Asia’s Crystal Meth


MSG was invented by a German chemist in 1866 and later developed into a bizarre flavor enhancer by the Japanese. A Revenge of the Axis Powers…

I say “bizarre” because the flavor has not yet been scientifically described – “not sweet, salty, sour, or bitter.” I think it simply sets the neurons of the taste buds on fire.

In the US, the FDA requires food to be labelled for MSG. It is not really safe nor unsafe, they say, as it falls into a gray area, as food “generally recognized as safe.”

For the FDA, the old adage, “when it doubt, throw it out,” has been replaced by “Just Eat It.”

Unfortunately, MSG is a staple spice in China. Chinese restaurants and food carts love to heap it on. Otherwise the food here is great. Enormous vegetables, real chicken, apples that taste like apples.

But MSG? Being of Japanese origin, perhaps the Chinese could reject it, but then again, many Chinese do like Japanese consumer items, and Japanese entertainment, including the racy kind.

For the longest time, I thought my nervous system was getting overloaded with caffeine, and it got so bad that I gave up my coffee. I was getting all jacked. Twitchy. Itchy. Scratchy. I blamed it on coffee, stupidly.

Walkin’ around picking at my skin, like a meth head who was jonesing. The symptoms persisted. I tweaked my diet, adding this, subtracting that, and narrowed the cuprit down to a large dish of green beans, with generous portions of MSG, that I ordered for lunch usually every other day.

Every time I ate that dish I would have this tinging sensation later. I traced it to that. I have been off MSG for more than a week. No symptoms. And I’m drinking more coffee than ever. Great stuff.

So my own conclusion is that MSG should be “generally recognized as toxic.”

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