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MSG

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

I know over the last 20+ years people have become aware of how bad MSG is from a health standpoint, but it seems to still be used quite heavily in many areas.  Back in the eighties Chinese take out was a big culprit but massive grassroots boycott seemed to change their ways. However, The fight was never brought to fast food, latin cuisine, or southern cooking.  Does anyone here still endorse or advocate the use of MSG (Accent!)?  I started thinking about this while creating a knock-off Chick-fil-A sandwich.  (which btw the secret is marinating the chicken in pickle juice and using powdered sugar in the flour mix)  and for the record I did not use MSG and it was still awesome.

post #2 of 39

Can you point me to one, legitimate, peer-reviewed study in an authoritative publication (not health-food, holistic, or similar) showing that MSG is dangerous?  I've sought but can't find. 

 

My impression is that after all these years there are no proven links to disease.  But I wouldn't mind being wrong.

 

BDL

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post #3 of 39
Don't think you will find it BDL.

You can't lay on the beach and drink rum all day unless you start in the morning

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You can't lay on the beach and drink rum all day unless you start in the morning

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post #4 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefHoff View Post

I know over the last 20+ years people have become aware of how bad MSG is from a health standpoint

 

I consider myself one of the "people". I haven't become aware of any such thing. If anything, I've heard vague accounts of how MSG could potentially be bad, but I've heard just about as many accounts of how the former accounts were false. 

 

In other news....

- Garlic sprout can be the cause of cancer, 

- Soy can make men impotent, 

- Gluten is the cause of all your ailments, 

- You can become deaf if you.... (oops, wrong forum). 

post #5 of 39
Don't think you will find it BDL.

 

Only because it doesn't exist my brother.

 

BDL

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post #6 of 39
post #7 of 39

Tofu is Communist, and will make you sterile. 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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post #8 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by IceMan View Post

Tofu is Communist, and will make you sterile. 

That's Ridiculous!  Tofu is NOT communist!

post #9 of 39

You believe what you want in your kitchen ... I'll believe what I want in mine.   Oh, and by-the-way ... same thing for mayonnaise ... Communism and sterility.   Nasty stuff. 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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post #10 of 39

It's been in use for over a hundred years in Japanese cuisine. The wiki article on it's history and usage is interesting. I did not know for instance that the taste of "umami" was first coined to describe the flavor sensation that MSG was isolated to be responsible for. It occurs naturally in the seaweed dashi kombu.

post #11 of 39

No!

Not communist, no way .

Its Marxistbounce.gif

Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

Only the smart ones are doing it while they are still alive.

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Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

Only the smart ones are doing it while they are still alive.

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post #12 of 39
Thread Starter 

BDL - No.  You are correct.  All scientific studies I have seen have not shown MSG to be a direct health risk to the "normal" person.  However, these same studies have shown that a large percentage of the population (30 - 40%) is "MSG intolerant" and has long list of potential negative reactions to it.   To me that makes it suspect for other problems, but again, just my opinion.  But by your post I guess you use and endorse its use?  Et tu, FrenchFries?

 

I have no proof, but along with high fructose corn syrup, I think MSG is a leading cause of obesity.    JMHO.

 

Iceman - I get the tofu thing, but Mayo?  Even if it's made from scratch?  Commie how?  (I actually don't really like mayo, but I'm curious)

 

Chef Dave - Good link, but also proves BDL's stance.  Aspertane clouded the results in the double blind study.  FDA shut the book.  Case closed.  And the government never turns a blind eye to the truth even if it might threaten corporate profit right? ;) 

post #13 of 39

If the FDA came out point blank and said that any amount of MSG is bad for you, would that change the eating habits of 95% of Americans?  Probably not.  The population of this country has already proven that over and over again.  Most people just don't care (If I get sick, there's a pill for that...right?).  The people that do care, well, most of them have access to this interweb thingy and have already researched it.

In this day and age, whatever your "opinion" is, you can find resources to back it up.

post #14 of 39

IMHO, the leading cause of obesity in the USA is consuming more calories than required for the activity level of each individual.

 

It is not, IMHO, what one eats, it is how much one eats!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefHoff View Post
...I have no proof, but along with high fructose corn syrup, I think MSG is a leading cause of obesity.    JMHO...
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post

IMHO, the leading cause of obesity in the USA is consuming more calories than required for the activity level of each individual.

 

It is not, IMHO, what one eats, it is how much one eats!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefHoff View Post
...I have no proof, but along with high fructose corn syrup, I think MSG is a leading cause of obesity.    JMHO...

That's a very simplistic and old-school way of understanding metabolism.  Yes, if you're body is burning 2000 calories a day and you're putting in 3000 calories, you're gonna get fat. But...

Science has come a long way since, but shhhh.....Don't tell the pharmaceutical or agricultural  industries.

Not all calories are created equal, and the way we metabolize calories from fats, proteins, simple (sugars) or complex carbohydrates varies.  It can vary between individuals as well - the "ideal" diet for one person isn't necessarily the right one for someone else.

Dr. Mercola has a ton of research-based articles regarding this topic in particular.

post #16 of 39
Thread Starter 

Chef Dave - I used opinion, because I could not come up with info that fit the scientific criteria BDL was requesting, but I agree people on the whole are going to do what they do anyway.  This leads me to my other point:

 

Pete - Yes.  Calorie intake and physical activity determines and controls weight.  BUT  modern technology has been able to let our food providers manipulate our food and drink with addictive chemicals and brainwash us with advertisement overload to get us to consume more to increase their bottom line.  Look at the soft drink debate in NYC (as ridiculous as it is) -  It would be suicide for a politician to go after a corporation to do the right thing nutritionally, so they are forced to regulate the individual consumption. 

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/high-fructose-corn-syrup-fuels-latest-addiction-epidemic-article-1.385499

 

http://www.naturalnews.com/025418_MSG_food_health.html

 

Again - not credible sources by BDL's standards, but a starting block to truth.

 

Again to the basic question....... Who here still uses and/or endorses MSG?

post #17 of 39

When I went to college back in the 60s  my final paper was on MSG. and since that date little has been learned. The process of making it has changed but health claims pro and con have never been proven by science. One  thing we know is that it makes you thirsty. . When it was used the supposed disease was called Chines Syndrome. Where some people thought they were having a heart attack (some in a study by the way wre on a Placebo)  Originally it was derived from a fermantation of seaweed by the agomotto company. Today it is made from beets. In any event it is also a naturaslly occuring chemical in certain foods. There have been no recorded heart attacks, strokes or deaths directly attributed to MSG

 

PS  Don't believe everything the USDA FDA states, as they are both minipulated by politics and in fact are inadaquate. The peanut butter plant in Georgia that made all those people sick about a year ago is still operating, as are many meat plants that had many outbreaks of E Colli. In addition only about 30% of fish brought into this country is inspected So dont worry about MSG  we have much bigger issues.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #18 of 39

I've used it.. indirectly. I don't sprinkle pure msg crystals on my food like some Japanese. Like I posted earlier above, if you've ever made a dish including Kombu then you have used MSG as well. It occurs naturally.. it wasn't made in a lab.

 

Edit: Was typing while edb was too biggrin.gif

post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefHoff View Post

Chef Dave - I used opinion, because I could not come up with info that fit the scientific criteria BDL was requesting, but I agree people on the whole are going to do what they do anyway.  This leads me to my other point:

 

Pete - Yes.  Calorie intake and physical activity determines and controls weight.  BUT  modern technology has been able to let our food providers manipulate our food and drink with addictive chemicals and brainwash us with advertisement overload to get us to consume more to increase their bottom line.  Look at the soft drink debate in NYC (as ridiculous as it is) -  It would be suicide for a politician to go after a corporation to do the right thing nutritionally, so they are forced to regulate the individual consumption. 

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/high-fructose-corn-syrup-fuels-latest-addiction-epidemic-article-1.385499

 

http://www.naturalnews.com/025418_MSG_food_health.html

 

Again - not credible sources by BDL's standards, but a starting block to truth.

 

Again to the basic question....... Who here still uses and/or endorses MSG?

I do.  It has it's place in the kitchen as other ingredients.  As for the nay sayers, I'm sure there are those with legitimate sensitivities but often it's someone who claims it causes them issues yet can eat Doritos without any problem. 

You can't lay on the beach and drink rum all day unless you start in the morning

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You can't lay on the beach and drink rum all day unless you start in the morning

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post #20 of 39
Chef,
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post #21 of 39

Arsenic is ALSO a naturally occurring chemical in foods.

There's a monumental difference between eating a whole piece of kombu or beet or whatever, versus synthesizing a specific chemical out of it, and eating that alone.  You lose the entire symbiotic nature of...nature.

Also, while the whole kombu may be good for you, how much of it would you have to eat to get the amount of msg that's often added to foods?  And what would the effects be?  Years ago, before Macoun apples became over-commercialize, I introduced them to the chef de cuisine, who took home a dozen and proceeded to eat them one after another while watching the Sunday afternoon football games.  He lamented to me the next day that he loved them so much he just couldn't stop eating them, but he was on the can for hours.  Fiber's good for you, and all natural.  But eat enough metamucil and you'll experience the same thing.

 

They're doing the same thing to Stevia now - instead of processing the whole leaf, just using a specific chemical from it, and there's evidence that it's harmful.

 

Isn't that how many (powerful) pharmaceuticals are made?  From synthesizing specific chemicals from things found in nature?

 

And as a chef, I'm thinking well, what if we took a bunch of potatoes that got a little old and were starting to sprout, and cut out all the "eyes", and made a dish using just those. Forgetting about taste, we still know that'd cause some ill effects.  But it's all natural!!!

 

They're out there, but finding independent studies that could cause corporations to lose billions are generally swept under the rug and any information in them is systematically diminished.  But they're out there.

Corporations and Big Business are protected.  We The People don't matter, unfortunately.

 

Gotta follow the footnotes, but these provide evidence of the dangers of MSG.

http://www.truthinlabeling.org/Proof_BrainLesions_CNS.html

 

This one's excellent, and explains the background of the production of MSG as well.

http://evidenceofmsgtoxicity.blogspot.com/

 

Tons of links to follow in this one.

http://www.truthinlabeling.org/

 

And this one just says it all...

http://www.becomehealthynow.com/article/dietbad/32/

post #22 of 39

Foodinsight.org, aka International Food Information Council Foundation, is far from being an unbiased source of information.  With people from Mars Inc, Coca Cola, Dannon, General Mills, and Kraft on their Board of Trustees, do you REALLY think they're going to disseminate information that will mean problems and lower profits for their businesses?  http://www.foodinsight.org/About/Board-Of-Trustees.aspx

 

And don't think they're "balanced out" by the other members who are connected to universities and non-profits.  Where do you think they get their money from?  They won't dare bite the hand that feeds them. And then there can be direct financial connections for people involved....to company stocks and such.

 

Hmmmm...So if all the "studies" that show MSG to be safe are supported by corporations who stand to make a profit from them (duh!), what do the people who back the studies that show MSG as being problematic have to gain from it?   Um, caring about people over corporations?

 

Oh wow.  The President and CEO of IFIC previously worked for Oscar Meyer, Pepsi Co, and Canada Dry. 

 

Nooooo, no bias in at IFIC!  Gotta protect their interests!

post #23 of 39
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #24 of 39

The first time I ever encountered cilantro (the greens).. I was about 21 and visited a buddy and co-worker that had moved to San Diego. I had never tasted such a thing... I broke out in a sweat.. and immediately told him "I have no idea what that is.. but it tastes like soap.. I don't feel good.. I don't want anymore of whatever that s*$# is"

 

12 years later.. I make cilantro pesto and have friends that have agreed it is better than basil pesto.

 

I'm not saying you're wrong chef dave... but let's be realistic.. humans develop disease based on numerous factors.. it's almost always genetic in terms of a predisposition. My best friends papa lived to 97 after a full life of smoking and drinking whiskey. You might say he is an exception, and that may be true. Unfortunately as far as the scientific method of researching, we are limited in our ability to really understand "long term" effects. Those take "long term" studies.

 

I will say in that regard, as far as I know the Japanese have not been dropping dead left and right from their consumption of MSG starting over 100 years ago. The human immuno system is extremely interesting.. it needs to be trained. You can be "too clean" or "too isolated" for your own good. At the same time, correlation is not causation. If Japanese start getting sick, is it their long term use of MSG or the fact that they have a heavy fish diet and over the last 100 years we've increasingly polluted our oceans with heavy metal toxins? Could that be it? Only way to know scientifically.. is a long term study.

post #25 of 39

Well it appears our little adventure whether spawned here or not has hit the front page of reddit

Today I Learned: That MSG is not that bad for you

post #26 of 39

OK. So I didn't read that story, that I really do believe is probably good, because basically ... I don't really care.   I kinda feel the way some do in that people "believe" something is bad or they are "personally effected" by something because it's the newest/hottest "flavor of the month" scientific food discovery.    I guess I only got into this thread to make a wisecrack about tofu, mayonnaise, communism and sterility. 

 

This comment did however crack me up: 

 

~ MSG is seen as "cheating"... If you need to add MSG, you're supposedly making bad food.

 

* So it's like balsamic vinegar?

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply
post #27 of 39
Quote:

Originally Posted by eastshores View Post

 

 humans develop disease based on numerous factors.. it's almost always genetic in terms of a predisposition.

SOME people are genetically predisposed, or rather susceptible to certain diseases.  Lots of diseases have a direct cause & effect, with genetics playing no role at all.  And regarding genetics, people who are genetically susceptible still need a trigger!  People can avoid that disease that may run rampant in their family by changing how they live.  Often.  

 

What's wrong with loads of anecdotal evidence?  Is that not evidence enough?  Are all those people lying?  Are they all mistaken and having similar symptoms and reactions because of something else, even when the common denominator clearly appears to be MSG?  And that's only touching the people who have sensitivities to MSG.  The effects of MSG goes far beyond the people who have a sensitivity to it.

 

Oh, and you can't just read what I wrote previously and respond to that.  What I write is my opinion (that I've reached based on what I've read, researched and educated myself about).  You also gotta follow the links, learn, be educated, and then form opinions.  I can blab from here to Oklahoma and it won't do a stitch in changing how you feel.  And the same goes for you - or anyone - blabbing to me.   But, if we have an open mind and read actual information and process it - that might change things a bit.

post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefDave11 View Post  ...But, if we have an open mind and read actual information and process it - that might change things a bit..

The problem with many subjects, including MSG, is identifying factual information as differentiated from actual information and then processing the factual information in a logical and intellectual manner.

 

Personal opinions may be based on many, sometimes conflicting, observations, beliefs, measurements, evaluations, trials, tests, and analysis.

 

Rigorous scientific investigation supposedly eliminates bias, whether economic, technical, political, faith based, or any other bias. Unfortunately, that rarely takes place in the real world.

 

Anecdotal evidence, no matter how well intentioned, IMHO, can never prove or disprove an hypothesis and often leads to fallacious, albeit well meaning and many times self-serving, conclusions.

 

For me, the fact that a multitude of people seem to suffer no ill effects from the consumption of raw food products containing natural glutamate makes me wonder why isolating glutamate and applying the isolate to other food products causes apparent ill effects.

 

Perhaps the scientific community is incapable of designing an adequate protocol to answer the question.

 

Perhaps the "corporate warlords" truly are in control of our food supply, but then one has to wonder why they would want to poison their consumer base, if it is true that MSG is a poison because no consumers leads to no profits.

 

Perhaps the "anti-MSG" proponents are simply today's version of Puritans, if it tastes good, it must be bad for you.

 

We can argue, discuss, cuss, and Google for support regardless as to our individual positions or beliefs. However, the chance of conclusively resolving the issue is probably well beyond the capability of our combined efforts.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
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post #29 of 39

ChefDave.. I tried to explain by presenting anecdotal evidence so that clearly we can't take what we may consider to be exceptions as a true measure. I did that by giving you an absolutely true case, my buddies papa that lived to 97 while smoking and drinking whiskey. My own father.. is struggling at 70.. and he quit smoking at 30. Do you suggest he start smoking and drinking whiskey? FFS it may extend his life... he'd be less stressed over his medical bills with a few shots of whiskey.

 

"What's wrong with loads of anecdotal evidence?"

What I told you above is what's wrong with "loads" of anecdotal evidence.

 

"Is that not evidence enough?"

No... it is not enough. Not nearly enough.

 

"Are all those people lying?"

I don't think they are lying, not maliciously at least. I think they are misdiagnosed until we know what is causing what. Or possibly it really is causing it, but we need evidence to show that.

 

On your last point I agree. My opinion is my opinion. I respect your research. I do read "actual information and process it" .. I would not be replying to you if I didn't would I?

post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post

For me, the fact that a multitude of people seem to suffer no ill effects from the consumption of raw food products containing natural glutamate makes me wonder why isolating glutamate and applying the isolate to other food products causes apparent ill effects.

 

 

Truly natural glutamic acid -- as it exists in its unadulterated form in nature -- is an acidic amino acid.  It is found in abundance in both plant and animal protein where it is bound (tied) to other amino acids in chains. 
 
Manufactured glutamic acid (MSG) is different.  It is produced commercially in manufacturing and/or chemical plants, and/or by fermentation.
There are five basic methods presently used to produce most MSG.  Each of these methods produces glutamic acid that stands alone, i.e, glutamic acid that is no longer tied to other amino acids. Each generates a product of human invention for which it is possible to obtain a patent. 
All processed free glutamic acid (MSG) – no matter how produced -- is neurotoxic (kills brain cells) and is endocrine disrupting (damages the endocrine system) (7-8).  In addition, all processed free glutamic acid (MSG) will cause adverse reactions ranging from feelings of mild discomfort or simple skin rash to such things as irritable bowel, asthma, migraine headache, mood swings, heart irregularities, asthma, seizures, and depression when the amount of MSG ingested exceeds a person's MSG-tolerance level(9).
 
All processed free glutamic acid (MSG), no matter how produced, is accompanied by unwanted by-products of production referred to as impurities.  Impurities are invariably produced by all methods used for breaking down protein (autolysis, enzymolysis, and acid hydrolysis)(2,6,10-15); by all methods used to produce monosodium glutamate; and by all methods use to produce reaction or processed flavors(6,10).  Only the impurities associated with the MSG produced by acid hydrolysis and the Maillard reaction include cancer-causing substances.
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