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Monosodium Glutamate/MSG: The Topic


Fat Guy
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another thing:

Thai and Vietnamese fish sauce (also used in Laos and Indonesia) is filled with MSG.

Does your friend get headaches from eating any of those cuisines?  I'm guessing not.

you're right, guys, i'm sorry. it's all lies because i'm that bored.

i never said that people aren't allowed to enjoy what they enjoy.

what's the problem here? why am i being challenged on personal experiences and opinions?

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another thing:

Thai and Vietnamese fish sauce (also used in Laos and Indonesia) is filled with MSG.

Does your friend get headaches from eating any of those cuisines?  I'm guessing not.

you're right, guys, i'm sorry. it's all lies because i'm that bored.

i never said that people aren't allowed to enjoy what they enjoy.

what's the problem here? why am i being challenged on personal experiences and opinions?

I'm not challenging you on your opinion. I'm challenging you on the "facts" upon which you are basing your opinion on and then posting about in a public forum.

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because truth matters...and some myths are pernicious.

an "opinion" is a statement such as, "I don't like the savory taste that MSG gives to foodstuffs"...that's an opinion.

"MSG is synthetic" -- that's not an opinion, that's a false statement of fact.

"MSG causes headaches" is not an opinion, it's almost certainly a false statement of fact.

I don't doubt that your friend gets headaches. now, how the h___ do you or your friend know that those headaches are from MSG?

I know you're not a biologist or chemist.

so, you don't.

btw, one slight correction: although the traditional method of isolating MSG is to extract it from seaweed, the most common commercial production method today is the simple fermentation of ammonia.

what is "synthetic" about that?

Edited by Nathan (log)
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gingersweetiepie:

"MSG headaches" almost certainly don't exist.  no one gets them from eating sushi.  they're from overconsumption, too much oil or purely psychogenic.

"

Aren't you assuming a bit here? Saying that MSG headaches does not exist is like saying PMS does not exist. I try to stay away from that stuff because it has given me a headache since I was a kid. Whenever I do end up eating it, I follow up with 6 advil pills every two hours for the next 8 hours.

Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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Here is a study in the effect of MSG, apparently most people feel it at the threshold of 2.5 gms.

http://repositories.cdlib.org/cgi/viewcont...t%20of%20MSG%22

Oh right, then again, these test subjects might be collectively lying too....

Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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sigh.

1. one study of 36 people isn't proof of much.

2. yeah, they found that a few people had symptoms at over 3 grams.

3. do you have any clue how much MSG that is? far more than you will get in any restaurant meal.

4. I don't doubt that you get headaches. once again, what makes you think they're from MSG? it's not even classified as an allergen because there is no body of work proving that it is in any quantity that anyone would actually ingest.

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At least the guy is not lying to the public that he is using MSG.  My question is what the point of cooking high quality and fresh ingredients with MSG?

I believe the mayonnaise is added as a condiment to the lobster roll (which, incidentally, I haven't seen on the menu in a very, very, very long time). And this was on the Momofuku Noodle Bar menu, not the Momofuku Ssam Bar menu.

As far as "cooking" with msg is concerned, as Todd36 has pointed out, soy sauce has naturally occurring msg. Soy sauce is found in high abundance throughout a lot of asian cuisine. Are you trying to find the point in cooking asian cuisine? I really enjoy asian food. I think there is a huge point in cooking it. :blink::biggrin:

MSG can be found in other cuisines and not just Asian. If you have to put it that way then what's the point of cooking any cuisine. I am talking about the synthetic msg and not the type produced in soy sauce.

Leave the gun, take the canoli

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oh, and most doctors aren't familiar with the research on glutamates.

but, if you get the same headache after eating tomato sauce or hen of the woods mushrooms at Hearth, I will retract everything I have said and eat my words.

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"I am talking about the synthetic msg and not the type produced in soy sauce."

I don't understand what this sentence means. There is no such thing as "synthetic msg." There are glutamates which have been isolated, and glutamates which haven't. It's like the difference between apples and apple juice.

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What Einstein Told His Cook, which I'm reading right now, discusses MSG and on page 107 you'll find the following:

The official referee is the FDA who, after many years of evaluating data, remains convinced that "MSG and related substances are safe food ingredients for most people when eaten at customary levels." The trouble is that all people are not "most people," and the FDA is still struggling to regulate the labeling of glutamate-containing foods so as to be most useful to all consumers.

Also...

While a food product may not contain MSG as such and may even say "No MSG" on the label, it may well contain other glutamates. So if you suspect that you are one of the small number of people who are hypersensitive to glutamates, watch also for these euphemisms on the labels of soups, vegetables, and snacks: hydrolyzed vegetable protein, autolyzed yeast protein, yeast extract, yeast nutrient, and natural flavor or flavoring.

I think most people conclude that CRS is a figment of one's imagination, but I admit I've had some inexplicable splitting headaches after one or two meals down in Chinatown. I may be somewhat sensitive to MSG but it hasn't happened often enough to make me nervous.

Can't we just leave well enough alone now?

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According to my GP, glutamates is an amino acid that encompasses a whole range of compounds. And there aer various form of glutamates that are far more complex than mono-sodium glutamates. Mono-sodium Glutenmates is just one of them..it is a single sodium molecule attached to the glutamate molecue. (like simple carb and complex carb. while they are both carbs one is apparently better for you)

Yes, glutamates is naturally produced in some fruits and vegetables but they tend to be more complex glutamates then monosodium glutamates. (for your info both tomatoes and mushroom also contain naturally produced cynide but does that make you want to sprinkle cynide powder in your food? Does it? Just because it's natural?)

3 grams of MSG is a fraction of the size of 3 grams of salt because MSG is a heavier compound. I know most chinese cooks just sprinkle indiscriminately, like the way they use salt.

There are countless studies on people being sensitive to mono-sodium glutamates but who are okay with other glutamate compound. That sensitivity level varies from person to person.

I get migraines. The kind that makes you want to shut out all the lights and crawl into bed. I went through some extensive testing isolating one food item at a time. There was at one point when i stopped eating all nightshades. Yes, I do get them when I indulge in the occasional thai eating, but I know well enough to have pills on hand to battle the ensuing pain.

Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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While I agree MSG certainly occurs in nature, there is a difference between substances in their natural state and those that are distilled and concentrated. Even different types of salt taste and look differently depending on how it's created even if it is basically the same stuff chemically.

While I agree some of the anti MSG hype is somewhat overdone, perhaps even vaguely racist, and not always scientifically based, I think it is going to the other extreme to say that people never have headaches due to it, given that as a powdered additive it is in a more potent form.

Personally I've never had headaches from MSG, but when I've had it 'straight' as in ramen noodles or greasy dive Chinese takeout, I do notice a specific sleepy/woozy feeling from it that I do not get with smaller amounts. I'm sure other people have their own sensitivities and reactions to it. To say it's purely psychogenic is in itself an unscientific statement.

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"To say it's purely psychogenic is in itself an unscientific statement. "

no one said that. but I noted that there were other plausible physiological causes.

put it this way: if you get heaches after Chinese but not after other glutamate-laden cuisines, maybe one should first suspect what is unique about the former when searching for culprits.

and, since we are engaging in anecdotal data:

I sprinkle Accent into certain dishes (meaty or savory ones -- mushroom risotto and the like)...I've never had anyone assert a headache...including people who were supposedly MSG intolerant. of course, I didn't tell them I was using it either. and I'm not Chinese.

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Yes, glutamates is naturally produced in some fruits and vegetables but they tend to be more complex glutamates then monosodium glutamates. (for your info both tomatoes and mushroom also contain naturally produced cynide but does that make you want to sprinkle cynide powder in your food? Does it? Just because it's natural?)

The cyanide comment is completely irrelevant and adds nothing to this off-topic conversation.

Glutamates are used because they somehow work to "enhance" the flavor of the foods to which they are added. The unfortunate side effect is that there is a population of people who are hypersensitive to it.

I don't recall ever reading about culinary benefits from adding cyanide to food.

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Yes, glutamates is naturally produced in some fruits and vegetables but they tend to be more complex glutamates then monosodium glutamates. (for your info both tomatoes and mushroom also contain naturally produced cynide but does that make you want to sprinkle cynide powder in your food? Does it? Just because it's natural?)

The cyanide comment is completely irrelevant and adds nothing to this off-topic conversation.

Glutamates are used because they somehow work to "enhance" the flavor of the foods to which they are added. The unfortunate side effect is that there is a population of people who are hypersensitive to it.

I don't recall ever reading about culinary benefits from adding cyanide to food.

I would continue the discussion on the almond like scent of cynide but it is off topic.

Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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Perhaps this would all be better kept in a forum for discussion on MSG.

I regards to Dave using MSG, I don't see why everyone is making it out to be a huge revelation. Chances are that if no one had said anything, no one would have noticed. Just go down there and enjoy a tasty, headache-free meal. :biggrin:

Nothing to see here.

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