Msg?

66
10
Joined Mar 6, 2009
So I recently made an effort to remove MSG from my food! Now I never added msg to anything! I have been reading labels a lot more and to may shock it is in everything! Their are so many names out there for this stuff! I picked up a product clearly marked w/ a sticker saying " No msg in our product" turned over to the check myself and their it is hyrdolyzed veg protien. Their are about 20 different names for this stuff!

Has anyone really had to take this out for health reasons? I would like any thoughts you may have to help point me in a good direction.

Thanks tyler
 
3,355
44
Joined May 29, 2006
Most people do not know what MSG is or where it comes from an how it is made. The MSG of today and the original Agimoto powder are quite different. I did a thesis on MSG when I graduated college and it is interesting. It's properties affect everyone differently.
It won't kill you, and there are much worse things in our food supply.:chef:
 
50
10
Joined Sep 2, 2009
A wild guess, but is Agimoto powder you just mentioned above is the origin of MSG? It sounds Japanese and I seem to recall Japanese as the one which had the word for the taste of this...uh...controversial substance.

Also, may you give some insight on your research? That seems very interesting and it's exactly the opposite of what's been popular now.
 
1,730
28
Joined Aug 18, 2007
I dont have a problem with MSG. The Chinese have been using it it for centuries. It may not be good for you, but neither is salt. I saw it recently on sale as Chinese taste powder. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but its a far eastern taste enhancer. And has been since the year dot
 
50
10
Joined Sep 2, 2009
Indeed so. Here in Indonesia it's almost as common as salt and pepper.

I find it rather cheating, though. Almost everything with MSG will taste good / pleasant to the tastebuds, regardless of actual taste or techniques. I've been to so many place where the food is all...depending on MSG, much to my annoyance. And it's PACKED.

And I've heard people saying some food "not delicious" or "not flavorful enough" just because it didn't have much MSG. D:
 
1,635
32
Joined Aug 21, 2009
I am allergic to msg so I have to be extremely careful when I buy groceries and also when we eat out. In my home cooking I sub Mrs Dash for Accent and I make sure when we go out to eat if the establisment has anything containing msg and I stay away from those items if I have to.
 
3,355
44
Joined May 29, 2006
Experiments were done with MSG in the 60s. The use of MSG was attributed to an ailment called chinese syndrome. Which in some people was diagnosed as a pending stroke or heart attack, It started affecting the left arm and gave it pain and a feeling of numbness. Feeding groups of people MSG and other groups with a placebo did not produce any firm results. Some people showed a reaction some did not as did some on the placebo. Agimotto started out being made from fermented seeweed,which some may have been alergic to. Today it is in most cases made from fermented beets. In one respect it could be refered to as a natural food, because it is naturaly in the foods. In my own experiments with it , I did find that foods with added MSG went bad faster. And it tended to make people extremely thirstyThe Chines restaurants stopped cooking with it because of public opinion, but most of all because they saved money as it was not cheap. When it came here in the 50s as agimotto it was about $5.00 a pound..:chef:
 
843
12
Joined Oct 16, 2008
Hi treehugger,
Hopefully I can help you to understand MSG and why its in so many things and what the real replacers that are used in foods today are...

1. Hydrolyzed vegetable protien is NOT MSG!! HVP is NOT used to replace MSG it is something all together different and has different uses in food(ie to replace meats and meat flavors in vegetarian/vegan foods, as a cost reducer, and as a flavor enhancer for cheeses and mushrooms.) What you are confusing HVP with is AYE or "autolyzed yeast extract". They are not the same, AYE is used as an MSG replacer in many food products, particularly snack seasonings. It is based on the chemical stripping of the Yeast to autolyze it to act as an MSG flavored product. Several different types of yeasts are used, Brewers, Torula and Sacchramoyses are the 3 most commonly used types of yeast used to replace MSG, but they are not intended to "fool" people into thinking that they are MSG. AYE is a whole different subject that is currently being debated within the FDA as whether is can be labeled as natural or not.

2. MSG has many benefits and is actually healthier for you than salt. It is used in MUCH lower doses than salt, has lower sodium, and is a better flavor enhancer than salt, thats why the Chinese and Japanese have been using it for centuries in Soy Sauce and on its own instead of salt.

3. It is ILLEGAL and against FDA and USDA regulations to falsely label ANY food items for exactly what they are. If MSG is in a food product IT MUST be labeled as such or the manufacturer would face ENORMOUS fines and possible shut down as well as a system wide recall of all foods that were falsely labeled.

4. Salt is insanely bad for you unless it is used in low levels and if you read labels than you know that it isnt. MSG is actually healthier for you from a sodium stand point and its a natural product but because ppl didnt know about it in the 70's and 80's it got a bad rap and ppl began to develop and "allergy" to it. All MSG contains is sodium and glutamic acid in its most basic form.

If you would like I could breakdown MSG for you so you can understand what it is in comparison to salt or you could just look it up.
 
843
12
Joined Oct 16, 2008
what if I told u I could reduce your sodium intake by 40%, do it naturally and at no added cost would u do it?
 
843
12
Joined Oct 16, 2008
By replacing salt with MSG. Lower usage levels and naturally lower sodium levels without the use of potassium chloride or magnesium which is what is used in reduced sodium foods.
 
543
10
Joined Aug 8, 2007
i was trying to research this topic online last night, but seems all the results just go in circles... i would like to know how many top chefs, or which high-end restaurants use msg.
 
843
12
Joined Oct 16, 2008
You may not find too many in the US, mostly in China, Japan and parts of the UK. We have caused such a negative image of it in the US that ppl automatically run in the other direction when they hear it even mentioned in food. The only places you will find it used regularly in the US is in snack manufacturing and commercial sauce making.
 
1,354
24
Joined Aug 7, 2008
The results go in circles because there is a lot of miss-information. AFAIK no one is clinically "allergic" to MSG. At least according to the physicians I have asked about this. Some may have a reaction to MSG such as getting flush etc. However a reaction and an "allergy" are not the same thing. I'm not sure an allergy test for MSG even exists. Your body produces MSG so if you were "allergic" to MSG you would be in deep kim chee.
A food allergy is an abnormal response to food from the immune system. The immune system is not responsible for the symptoms of a food intolerance, allthough the symptoms may resemble those of a food allergy. Less than 1% of the population has a food allergy.
There are those on medications and who have other clinical allergies that do need to be careful about consuming foods that can result in a reaction for them.
A food reaction, like gas can give you enough discomfort and pain to land you in the ER, however it's not going to have the same potential health consequences as an allergic reaction.


"It is ILLEGAL and against FDA and USDA regulations to falsely label ANY food items for exactly what they are"

That in and of itself may be true but there can be some slick marketing. Like meats labled "nitrate free". Read the label again and check for celery juice or powder.
I don't know about all hydrolyzed vegetable protein but hydrolyzed soy protein is far worse than MSG. It can be made with sulfuric acid or genetically altered soy and has carcinogenic properties. You would probably have to consume mass quantities for that to be an issue but a lot of this frankenfood is in many products that we consume.
Both MSG and nitrates are naturally occurring chemicals that get way too much press compared the genetically altered ingredients in many products.
 
843
12
Joined Oct 16, 2008
Nitrates are totally different and arent added to food, they are a biproduct of the smoking and curing process.

The point I was telling the OP was that HVP's are not MSG, are not MSG replacers and arent advertised as such.

HVP's come in many different forms, from Corn Gluten, Wheat Gluten, Soy Protien ect. They are all chemically stripped and "hydrolyzed" to mimic other flavors. I dont condone using them, but when Vegans and Vegetarians want meat flavors(if you want a meat flavor just eat meat) that is a vegan way to get them and as of today the FDA and USDA still lets manufacturers call them "Natural".

I personally would rather use MSG, and I keep it at my home, but in the US the mass majority is afraid. Wait about 3 months and you will see that the potato chip market is going to take a HUGE hit with the release of the Achrylamide Study and its carcenogenic properties speaking of carcenogens. The FDA is going to put you into a mass panic and have everyone throwing away their potato chips because they are going to tell you that they will give you cancer. What they arent going to tell you is that the levels of achrylamide in chips is the same as it is in a loaf of bread. Are you going to stop buying bread now?

We could pick apart everything that is manufactured in a plant and find something wrong with it, but what it boils down to is most things are OK for you in moderation. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule but that is true in all things. Good example, I quit smoking 2 years ago, emptied all the sweets and snacks out of the house before I did this and replaced them with carrots, celery and fruits and still managed to put on 35 lbs. I ate healthier at that point in my life than I ever had as an adult, but I over did it with fruits and veggies that were high in natural non reducing sugars, and carbs. Good for you but too much is too much.

Iconoclast, MSG is a naturally occuring product, it is no more a "performance enhancer" than salt is. PPL need to stop thinking its a chemical that is man made.
 
Top Bottom