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?”
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.
“Oh, we always make sure to ask for no MSG when we eat Chinese food.” “I never allow my kids to eat anything with MSG.” “We’d never eat at any restaurant that uses MSG.” “It’s horrendous that MSG is even allowed to be used in food that could be given to kids.”
These are comments I’ve actually heard from consumers and patients. What these same consumers have actually done is let me know they are very misinformed. How? Read on.
We may eat a lot of food additives, but most consumers know very little about them. These often-misunderstood substances go by unwieldy names like “diacetyl” or “azodicarbonamide.” They are in everything from salad dressings to Twinkies. But how many of us actually know what they look like or, more importantly, what they’re doing in our food?
Deep thoughts about umami, the fifth taste, from Tasting Table’s food editor, Andy Baraghani in this recently released video. Baraghani discusses easy ways to incorporate umami into your dishes, including using “good old-fashioned MSG.”