDA states that any product containing MSG must be labeled so. Here is their backdoor around the FDA rule. Pretty sneaky and profitable. So what is “eaten at customary level” when it is found in most processed foods, fast foods, sodas etc.There are many “hidden” sources of MSG that make it difficult to maintain a truly MSG-free diet.A great website with lots of info is There is even a link for a printable list to carry with you when grocery shopping. You might be surprised by what you find on there, check it out.

Next on my list of diet saboteurs is Canola Oil.


2 Responses to “How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love MSG”

  1. Lynn Taylor Says:

    You should write for the local newspaper. I love the title and the info is so helpful. I am going to clip the list and use it when I shop. Thanks for your concern and your site is really great it could help so many of us. I hope to share it as much as I can….It was so great to see you Mark,,,,you reminded me so much of your Dad I miss him. ~Lynn

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