I would hazard that “it depends”... MSG increases salivation and raises blood pressure slightly. So, a physiological affect is there.Lani wrote: ↑Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:41 amRemember Chinese restaurant syndrome? I still see some foods labelled "No MSG."
MSG in Chinese food isn't unhealthy -- you're just racist, activists say
https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/18/asia/chi ... index.html
It turns out that one paper claimed that msg caused "Chinese restaurant syndrome" - chest pain, burning sensations, etc. It has never been scientifically proven.
Chances are, you've eaten it. It's a common amino acid naturally found in foods like tomatoes and cheese, which people then figured out how to extract and ferment -- a process similar to how we make yogurt and wine.
This fermented MSG is now used to flavor lots of different foods like stews or chicken stock. It's so widely used because it taps into our fifth basic taste: umami (pronounced oo-maa-mee). Umami is less well known than the other tastes like saltiness or sweetness, but it's everywhere -- it's the complex, savory taste you find in mushrooms or Parmesan cheese.
The controversy sparked a broader discussion on the racially-driven lines drawn around which foods are "clean" and "sophisticated." Why, for instance, is Italian or French cuisine -- both foreign to the US -- seen as high-class fine dining, while Chinese or Thai food is still often regarded as quick, cheap, and low quality?
Bourdain, who traveled the world and showcased an extraordinary diversity of cultures and cuisines, was more explicit. "I think (MSG) is good stuff," he said in a 2016 episode of "Parts Unknown" filmed in China. "I don't react to it -- nobody does. It's a lie."
"You know what causes Chinese restaurant syndrome?" he added as he walked through the streets of Sichuan. "Racism."
The literature, after a quick look, is inconclusive.
BTW, sophisticated chefs consider there to be between 11 and 20 flavors, not five. Even restricting those to what is directly on the tongue leaves out some.
Regarding my normal “evolutionary perspective” (I don’t have much time)...
1. All cats are unable to taste “sweet” due to a mutation upstream.
2. All animals with a similar mutation (unable to taste sweetness) are pure predators.
3. Regarding animals that have a mutation and cannot taste umami— none of them chew their food, but just bolt it down— pelicans, seals, etc.