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Forwarded Message:
Subj: MSG problems
Date: 4/8/2007 5:43:12 P.M. Pacific Standard Time (Mexi
From: J
To: adandjack@aol.com
Sent from the Internet (Details) 

About ten years ago I was having trouble sleeping some nights -- totally losing an entire night's sleep.  After extensive record-keeping, it became apparent that it happened when I had eaten in certain restaurants.  For example, we went to Kentucky Fried Chicken places and Chinese food places 2-5 times a week while I was working.  To make a long story short, I was able to identify the places where I had eaten and later, I found it was definitely caused by MSG and/or foods that have the same effect as MSG.
The loss of sleep is in itself a serious problem, but I also notice arhythmia going on at the same time -- and rapid heartbeat, also.  It took me awhile to realize it was something I was getting in food.  The symptoms are always the same:  urinary frequency, rapid heartbeat, inability to sleep, and -- really bad -- some song or poem or such as that going "round and round" in my head.  All night long having even a good song going on in my head is terrible!
When I cook and eat at home, and do not use products containing MSG, I don't have the problem.  It has caused me basically to quit eating out very much except at certain places that I have identified as not using MSG through trial and error.
It doesn't  help a lot to ask the wait-staff people if they use MSG in the kitchen.  They don't know what we are talking about most of the time.  We now insist we talk with the chef to find out what they season things with and questions such as that.  We have actually found a couple of places that hand out a list of the foods they prepare that contain MSG.  Others list foods that do NOT have MSG.  There is a Chinese food place near us where they do not use MSG now because the owner (an elderly Chinese man) says it nearly killed him before he discovered what the problem was.  We can eat there safely.  Another Chinese food buffet knows exactly which foods to avoid.  The owner points them out to us and we can also eat there safely.
Chinese restaurants get blamed a lot, but they actually know when they put it in their foods.  Many restaurants that prepare "American" food don't even know they are using it.
However, restaurants may not add MSG or Accent, but they are using foods that contain it -- like broth.  We asks the chef if they boil their own chicken for soup or if they get the broth from a can.  Many proudly say they get the broth from a can and we walk out.
I read labels carefully and do not buy anything that MIGHT contain MSG.  This has caused quite a change in my cooking habits -- no soups or broth products, and no flavored salts (unless I make them myself from known MSG free products).
My husband laughed at this at first, but he no longer is laughing about it because now he has the same problems as I do with MSG and related products.
I wish MSG could be banned from food because I know for a fact that it does damage.

850 DeWitt Place, Suite 20B, Chicago, IL  60611
adandjack@aol.com 858/481-9333 http://www.truthinlabeling.org

This page was last updated on February 29, 2008.