©FASTILY, CC BY-SA 4.0
, via Wikimedia Commons
- soar /sawr/
- recognition /rek-uhg-NISH-uhn/
- perception /per-SEP-shuhn /
- persist /per-SIST/
- lobby /LOB-ee /
[verb] – to rise very quickly to a high level
The price of the stock soared after the positive report was released.
[noun] – If you are given recognition, people show admiration and respect for your achievements
The artist’s talent gained recognition when their artwork was featured in an international documentary.
[noun] – a belief or opinion, often held by many people and based on how things seem
The public’s perception of the brand shifted after the successful rebranding campaign.
[verb] – to continue to exist past the usual time
The rain persisted throughout the day, making it difficult to go outside.
[verb] – to try to persuade a politician, the government, or an official group that a particular thing should or should not happen, or that a law should be changed
The group plans to lobby the government for stricter regulations on single-use plastic.
However, in 1968, negative perceptions arose after a doctor linked MSG to symptoms called “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.” Despite scientific trials proving otherwise, MSG sensitivity claims persist. Nevertheless, government organizations worldwide consider MSG safe for consumption and recognize its potential to reduce sodium intake. Ajinomoto, the leading producer of MSG, actively works to change attitudes by challenging misconceptions and educating the public. They successfully lobbied Merriam-Webster to revise the definition of “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” and hold symposiums on MSG and umami. Chefs like Eng openly discuss and include MSG on their menus, contributing to the gradual change in perception. Eng emphasizes that MSG is not a shortcut but rather a complement to traditional cooking methods at Bonnie’s. While health concerns exist, embracing MSG helps overcome its negative reputation. As attitudes shift, MSG’s history and production process are showcased at Ajinomoto’s visitors’ center, engaging the public in learning about umami.
- Have you ever dined at a restaurant that openly embraces the use of MSG in their dishes? If so, how did it impact your dining experience and perception of MSG?
- What are your thoughts on the persistent negative perceptions surrounding MSG, despite scientific evidence supporting its safety? How has this influenced your own views on its use in cooking?
- In your own culinary preferences, do you prioritize avoiding MSG or other food additives?
- Why do negative perceptions about MSG, such as “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome,” persist despite scientific evidence proving its safety?
- How does the inclusion of MSG on menus by chefs contribute to changing public perceptions about its use in cooking?