Dan Pashman, author, public speaker, host and self-described “eater, not foodie,” started his year off right. In January, Pashman’s podcast, The Sporkful, released an episode titled “This Podcast Contains MSG.” The two-time James Beard nominated podcast began the episode by playing media clips from horrified people claiming to have fallen ill due to MSG exposure. Pashman takes over the narration and describes the story of Dr. Ho Man Kwok’s personal anecdotal speculation that led to the coining of the phrase Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.
Cinephiles love this time of year; it’s awards season! It’s the period from December to early March when a majority of the entertainment industry gives recognition to one another and occasionally allows viewers to participate by voting. There’s something great about watching my favorite celebrities get dressed up in elaborate outfits, cry and laugh while accepting well-deserved awards and giving incredible speeches.
For those of us who are into film, fashion and food, the best part about awards season are the viewing parties. We discuss outfit choices, our favorite categories and nominees, cheer on winners and… eat!
Only a few days ago, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics celebrated its 100th anniversary Food Nutrition Conference and Exhibition (FNCE) in Chicago, Illinois. Many members of the MSGdish team were there attending sessions, browsing the trade show floor and making new connections in the food world. MSGdish blogger and consultant Chef Chris Koetke was at FNCE too.
In case you missed this informative article about “What is MSG,” published in the Huffington Post this month…
Author Julie R. Thomson noted: “MSG is one of the most notorious ingredients in the United States. The Japanese ingredient that’s commonly used in Chinese restaurants stateside, has been blamed for making people feel ill with symptoms ranging from headaches to asthma. (This reaction came to be known as Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.)”
“Many studies have been done to determine a relationship between the consumption of MSG and the symptoms that comprise the syndrome mentioned above, but they have failed to find a link.”
This summer, Kewpie, a Japanese food brand, released their altered formula for mayonnaise—Kewpie mayo distributed in the U.S. now excludes the ingredient that made foodies fall in love with it. Despite a clean bill of health from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), in the U.S. monosodium glutamate (MSG) remains a misunderstood food ingredient that causes concern among some consumers. So Kewpie replaced it with yeast extract, which is a naturally occurring source of glutamate.