Can someone help me clear up the myth from the facts regarding this stuff? We've got several of these still and were using it relatively often to try to cut down on sodium intake, but apparently it's like the boogeyman or something. The only ingredient is listed as monosodium glutamate, which apparently doesn't have any real flavor of its own but makes food seem tastier to your tongue when you mix it with stuff. After a bit of searching, it's also rumored to cause or contribute to chronic migraines, long-term neurological damage, liver failure, obesity, autism, type 2 diabetes, parkinson's disease, lou gehrig's disease, and heart attacks. How much of this is "anti-asian racism", how much is "food industry damage control", and how much of this is just pseudoscience? In any case, any negative side effects don't seem to be able to be reliably reproduced.
So is this stuff poison or not?
It's not poison. It's a form of salt. It naturally occurs in certain foods. Anyone who tells you that it's any worse for you than normal salt is either ignorant or a liar.
Nope, I haven't. Not that I expect the thread to be wholly informative and shitposting-free, no board is like that. Was just hoping for maybe a bit of perspective from people who can give more than just textbook responses.
To clarify, it's not that I heard it was "worse" than normal salt, but that it's still super awful in its own right. From what I'm reading, MSG is an excitotoxin which basically stimulates the brain cells responsible for picking up savory flavor so intensely that they just die, causing a pleasure response due to the excitement response that makes you want to eat more and kill off even more brain cells. Apparently, there's also a difference between MSG extracted from naturally-grown sources, and MSG that is chemically manufactured. Something to do with whether or not they come in chains or not, and "free" MSG that is manmade is intrinsically harmful while the natural kind is perfectly fine so long as it maintains its original ratio in the food.
it's literally harmless. you can thank your honkey brethren for having panic attacks about the dirty chinese and their suspicious cooking standards in the 80s and 90s. it was the "gluten intolerance" of those decades and now there are ten thousand quacks out there insisting it makes you sick.
OP here, basic chemistry taught me that sodium itself is not salt, it's just the cation part of the common "food salt" sodium chloride. Don't quote me on this, but salts are just any sort of ionic combination between cations and anions in crystalline form. You can mix other things together to get salts too, for example potassium chorlide, an alternative food salt. MSG is just the basic sodium version of the salt for glutamic acid.
I remember my chemistry teacher telling us that if you mixed hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide, two very dangerous chemicals, in just the right amounts and in the right molarity of solutions, then the result is just harmless salt water (sodium chloride mixed in water) because it's an acid with a base. You can do the same thing with other acids and bases to get salts as a byproduct.
>causing a pleasure response due to the excitement response that makes you want to eat more and kill off even more brain cells
Don't know anything about MSG but this sounds like some grade-a bullshit
Yep, you're pretty much correct.
If you mix any aqueous acid and base you get water and a salt. Salts can come in an absurd number of forms. Hell, your DNA in its form Chromatin is actually a salt by definition.
But back to the point. MSG is harmless, there's no definitive proof that it can do any damage to you, neurological or otherwise. Anything in massive doses is arguably bad, so shit, don't eat it by the spoonful, but sprinkling some over the food you're cooking can't hurt you.
Just some basic internet reading that ended up coming up several times, I'm sure some of this is either straight bullshit, pseudoscience from a decade ago, or just common misconception due to boogeyman syndrome.
Honestly though even if this stuff CAN be legitimately bad in certain cases, is it really a concern if it's just super rare and not easily predictable? Apparently they've had a hard time creating reproducible conditions in which humans will reliable get sick from this stuff in any ratio among the test subjects. Only mice. If that's the case, should I even care about the fluke scenario even if it IS true?
It's based around the concept of 'excitotoxicity', which is when nerve cells are killed by overstimulation by glutamate. People saw the 'glutamate' part of monosodium glutamate, and decided that it's a toxin produced by the Illuminati to dumb people down or something. There's no scientific basis behind this, it just sounds like it's scientific, so people think it must be true. Like the idea that 'gluten intolerance' is a real thing. It's based on a real concept(celiac disease), it's just misunderstood and misapplied.
Yeah that was the concern I was dealing with, the stuff I've read seemed to come to a consensus that it's harmless from a toxicology standpoint, since your body is designed to make use of it in a certain amount anyways, so as long as you don't overload past your body's threshold of tolerance for it then you won't get like poisoned or anything.
The problem was whether or not using it often as a food seasoning leads to undesirable side effects, either long-term or extreme. Mostly neurological since it's related to your brain sending chemical signals, something I don't really understand but has something to do with "synapse activation". Other than that though, it's apparently a danger to your liver and eyes, and general metabolic cycle.
I guess the first question to ask is what would be considered "improper usage", and the next would be what's the difference between the kind your body naturally produces and the stuff in the OP image.
In the 70s there was a racist campaign against Chinese food and the science is finally showing that theres literally nothing wrong with it vs salt but it still has a bad rep because of years of shit
theres literally nothing wrong with MSG, it occurs naturally in seaweed and many other things.
sure you can be allergic to it, but you can be allergic to eggs or cheese or fucking water so thats a pointless argument
>theres literally nothing wrong with MSG, it occurs naturally in seaweed and many other things.
OP here, all of the stuff I've been reading hasn't disputed the "naturally occurring" part about it. The issue is that the stuff in the OP image or added to other foods in production, is not the same kind of stuff. It's not directly extracted from those natural sources, but instead they chemically produce it. Even if the natural sources are used somehow as a raw ingredient, the process they use to get the MSG out apparently damages it.
So, that supposedly makes it different than say, boiling down some seaweed in a pot to make kombu stock, and the difference is what makes it bad for you. Whether that's true or not, I don't know.
MSG is not a seasoning at all, it has no flavor unless you're counting a metallic tinge. It's a flavor enhancer, you add it to food and it makes your tongue think whatever you're eating tastes a lot better. That's where the umami meme came from.
more like umeme amirite
seriously though MSG is totally safe and I eat it as often as I can, its the thing that makes foods taste good. in fact if you make me fried chicken without some msg in your breading I will have no part of it
SImply put, no. MSG is by far the most researched food additive compound in the history of man, with thousands of scholarly articles written about it. Literally 0% of research has shown it to be even remotely harmful. In fact, its among the safest food additives in terms of how much it has been studied. In the amounts that people would normally or even above average take, regular salt is more dangerous.
That whole paragraph is bro-science bullshit. There is absolutely nothing wrong with MSG and anyone who tells you otherwise is a fucking retard. When it comes to food, you can assume about 95% of what people say is pure fabricated bullshit.
Glutamates do excite the brain and are not GOOD for you but they probably don't cause brain damage at the doses in food. I would avoid it if possible because you don't know how much they are putting into it but glutamate in from scratch cooking is not something to be concerned about.
There's nothing wrong with MSG. Or sodium chloride for that matter.
Without salt you would literally die, sure eating a fuck load of salt every day isn't good but I highly doubt anybody has health issues caused directly by salt.
I know a guy who swears he's allergic to msg because the fries from kfc make him vomit. I don't know whether I should bother telling him there's way more of it on the chicken than there would be on the fries.
Purer, superior version of MSG coming through.
>Trying to cut down on sodium intake
>by using the sodium salt of glutamic acid
Too much sodium causes high blood pressure which in turn starts to destroy the kidneys. The kidneys start failing and you can't get rid of fluids properly. The fluids build up in your system causing congestive heart failure. Go ahead an use salt, just be careful how much you use. By the way, I'm a health care provider.
Glutamate can be neurotoxic and can cause seizures, migraines, all sorts of nasty stuff. If you inject it into your brain.
It doesn't cross the blood-brain-barrier from food.
It's a nice way to make a subpar soup stock delicious, and that's what I usually use it for (e.g., when I want to make stock in a hurry).
>some people got allergic to it once
>muh paranoid americans avoid eating it bc magical nip spice dangewwous
>the stigma hasn't left since
it's in johnny's seasoning salt, you need very little to make your salt mix taste good. so if you've ever used that to salt your food, and you didn't have an allergic reaction, you're fine like most of the population haha
I tested the msg headache bullshit myth at work not too long ago. I let everyone take a small pinch of msg and taste it. Within minutes, three coworkers complained of headaches and dizziness. So, the next week I brought in 3 dishes for people to share, each with copious amounts of msg, but I didn't tell them it was in the food. I waited until the end of the day to inform them of the experiment, the look on their face was priceless when they realized that the earlier headaches were all "in their head".
Why, OP. Why did you have to go and remind me about all the bullshit momscience that surrounds MSG. I fucking hate my family for it too, because they just eat all of that stuff up. Yesterday it was cholesterol in eggs while scarfing down copious amounts of canned tuna with no fucking regard to mercury poisoning, today it is the msg boogeyman and eating gluten free.
>MSG extracted from naturally-grown sources, and MSG that is chemically manufactured
No, fuck off, that's not how chemistry works. Every time you heat up something, you're doing chemistry in your fucking home. What is more, the free glutamates in foods like tomatoes and onions (I fucking dare you to say you go more than a week without eating a dish that has at least one of those) naturally binds with the sodium in salt and creates MSG even without applying heat.
>MUH GMO ARTIFICIAL CANCER AUTISM
God-fucking-damn I'm mad at how ass-backwards some people are.
Literally every single legitimate study conducted proves that the only side-effects that ever happen are a result of placebo effect. People who think it's bad get stomach aches when they're fed food and told it has MSG even when it doesn't. Just do the research, pick a study, any study.
If it makes you dizzy it's probably some really really shitty/old food.
>the free glutamates in foods like tomatoes and onions naturally binds with the sodium in salt and creates MSG even without applying heat.
I guess due to their acidity, interesting. I suppose that's why they go so well with cheese. Neat.
Google searches on anything health related tend to be the lowest quality information. It's like reading an encyclopedia article's worth of information where half of it is wrong and the other half only somewhat right.
MSG is monosodium glutamate. It is literally sodium attached to glutamic acid, an often excitatory neurotransmitter produced in the body. The upper limits for intake are five times higher than salt. Fermentation also tends to produce it, thus products like vegemite which make use of yeast for that strong flavor.
Randomized, controlled, double-blind studies have repeatedly shown no threats to health. If anything MSG can help you cut down on salt intake.