Chinatown, San Francisco, CA (The Adobo Chronicles) – From Chinatowns to restaurant rows to mall food courts in America, Asian cuisine has always attracted the curious palates of the Western world.
But in a health-obsessed, culinary-correct American society, people are always on the lookout for food ingredients and additives that they are made to believe to be detrimental to their diet or allergic well-being. Like MSG. Monosodium Glutamate.
So in catering to Western whims, many Asian restaurants are fooling themselves for the sake of better business and patronage by eliminating MSG from their menu offerings. “No MSG” is a message that has kept these restaurants competitive as far as the eating out crowd is concerned.
However, there is no scientific evidence that MSG is bad for anyone’s diet or health, except for a few who may have allergic reactions, just like some people may have allergic reactions to peanuts or gluten.
For lack of space, we can’t go into the details except to refer our readers to the website of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which states in no uncertain terms that MSG is generally recognized as safe or GRAS (not grass, not gross). Here’s what FDA says about MSG.
A survey conducted by The Adobo Chronicles showed that majority of the Asian restaurant owners expressed remorse, not for having served menu items with MSG in the past, but for eliminating the additive in their cooking just so they don’t lose their Western customers.
Meanwhile, Asian households have been reported to be stocking up on their MSG. “Please pass the Ajinomoto,” said Manny D., a FIlipino food enthusiast we interviewed.