Why is there a bad rep for MSG?


Why is there a bad rep for MSG?

In: 6625

Back in the 80s, the media did a whole thing on how some people are allergic to it. As usual, they got most of the details wrong and left everyone with the idea that MSG is unhealthy.

Truth is, unless you’re allergic to it, it’s no less healthy than any other food salt.

Mainly it’s about racism. It was a way to smear Asian restaurants. It was effective. Even today lots of Asian style restaurants will boldly display a sign at the door, ‘No added MSG’. ‘Added’ because it’s already in many foods naturally.

Yet if you go ask any high end chef, they’re using it ’cause it really boosts the flavours.

It’s actually a great example of cultural gap in knowledge. We’re all taught in grade school that there’s 4 tastes: Sweet, Sour, Salty and Bitter. Well, MSG is number 5, it’s Savory. It has long been understood in other cultures as a 5th taste, but we’ve largely ignored it out of hubris. So along comes a food critic with an axe to grind and a general public who has no cultural knowledge of this particular taste group and a public panic occurs. (Side note, there’s probably several more tastes than even 5)