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MSG: The flavorful controversy

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Introduction

MSG: The flavorful controversy People like food, especially in this country, where unfortunately some people love it too much. Everyone likes to eat something different, exotic-sounding, foreign cheese, wines, caviars, but does anyone really want an amino acid? Chemical additives such as MSG, monosodium glutamate, have been the cause of many debates over their use in foods. MSG is formed from the amino acid, glutamic acid, sodium, and water. It is naturally produces in meat, vegetables, fruits, and in the body. Found in both "free", and "bound" forms, the free form is an effective flavor enhancer. Discovered over 1200 years ago in the orient from fermentation of the seaweed Laminaria Japonica, it has been used ever since as a flavor enhancer. It has no flavor of its own, but amplifies flavors and masks bad tastes. It is due to this property that the food industry has used and abused it. They created propaganda to promote the use of this product. ...read more.

Middle

People who are MSG sensitive have protested and filed lawsuits to try and have the substance banned. Protestors have threatened to burn themselves to stop stored from buying MSG laced products. This reaction is mainly due to the allergy that some people suffer from. They need MSG to be clearly shown on labels, if not removed completely from the food industry. MSG cannot be used, like it has been before, as the scapegoat for all food-related problems. It actually contains less sodium than table salt, and, as mentioned before, is naturally found in our bodies and throughout nature. The problem lies in the fact that foods are having a chemical added to them that would not be there if not for our curiosity, and the industry's fiscal benefit. Studies have shown that MSG may get into the brains of young children and could cause problems due to the immaturity in namely the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, retina, and hormones. When considering the possibility versus the benefit, MSG seems to be unimportant and more dangerous. We don't need this additive in our foods. ...read more.

Conclusion

Barley malt Whey protein Carrageenan Maltodextrin Pectin Enzymes Protease Corn starch Citric acid Powdered milk anything Protein fortified anything Enzyme modified anything Ultra-pasteurized Some unexpected sources of MSG: Salad dressings Frozen meals Packaged and restaurant soups Cheese Reduced fat milk Chewing gum Ice cream Cookies Vitamin enriched foods Beverages Candy Cigarettes Medications I.V. Materials Supplements, particularly minerals Samuels, Jack L, MSG Dangers and Deceptions, <http://www.price-pottenger.org/Articles/MSG.html> (9-29-02). by Table 2: Collected Reports of Adverse Reactions to MSG Cardiac Neurological Gastrointestinal Arrythmia Depression Diarrhea Extreme rise or drop in blood pressure Dizziness Nausea/vomiting Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) Light-headedness Stomach cramps Angina Loss of balance Irritable bowel Disorientation Bloating Circulatory Mental confusion Swelling Anxiety Respiratory Panic attacks Asthma Muscular Hyperactivity Shortness of breath Flu-like aches Behavioral problems in children Chest pain or tightness Joint pain Lethargy Runny nose Stiffness Sleepiness Sneezing Insomnia Visual Migraine headache Skin Blurred vision Numbness or paralysis Hives or rash Difficulty focusing Seizures Mouth lesions Sciatica Tingling Urological Slurred speech Flushing Swelling of prostate Shaking Extreme dryness of the mouth Nocturia Trembling Samuels, Jack L, MSG Dangers and Deceptions, <http://www.price-pottenger.org/Articles/MSG.html> (9-29-02). ...read more.

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