How the Ancient Romans Made MSG

Fall Of Roman EmpireSome researchers contend this food habit helped influence the decline the Roman Empire. Here’s a balanced look at MSG from Esther Inglis-Arkell on io9.com:

Monosodium glutamate is a food additive that enhances flavor. Although it’s frowned upon today, the ancient Romans loved it and ate it with almost every meal.

There’s been some debate over what exactly monosodium glutamate does to people. Some people say it gives them severe headaches, numbness, weakness, and even heart palpitations. Scientists could confirm that it does give some people short-lived reactions, but no tests showed that it had long-term health effects. Some say that it’s an addictive substance which causes people to crave it repeatedly if they try it too often. Others say it’s just a flavor enhancer, and people crave it because it makes things taste better.

The chemical is listed as ‘safe’ by the FDA, although they do require it to be clearly listed as an additive in any food product that uses it. It’s most often found in canned soups and vegetables. Modern MSG is manufactured using genetically engineered bacteria. They take in nutrients and excrete glutamic acid. The acid is concentrated, and sodium is added to make the final product.

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  • DRLECHCTER

    Sounds like disinfo to me, “The chemical is listed as ’safe’ by the FDA, although they do require it to be clearly listed as an additive in any food product that uses it”. That is only half the story. It is in many many foods without being labeled msg. It can be called natural flavors and a bunch of other innocent sounding names, and it is far from harmless. do some research, or just go to mcdonalds and and have a nice big soma and trust the system that has brought the world so many good things

  • DRLECHCTER

    Sounds like disinfo to me, “The chemical is listed as ’safe’ by the FDA, although they do require it to be clearly listed as an additive in any food product that uses it”. That is only half the story. It is in many many foods without being labeled msg. It can be called natural flavors and a bunch of other innocent sounding names, and it is far from harmless. do some research, or just go to mcdonalds and and have a nice big soma and trust the system that has brought the world so many good things

    • JoiquimCouteau

      Or “hydrolyzed __ protein”

  • Anonymous

    Or “hydrolyzed __ protein”

  • Bud Bundy

    the Romans also enjoyed Lead and thought it added flavor to food.

  • Bud Bundy

    the Romans also enjoyed Lead and thought it added flavor to food.

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