How MSG Got A Bad Rap: Flawed Science And Xenophobia

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Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
Sep 1, 2004
Interesting indeed. I'm one who agrees with the article. The fear of MSG exploded because of bad science and media exploitation.


Chef Extraordinaire
Mar 17, 2010
south central coast/California
Velly interesting GG. It all makes sense to me, but I've been using it for my cooking all along. One sentence I found particularly interesting..
Subsequent research has found that the vast majority of people, even those claiming a sensitivity to MSG, don’t have any reaction when they don’t know they are eating it.


Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Sep 13, 2010
near Montreal, Quebec
I used to be sensitive to MSG. I first noticed it before it was something that everyone had heard of, before I had heard of it. I was always a bit sceptical about the hype, because the so-called MSG headache isn't really a headache. It's a weird pulling of the muscles around the edge of the face and hairline and can cover the entire scalp. I wouldn't call it painful, just weird. So, I strictly avoided MSG for decades. I actually found Chinese restos to be the surest place to avoid MSG. Tell them you don't want it, they don't put it in the food. They don't try to sneak a little bit in that you "probably won't notice".

I don't seem to have the sensitivity any more. I discovered that when the local Chinese buffet quit having a "No MSG table". They simply cut down in general on the MSG. I gave it a try and had no reaction.

I still avoid it, but not with any vehemence. Too much and it can give a weird, off flavour. I find the weird flavour similar to the weird flavour of potassium chloride, which my mother used for a while as a table salt substitute.

It was never an allergy. There is no histamine reaction. It's a food sensitivity.

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