Many restaurants say they don't use it, but, that could be changing.Now the long shunned additive MSG might be making a comeback in restaurant kitchens.
Your Szechuan shrimp may not be as savory and your kung-pow may not pack quite the punch without it which may be why MSG is showing up once again in restaurants, packaged foods and recipes, but, what does it do to your food and, is it safe?
"Research has shown that MSG can contribute to migraines, obesity, macular degeneration, brain damage and many other things as well." said R.D. Bonni London of London Wellness in Sarasota.
Monosodium Glutamate the flavor enhancing additive has been here more than a century, but lost popularity in the sixties after the New England Journal of Medicine published an article on its negative side effects
Louis Cohen, M.D. of Lerner Cohen Healthcare said, "Even though it is classified by the FDA as an additive that is generally regarded as safe, there are of course people that can have sensitivities to it."
Ayako Tamaki of Joto Japanese Restaurant chooses not to use MSG on her menu. She said, "Using so many chemicals, you lose the taste bud for the natural food." She knows people who react to the additive. "MSG they have the cramps for the stomach, they cannot digest." Said Tamaki.
MSG may be hiding in many items in your pantry, without you knowing, warned London.
"Every day snack foods that people take for granted like cheezits and Dorritos, certainly soups, sauces, and also a lot of seasonings like soy sauce, Lawry's seasoning."
Some may remember when MSG became unpopular. It was called "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome" and eventually, many restaurants had signage saying NO MSG. But now signs arent as common.
By FDA definition, the ingredient monosodium glutamate is natural but so is hydrochloric acid. so is arsenic. natural doesn't always mean safe. Perhaps we should stick to foods that we can easily pronounce.