TheCalmDev (Dev J Haldar)

ravings, rantings and ramblings

MSG for MSG

It is a known fact that maybe all; correction, most Chinese restaurants use mono-sodium glutamate in their preparations. A lot has been vociferously voiced about MSG being unsafe for human consumption, specially for children. Food and health bodies claim that MSG consumed at ‘customary’ levels, is safe. Popular belief went otherwise. MSG continued to be in the centre of culinary controversy and in Chinese recipes. Some scientific groups found no connection with various symptoms and MSG while others believed it to be a PR coup by Ajinomoto, the company that marketed MSG; a name that did what Xerox did to cyclostyling.

A particular restaurant in the UAE markets their Chinese food as MSG-free. Other restaurants use it without naming credits, as it were. On one occasion, one restaurant owner asked his chef not to mention that they use MSG before a commercial shot that I was directing. So, probably representing the common-man’s stand I understand that MSG could be avoided.

Add to this never-ending controversy, doctors forbidding consumption of MSG for pregnant women. So, women are asked to avoid Chinese food during pregnancy but considering the myriad urges et al, I gather that Chinese food without MSG would be a possible option.

Now what turns funny is how most Chinese restaurants in Dubai react when you ask them for Chinese food without any MSG in it. It is like how some women react when confronted with the ‘age’ question! Some stammer on the phone like a children lying to their parents! Most keep a stoic silence, as if they had never heard of anything called MSG!

How about a simple acknowledgement that the MSG has been understood?

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5 comments on “MSG for MSG

  1. vibsbha
    May 10, 2012

    chinese food homemade is best and very easy to prepare…agreed on wht u said ….inspite of the instructions u are never sure if they are followed …cant trust no one now 😦

  2. Vaishali
    May 11, 2012

    MSG is banned in USA & bt used widely in India… Quite disappointing..

    • Interestingly enough, most food quality researches that have approved MSG usage have been American.
      Thank you for stopping by Vaishali!

    • jennifer
      December 3, 2012

      I am allergic to it and now living in the UAE. I am really swollen from the amts I have consumed not knowing it was there.

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