MSG is monosodium glutamate. It is probably the most popular flavor enhancer throughout the globe. Discovered by Professor Kidune Ikeda of Tokyo Imperial University in the 1908, MSG has created an unhealthy reputation because of its undesirable effects on some people.
The FDA has categorized MSG as GRAS or Generally Recognized as Safe. However, monosodium glutamate (MSG) has been cited to cause migraine, insomnia, depression, anxiety and cognitive disorders. It is also linked to obesity as it can be very addicting in food. MSG can also cause palpitation, hypotension or hypertension, stomach pains, blurred vision, dizziness and even hives.
In Asian countries, MSG has remained a favorite. Interestingly, in some parts of the Philippines, MSG is also used to sedate talkative drunk individuals.
Annoying drinkers and the magic of MSG
Generally, there are two types of drinkers – those who drink responsibly and those who do not. While the first type enjoys more of the company with friends or family, the second one drinks more than he can handle, paying more attention to the alcohol rather than his group. Thus, irresponsible drinkers are likable to be destructive to himself and to the people around him. Irresponsible drinkers can really be annoying too, as they can harass anyone. With or without real intention, they can do or say the most offensive things that can end up to violence.
In Quezon province Philippines, where tuba or lambanog (coconut wine) is usually produced, some residents (great drinkers, in particular) know how to take care of an annoying drinker. They can manage to put a troublesome drunk to sleep by sprinkling a pinch of Ajinomoto (MSG) to his drink (eg. shot of brandy, rum, gin). This may sound weird but does work. It’s probably the tranquilizing effect of liquor mixed with the MSG’s dizzying effect.
Using MSG to sedate someone may not be recommendable though. MSG has been known to be a flavor enhancer; people should stick to that idea. Then, again ….
© Phoenix Montoya @ June 22, 2012