What IS Monosodium Glutamate aka: MSG?

Truly, it’s not a surprise that we’ve been lied to by the Big Food industry and our Government. To this day, they both tell us MSG is fine, even in large amounts. That is simply not true.

I’ll try not to get all technical on you, but it’s important you know what monosodium glutamate really is.

Remember the Periodic Table of Elements from school? Thought you’d never use that, eh?

Let’s use H2O as a brief refresher. Two molecules of hydrogen combined with one molecule of oxygen creates water. Hydrogen alone is gas, oxygen alone is gas, but combined have something essential to life…water.

So one (mono) salt (sodium) atom is stuck to the amino acid glutamate.

Amino acids make up proteins and all proteins are made up of the twenty varieties of naturally occurring amino acids. Nine amino acids are essential, meaning we must get them from our food sources because our bodies cannot manufacture them.  Eleven  amino acids are considered non-essential because our bodies can build them from chemicals already present. Glutamic acid is one of those non-essential amino acids.

From here it gets all complicated and scientific, but I’ll try to bring it to layman’s terms. Since our bodies produce glutamic acid on their own, it is not recognized as an allergen. However, when there is an excess of it, our immune system detects and attacks the means by which glutamate is metabolized…and that’s where the trouble lies.  (for further reading try this and this.)

Companies, government, (the liars in my opinion) get away with saying that MSG is not harmful because it is “natural.”  Yes. It is. Arsenic and mercury are also natural but I don’t want my breakfast sausage, my broth, and my gravy sprinkled with them. Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s good. And an imbalance of this amino acid tells our bodies something is terribly wrong and our brains try to fix the problem, thus creating a chain of problems since the brain was lied to in the first place.

Why do companies use MSG? Bottom line? To make their products seem real. Food has less actual real food in it than ever before. Glutamic acid is detected by taste buds to signal the brain and tell it, “Hey, this is a protein, we need to eat this.”  Our taste buds are designed to discern real food from inedible matter and MSG is the deceptive device the food industry relies upon to get consumers to eat a bunch of crap the body would vehemently reject.

Next, we’ll talk about where MSG hides.

*photo credit: ThinkGeek




Michelle was forced into an MSG-free life when she found out she was allergic. She’s been eliminating it (and all of the names it hides) from her diet since 2006. This has also led her to a “safe food” list which includes virtually nothing artificial, no preservatives, and she has recently moved towards organic and non-gmo foods.

Michelle is a homeshooling mom, wife to Phil, grandma, writer, editor, photographer, and mixed media artist. You can find her at MichellePendergrass, VisualPrayer, The Midnight Diner, and Relief Journal.


One Response to What IS Monosodium Glutamate aka: MSG?
  1. […] Click on over to Food (Just sayin’) to find out. Filed Under: Food (just sayin') About Michelle PendergrassI'm a Bible reading, horror writing, blue-blooded, Southern fiction reading, happily married, homeschooling Christian. And if that doesn't make you go Poltergeist on me, stick around for the raw potato-eating, wine drinking, country music listening, Coach purse carrying, bass fishing other half of me. […]

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