Is There Evidence to Back Up Claims Against MSG?

Chinese Restaurant Syndrome

A recent investigative report by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which is the public-service broadcaster of the United Kingdom, focuses on this topic: “Monosodium glutamate is often blamed for a range of nasty side effects. But is there evidence to back up these MSG claims?”

Gather Round for an Umami Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving umami

Planning your Thanksgiving menu? You might not realize it, but there’s a good chance that you’re thinking umami, too. Yes, I know the Japanese word umami (loosely translated as deliciousness) seems pretty far away from the concept of this quintessential American feast, but if you think about it, creating a delicious traditional Thanksgiving meal relies on lots of savory dishes that do contribute their fair share of umami taste.

How Do You Describe the Umami Taste?

Taste and good-tasting food

In some of the blogs here at, my fellow bloggers (all of whom are food and/or nutrition professionals) have discussed the fifth taste – umami – using various terms. We have also cited published articles that discuss the savoriness of the umami taste.

Have you thought about what umami tastes like? Here’s a way to find out using a quick taste test that I learned from a chef.

Food Unwrapped Documentary: “Are alarming headlines about MSG justified?”

MSG Documentary

Food Unwrapped, the British television documentary series, in its season 6 premiere episode (airing on the 31st of August, 2015) addresses the question: “Are alarming headlines about MSG justified?”

Not Sure What to Fix for Dinner? Savory Homemade Soup will Hit the Spot

homemade soup

Now that autumn is officially here, thoughts start turning to favorite “cooler weather” foods. One of them, at least in my home, is piping hot homemade soup. It has become our go-to food when nothing else sounds appetizing. Be it homemade chicken noodle, navy bean with ham or a unique vegetable soup, a variety of soups show up on the menu weekly and more often during chilly months.

I usually choose recipes that are rich in umami because they are more satisfying than soups that are not savory in nature. Any recipe that has glutamate-rich – aka umami – ingredients (e.g., meat, cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms) will be a winner at my home. Adding some monosodium glutamate (MSG) in place of salt also makes any hearty soup taste better while reducing the sodium.