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Fancy chinese restaurant gives mixed ...

Battling the MSG Myth » "Help! I Have a Question" » Fancy chinese restaurant gives mixed answers about having MSG « Previous Next »

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Posted on Sunday, May 25, 2014 - 11:43 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A fancy chinese restaurant that I've been to gives mixed answers about whether or not they have MSG. Their website says that they never use MSG, and when I asked a waiter to confirm that he said that it's true. Someone else that I know asked a different waiter who replied, "Of course we use MSG."

So, which is it? Do they use it or don't they? Their food doesn't taste overly sweet or salty, and I don't feel any symptoms that stand out after eating there, so maybe they really don't use MSG. I don't know who or what to believe.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Sunday, May 25, 2014 - 12:33 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

They can legally and legitimately say they don't because there are over 30 other additives that contain the main component of MSG (free-glutamic acid). Of course they put it in most of their dishes. They can probably prepare something like steamed vegetables without adding it for you.
Jerry Story
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Posted on Monday, May 26, 2014 - 4:42 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My rules about restaurants:

1. All restaurants are guilty until proved innocent.

2. Any evidence that they are innocent is out of order.
Posted From:
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - 9:12 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

(This is Lisa S, not the OP, but for some reason it won't put my name in anymore).

I'm at the other end of the opinion spectrum about restaurants. I have to say that where I live in Colorado, Asian restaurants are one of the most likely places for me to be able to eat out safely because many of them make their own stock, sauces, etc. I have to put in the work up front, usually by calling in advance and talking with someone at an "off" time. I have them check the sauces and jars of anything they put in a particular dish (whichever is most likely to be safe).

Over and over, I've found places that say "no MSG" but they are using pre-made sauces. But almost always I can find a dish without those sauces.

However, I don't ever eat at a place that says "we use MSG but will leave it out for you" -- that's a recipe for disaster in my experience as there will be no way to avoid it.

But if you are still figuring out what MSG does to your system and it's not obvious yet, I would not eat at this place; it feels too risky. If you do choose to eat there, I would chat with a chef on an off-time, and ask about jarred hoisin sauce, soy sauce, stock base, etc.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, May 30, 2014 - 6:37 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't eat out very much at all myself, but a few years ago I used to go out for lunch pretty regularly. I got lunch at a Chinese place that said they didn't use MSG, but I had an awful reaction one day after eating something there.

I went back a few days later, and after some questioning I asked to read the label for the sauce they used. One of the ingredients was called simply "flavor enhancer" - I kid you not. Obviously MSG, but they're not going to see it unless they know what to look for.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, May 31, 2014 - 6:12 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Not only would the employees not know, but the patrons as well. Most people do not know much about free-glutamic acid, or MSG, or any of it's cousins. I have friends that I've explained it to multiple times and they still don't get it.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2014 - 3:02 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I pretty much agree with Jerry. I think that all restaurants should be required by law to list ingredients. I rarely eat out. I'll sometimes get sashimi or nigiri at sushi restaurants without wasabi (and I make sure the sushi rice doesn't contain seaweed). Some might react to the vinegar in the rice, but it doesn't bother me. But this is a rare occurrence for me as all the fish is likely farmed and fed an unspeakable GMO diet. I was pretty stoked about Cafe Gratitude in Los Angeles (and some other locations), because they use minimal MSG. By minimal I mean many of their sauces contain nutritional yeast and many of their items include tamari. However they have a book that lists every single ingredient of every item, condiment, side, etc. Every restaurant should do this. And even at that, at this point I'm a little disillusioned with their menu because I don't think I should be paying for xanthan gum in my organic food. The only restaurant I truly respect 100% is Hu Kitchen in New York. The only item I have to avoid is the kale chips (they contain nutritional yeast).
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, June 09, 2014 - 7:29 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Miraculously, Chipotle actually uses minimal MSG. I was pretty shocked.

I still wouldn't eat there, though, as they don't use organic/pasture centered meats and serve GMOs, ingredients enriched with synthetic vitamins, hydrogenated oils and preservatives. But I'll be honest when I say I was d*mn surprised at how clean their ingredients are compared to other fast food restaurants.

The only hidden source of MSG would be the "Organic Nonfat Dry Milk Solids" in their sour cream. Would definitely steer clear of the tortillas, though--I don't like the idea of putting aluminum in food.

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