Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

MSG: A rose by any other name

MSG!! (Photo credit: PunkJr)

Written by a guest blogger

You may not realize you have a problem when you eat monosodium glutamate (MSG).  If you become inexplicably emotional or can’t think straight after eating some foods, you may be sensitive to the chemical.  If you have migraines, diarrhea, asthma, heart arrhythmia or gastrointestinal distress, it may be the result of having eaten a meal with the food additive MSG.  Other symptoms include flushing, sweating, nausea, chest pain and weakness.

If you have problems when you eat MSG, you are in real trouble.  It is ubiquitous, but that is not the reason it is so problematic.  It is complicated because it appears in so many forms and in so many ingredients.  It is next to impossible to avoid unless you take the time to learn everything you need to know in order to eliminate MSG from your diet.  If you are very sensitive and have any or many of the side effects, you have to be even more careful when you eat out.  You cannot expect restaurant employees to know about MSG and its many names.

You will have to do your homework but, thankfully, there are many excellent resources available.  Here are a few:

This article is balanced and thoughtful.  It provides basic information about MSG and includes links to more articles about the subject.

Truth in Labeling is interested in alerting its readers to the dangers of MSG.  They are on a mission to eliminate MSG from the culinary landscape.  The second page mentioned above is from their website and includes many of the names that disguise the use of MSG.

This article raises some interesting points the most powerful of which is the assertion that MSG is addictive and causes people to eat more.  For those who are sensitive to the chemical and suffer from the side effects, the problems are obvious.  However, those who have issues with their weight might find a solution to their problem by eliminating MSG from their diet.

MSG occurs, naturally, in many of the foods we eat.  There are those who argue that, because this is true, adding more is not detrimental and should produce no additional adverse effects.  For those who suffer the consequences, the natural question is, does the process used to create the MSG that is used as a food additive cause the problem.  Reading through this article, you would think the author is saying that MSG is no problem.  Read through to the end.

This website has a lot of information.  It is clearly setting itself up as being contradictory to the information provided by the food industry.  It is a good resource for those who experience the negative effects of the chemical and want to know how to find it in the foods they eat especially when it is an additive.

Accent, an MSG product, is no longer sold in the United States.  However, it is still possible to purchase MSG, and this is one place that sells it.  There is a brief notice that mentions the controversy surrounding the product.<br />

As you might expect, there are those with an interest in seeing MSG cleared of suspicions that is has a negative impact on those who eat it.  This site presents facts to support that idea.  You have to make the decision for yourself which is why this entry is included in the list.

There are hundreds of sites dedicated to the elimination of MSG.  Many share horror stories that were powerful enough to inspire them to create a website and share their experience.  Before you make a decision regarding the place of MSG in your life, make sure you understand the arguments.

Ellie Lauter works as an online instructor with The College City.  They can be found online .  When she is not teaching, she is learning.  She is a graduate student at a local university.

If you would like to be a guest blogger, email karynzoldan@yahoo.com – thank you

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