Skip to main content

“Monosodium glutamate, more commonly known as MSG, has been around for more than a century.

“A potent purveyor of umami, the fifth taste that people have dedicated entire restaurants to, the seasoning is still often misunderstood, despite the articles and scientific studies over the decades that clear its name.”

fear of MSGPublished in The Washington Post, August 27, 2021, “Why You Shouldn’t Fear MSG, an Unfairly Maligned and Worthwhile Seasoning”
Author: Aaron Hutcherson, food writer and recipe developer

More direct quotes from this article:

“One of the many benefits of MSG is that it lets you more acutely pull the umami lever in the kitchen. Though you can also add umami through other foods high in glutamates, sometimes you don’t want the flavor or texture of that ingredient. Some may balk at the one-dimensionality of it, but just as there are times when you want to add sugar instead of ripe fruit for sweetness, there are times when MSG might be more appropriate than anchovies. By helping you more precisely tweak the flavors of a dish, MSG is a powerful tool for cooks of all levels.”

“When added to foods, MSG makes flavors, particularly salty and sour, really come alive. Add a sprinkle to a slice of avocado or your next batch of scrambled eggs to see for yourself what it does and just how it impacts flavor.”

“First, you may be thinking, ‘But I’m allergic to it!’ Yes, one report shows people displaying symptoms ‘that may occur in some sensitive individuals who consume 3 grams or more of MSG without food,’ per the FDA. ‘However, a typical serving of a food with added MSG contains less than 0.5 grams of MSG. Consuming more than 3 grams of MSG [3/4 teaspoon] without food at one time is unlikely.’ Furthermore, ‘Although many people identify themselves as sensitive to MSG, in studies with such individuals given MSG or a placebo, scientists have not been able to consistently trigger reactions,’ the FDA states.”

“If you still decide you don’t want to cook with MSG, that’s your prerogative. But for the MSG-curious out there, here’s how and why to use it at home.”

Read the full article here.