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MSG in food

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MSG in food

Postby JR8 » Sat, 07 Dec 2013 3:55 pm

I had a take-out meal about 4-5 days ago, at a local hawker centre, and only now I'm just about over the physical impact it had on me. I think I was so hungry that I was eating away, and then suddenly half-way through I got hit with the 'wall of salt' experience, and just had to stop.

I'm just mentioning this, so it is a thing people might consider, as it was totally unexpected (and uninvited) to me. If I had high-blood pressure or similar it could be a real issue. Lord forbid my 'aged parents' ate it. I can't say I've experienced such a liberal/extreme use of MSG in ANY other country, I'm really quite shocked!

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 07 Dec 2013 4:20 pm

MSG is the only way a lot of the hawkers can now stay in business as the rental costs for stall is out the roof. Therefore they have to skimp on the ingredients, thereby MSG make horse meat pass for reasonably tender chuck beef (Tenderloin? fergeddit.) My wife has a bad reaction to MSG in the slightest amount. Therefore we never eat at unknown hawker stalls. In fact, damned few hawkers stalls will she eat at. She also has to buy the MSG free Instant Noodles, I believe the brand is Koka.

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Postby CdnAdventurers » Wed, 22 Jan 2014 10:11 am

How can I know if there's MSG in the food? Should I just assume everything in Hawker centers is full of it? Is it just as bad in restaurants? I don't mind some salt in my food for flavour, but not sure how to tell when it's salt vs MSG.

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Postby Sergei82 » Wed, 22 Jan 2014 10:24 am

What a fad made up by obese supporters of veganism! People afraid of MSG because it contains sodium? Maybe, some people with high blood pressure should. But glutamine is ubiquitous: 25% of food protein is pure glutamine, human organism produces tons of it ever day on its own! I'm absolutely fine consuming MSG - the more of it the better.

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Postby the lynx » Wed, 22 Jan 2014 10:38 am

CdnAdventurers wrote:How can I know if there's MSG in the food? Should I just assume everything in Hawker centers is full of it? Is it just as bad in restaurants? I don't mind some salt in my food for flavour, but not sure how to tell when it's salt vs MSG.


It is very easy to tell if the food is salty. When you have food laden with MSG, not only you get thirsty but you crave to eat more of it. It is, in a way, a phago-stimulant (stimulate feeding).

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Postby the lynx » Wed, 22 Jan 2014 10:41 am

Sergei82 wrote:What a fad made up by obese supporters of veganism! People afraid of MSG because it contains sodium? Maybe, some people with high blood pressure should. But glutamine is ubiquitous: 25% of food protein is pure glutamine, human organism produces tons of it ever day on its own! I'm absolutely fine consuming MSG - the more of it the better.


I bet you the vegans here use MSG for their dishes too.

For better info on real MSG, L-glutamate and glutamic acid: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monosodium_glutamate

SMS, I only choose Koka for the same reasons too! And home-cooking.

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Postby PNGMK » Wed, 22 Jan 2014 12:51 pm

the lynx wrote:
Sergei82 wrote:What a fad made up by obese supporters of veganism! People afraid of MSG because it contains sodium? Maybe, some people with high blood pressure should. But glutamine is ubiquitous: 25% of food protein is pure glutamine, human organism produces tons of it ever day on its own! I'm absolutely fine consuming MSG - the more of it the better.


I bet you the vegans here use MSG for their dishes too.

For better info on real MSG, L-glutamate and glutamic acid: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monosodium_glutamate

SMS, I only choose Koka for the same reasons too! And home-cooking.


MSG is a killer. I know people who have died from having allergic reactions. My wife get's a migraine from it. If you think MSG is bad in Singapore, try the PI - EVERYTHING has MSG.

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Postby Sergei82 » Wed, 22 Jan 2014 1:13 pm

Allergies is a different story. Existence of people allergic to something doesn't make that something bad.

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Postby beppi » Wed, 22 Jan 2014 9:07 pm

MSG is a natural ingredient of seaweed and most fermented or preserved foods (e.g. soya sauce).
It is also present in almost all pre-prepared foods (Western or Asian alike) and most restaurant meals.
Trying to avoid it in Singapore is about as futile as wanting to breathe only Oxygen without the Nitrogen that makes up 75% of our air!

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Postby Sergei82 » Wed, 22 Jan 2014 9:10 pm

It is present in ALL food in general on planet Earth, by nature.

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 22 Jan 2014 10:56 pm

If it's natural and occurs in everything, why do you see them adding a further spoon of the powder to your sauce down at the hawker centre, and/or come out in weird sweats after having a $3 prata?

Doesn't ever happen to me in Europe when I eat everyday food. In fact I can't say I've ever have an MSG-'trip' anywhere in Europe outside of bad Chinese restaurants.


I only used MSG here briefly, back in '94, when making fishball soup, before realising quite how noxious it is (shame - the metal tins were very pretty). No way I'd knowingly add it to anything today.
My mother, something of award-winning legend in the kitchen wouldn't even know what MSG is... 'Mono Glutamus Maximus dear? Was he a Roman military casualty?'...

Furthermore when I look to buy ready meals and the like, sauces, etc., (in Europe) if it were to contain MSG I wouldn't touch it with a barge-pole. The need to add MSG speaks volumes to me about the inadequacy of the basic ingredients.

Yes, arguably the amino acid Glutamine exists naturally within many foods, but that's not the same as spooning in a load of Ajinimoto to every meal.

--- Just look at all the grass-roots warnings you'll find via a simple Google

p.s. Yes MSG occurs in seaweed. But cyanide occurs in bitter almonds (etc). Being 'natural' doesn't make it somehow perfectly ok to ingest.

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Postby beppi » Wed, 22 Jan 2014 11:15 pm

From Wikipedia (my preferred source of knowledge):
Monosodium glutamate (MSG), also known as sodium glutamate, is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, one of the most abundant naturally occurring non-essential amino acids.

MSG was classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) and by the European Union as a food additive.

[...]

Like other basic tastes, except sucrose, MSG improves the pleasantness only in the right concentration: an excess of MSG is unpleasant.

[...]

MSG can be used to reduce salt intake (sodium), which predisposes to hypertension, heart diseases and stroke. The taste of low-salt foods improves with MSG even with a 30% salt reduction. The sodium content (in mass percent) of MSG is roughly a third of the amount (12%) than in sodium chloride (39%).


There's also a long section about safety and health effects, which I will not copy here. Conclusion: Most studies show a very low percentage of people who react to it, and most suffer no ill effect.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 22 Jan 2014 11:30 pm

It also may be like Lactose. Asians are more predisposed to Lactose Intolerance than Westerners. So the good effects of MSG may be outweighed by certain ill effects in predisposed races? I don't know. I don't have a problem with it, but my wife sure does.

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 22 Jan 2014 11:32 pm

Beppi-style:

'And thus I am proved right [ignoring all the points, bar maybe one low-hanging one, that you made]'.

About right? :lol:

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Postby Sergei82 » Wed, 22 Jan 2014 11:46 pm

I eat glutamine as supplement now. 30 grams in one go sometimes several times a day. And I add salt when I cook. Who wants to say that he is healthier than me?


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