Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is a processed mixture of sodium, water and glutamic acid (a non-essential amino acid) used in many processed and prepackaged foods as a flavor additive. Traditional Asian cuisine used seaweed extract as the source of glutamic acid which would make it harmless. Starting in 1907, this acid mixture was isolated for use in the form of MSG. Now, with the enormous volume and demand for frozen TV dinners, instant seasoned rices, ramen noodles, etc – companies are using MSG to keep costs low and flavor high…but at what expense to your health?
Many studies have been published and many books and articles have been written about the health risks associated with consumption of moderate to high amounts of MSG…if they haven’t gotten your attention, maybe this new piece of information will: MSG makes you FAT. Here is a study about MSG causing weight gain.
MSG is hidden in many foods, and is usually written on the label as Sodium Glutamate or Monosodium Glutamate (perhaps in hopes that the average consumer won’t read the label or make the connection.) However, MSG can also be written on food labels as many other things (confusing, huh?)
Here is a more complete list of hidden names for MSG .
Follow this link for even more ingredients that contain trace amounts of MSG (are you beginning to see what a big problem this could be?)
And here is a very long, detailed list of foods (from fast food joints, grocery stores and restaurants) containing MSG.
The best rule of thumb is to cook more! Use fresh (preferably locally grown) ingredients and eat lots of fruits and veggies and whole grains that naturally contain lots of flavor. If you need to add more flavor to the mix, use herbs, natural oils, peppers, spices, citrus fruit juices, and other ingredients from the earth. Bon Apetit!