Flavor enhancer MSG, monosodium glutamate is a spice of mischief. Made from the salt of a nonessential amino acid, this glutamic acid can naturally be found in milk, cheese, tomatoes, and many other foods. First isolated from seaweed in 1908, the powder rapidly became popular as a spice for processed and fast food. The flavor enhancers Accent and Ajinomoto were born.
According to the FDA, the body can process normal dosages of glutamate, which "plays an important role in normal functioning of the nervous system." Overload is mischief.
In 1968, the New England Journal of Medicine warned that MSG side effects included headaches and flushing of the skin. More mischief was found with advanced studies of MSG in the 80s and 90s.
While only 30% of adults are sensitive to MSG, research proved that asthma, heart irregularities, nausea, and depression are additional side effects which may happen right after eating food with MSG, or as much as 48 hours later.
MSG's popularity plummeted, and rightly so. Today fast food restaurants continue to use the stuff, and MSG abounds in frozen, canned, and commercially prepared foods. If you're not sure of your sensitivities, avoid MSG.
Read the ingredient labels and be careful. MSG is also found in Monopotassium Glutamate, Glutavene, Chinese seasoning, calcium caseinate, glutacyl, and hydrolyzed vegetable protein. Sneaky.
"All of life," said philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, "is a dispute over taste and tasting."
Mischief lurks. You can't be too careful.