Posted by: conradvisionquest | January 15, 2010


Ok, I had always heard that MSG was bad, but why? And is it only found in Chinese food, or other stuff?  I got on the ‘puter recently to investigate.

What is MSG? It’s an additive that manufacturers use in their products to supposedly enhance flavor.   But there are more studies coming out that investigate whether or not MSG is addictive.  That’s right, addictive like a drug, which is what it is.  This would explain another reason why manufacturers use it.  “Hey man, you wanna party?”  “Suuuure! I got some soy sauce in my purse.  I’ll meet you in the bathroom in 10!”  Oh, sorry.

Why is MSG bad for you? Well, let’s see… According to Truth in Labeling‘s web site: “Skin rash, nausea, migraine headache, heart irregularities, seizures, and depression are examples of adverse reactions that have been reported following ingestion of MSG.” Also resulting from the ingestion of MSG are “pathological conditions such as addiction, stroke, epilepsy, brain trauma, multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, AIDS dementia, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, and degenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).”  Wow, this does NOT sound like something I want in my body!

What foods contain MSG? Well, the more important question to ask is: Where is MSG hidden?  The answer, again according to Truth in Labeling…

MSG can be used (and hidden) in processed food, dietary supplements, cosmetics, personal care products, and drugs.  It can be used in waxes applied to fresh fruits and vegetables.  It can be used as ingredients in pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers, and plant growth enhancers — remaining in the edible portion of the plant or on the edible portion of the plant when its leaves, fruits, nuts, grains, and other edible parts are brought to market.

After learning a little bit about MSG and its harmful effects, I started reading labels at the grocery store.  I was surprised to learn that MSG is in many of the foods I used to buy.  The trick is learning to spot it.  The common ingredient to look for is monosodium glutamate, but MSG can also wear many disguises.   Check out this article and this one to help you learn to read labeling better.  Unfortunately for the unsuspecting consumer, products labeled “NO MSG” or “NO ADDED MSG” can contain, you guessed it, MSG.  This is because sometimes MSG is created in the processing of the product, therefor they can say it has not been added.  Further proof to me that I would rather grow my own food than attempt to figure out all this labeling CRAP!

Check out this web site that talks about what to avoid and foods that are MSG free.   It claims to be created by former food process engineer and food scientist, Carol Hoernlein, who no longer works for the food industry. “The  mission of MSGTruth, is to give you unbiased information based on science, not profit.”

We humans have a funny way of trying to make what occurs naturally better, faster, cheaper, more profitable, more convenient, and more abundant.  From my experience, there are no short cuts.  I’ll take a huge zucchini squash from my backyard garden and homemade lemonade any day of the week, versus over-processed, over-chemicaled, factory-farmed CRAP that big business tries to pass off as food.  It’s amazing what some people will do for money.  That’s why it’s so important for us, as conscious consumers, to ASK questions, don’t take answers at face value, gather more information, and decide for yourself.  Don’t be sheeple, people!

Got any “No MSG” products that you use and trust?  Interesting articles to share?  Show and tell with a comment…



  1. I’m so glad you wrote about this. (Also, I say “‘puter” all the time!) MSG seems to be in virtually everything these days. I am horribly sensitive to it, and my way of detecting it in foods is this: 1. The food is so amazingly “delicious” that my mouth waters (literally) in anticipation of the next bite, and so I don’t even fully want to chew my food (just shovel it in, basically.) 2. I get sudden anxiety and heart palpitations shortly after my food has been eaten. These two “symptoms” were how I discovered MSG, what it is, and that I’m horribly sensitive to it. MSG’s right down there with Aspartame, which is another horrible chemical added to food, drinks and all gum/bubblegum.

    • i also get those palpitations after eating something with MSG. and it IS in everything! why do they have to make it SO difficult to eat healthy? jerkies. it’s amazing what’s “allowed” to be put in “food” and people don’t even know what they are eating. if they did, they wouldn’t.

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