It’s in chips, crackers, sauce, sausages, burgers, bacon and Chinese chop suey. It’s in you and it’s in your grandmother, if she’s still alive. I’d like to claim it’s not in me but hey, I’m not perfect.
Mono-sodium glutamate. Better known as MSG. Or, as it’s referred to on the packaging of that processed rubbish you’re hoovering, “flavours”. The magic ingredient that earned the mastermind of KFC’s secret “herbs and spices” his millions.
We all know what it is, and that it’s not good. But most of us don’t give a crap because it tastes so good. It’s what keeps us grabbing more Rashuns/Burger Rings/wasabi peas or piling up our plate up at the Chinese smorgasbord. The more we eat, the more we want. And the fatter we – and Colonel Sanders’ wallet – gets.
WHY IT’S SHIT
- the glutamic acid in MSG is absorbed very quickly in your gastrointestinal tract, causing a spike in your blood plasma levels of glutamate. To cut a long story short, this screws with the parts of your brain that control appetite, basically making you feel hungry. Endlessly hungry. Insatiable. That’s where the term Chinese Restaurant Syndrome comes from.
- High levels of glutamic acid have been shown to cause BRAIN DAMAGE. Well, in mice. But guess what – we’re animals, too.
- Post-MSG symptoms include headaches, nausea, flushing, chest pain, sweating and heart palpitations. In a nutshell, not feeling so flash. But still craving two-minute noodles.
- The majority of foods containing MSG also contain high levels of salt, fat, sugar and other not-good-for-you crap. But you keep eating. Eating, eating, eating… until guess what, chump? You just wolfed down 900 calories of artery-hardening, waist-expanding, chin-multiplying rubbish. Celery for the rest of the week, then?
- Every food safety authority will tell you that MSG is fine, just fine. But let’s think for a minute about who pays those shiny-faced BMW-driving knobs sitting at their round tables. Not the organic apple industry, my friend.
So that’s my beef with MSG. Long term, there isn’t any evidence of what it’s doing to us, but I think we just need to look at the general shittiness of Western health to get our answer. Every second kid has ADD/ADHD/ADwhateverelse, their parents have heart disease and/or high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol, the rest of us are fat or depressed or both.
Oh, it’s definitely not all Mr MSG’s fault. He’s just one of the many, many players in a big game of What’s Wrong With Modern Life. But he’s up there with Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong.