To many people, cooking with MSG (monosodium glutamate) and other strange sounding ingredients may seem like something to avoid. But according to food scientist and author Steve Witherly, who was profiled in a recent Business Insider article, MSG is perfectly safe.

Mr. Witherly states, “Believe it or not, most scientists agree on this point. Take it from the American Chemical Society, which says, ‘MSG can temporarily affect a select few when consumed in huge quantities on an empty stomach, but it’s perfectly safe for the vast majority of people.’”

According to the article, MSG’s bad reputation comes from a few early studies, including a 1968 report on “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” that blamed MSG for making people feel sick. In the decades since, however, there has been little support for the claim that MSG has prevalent negative effects. That sick feeling you get after stuffing your face with bad Chinese food could have to do with other ingredients or simply the act of overeating unhealthy food.

“MSG is pretty darn safe,” Witherly said. “We had research at UC Davis, when I was there, where we drank tumblers of it at about 25 grams, and nothing happened.”


Read the full article in Business Insider.

Note regarding MSG consumption: The U.S. Food & Drug Administration in its Q&A on monosodium glutamate states, “A typical serving of a food with added MSG contains less than 0.5 grams of MSG.”