Monosodium Glutamate Is The Hidden Ingredient In YOUR Food That Makes Low Quality Foods Taste Good

Monosodium Glutamate Is The Hidden Ingredient In YOUR Food That Makes Low Quality Foods Taste Good

MSG has the potential to be harmful

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One of the top restaurants surrounding the University of Cincinnati is Keystone's Mac Shack, which specializes in serving made to order mac-and-cheese. The Elbow Macaroni is boiled in front of you, the ingredients are made fresh and once the mac and cheese comes out of the cheese melter, and the end product is really something from a dream. The mac-and-cheese is critically acclaimed to be among the best available anywhere, but I recently discovered the dark truth about this delicious food, and it's quite the tragedy.

The past three times I've had Mac Shack I've gotten a deep and severe headache, prompting me to look into one of the key ingredients in mac and cheese, leading me to a chemical compound that sounds a lot more familiar that it seems: Monosodium Glutamate, or MSG. MSG is not scientifically linked to headaches or any of the associated symptoms, however MSG symptom complex or Chinese Restaurant Syndrome, has been linked to adverse effects after consuming MSG.

So if MSG has the potential of being harmful, why do food companies use it anyway?

Food Technologists consider MSG a salivation enhancer and flavor potentiator because of its ability to modulate other human taste perceptions. The Guardian reports food companies use MSG and other glutamate additives to mimic natural savory flavors in ultra-processed products such as soup mixes, ready-made sauces, savory snacks, seasoned nuts, stock cubes and instant noodles.

So how do people with sensitivity to MSG respond to the the modern food culture. The general rule of thumb to follow is that if you have a sensitivity to MSG, avoid foods where critical ingredients are highly processed or not made fresh.

However, on the same vein, CRS doesn't affect everyone; it stands to reason that the entire Chinese food eating population isn't waking up every day with an MSG induced headache. MSG has been getting a terrible rep when in reality it is no different from the naturally occurring form of its ingredients: sodium, an element present in salt; and glutamate, one of the most common amino acids that your body uses to synthesize proteins.

Knowing what's in your food, and being aware of the potential side effects of hidden ingredients already puts you two steps ahead of the game.

The adage that I and billions of others follow when it comes to food is:

Fear the food (*but eat it anyways*).

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The Unspoken Dangers of 'Mukbang' Culture

Ever wondered why you can't stop clicking on these addictive, self-made eating shows?

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Unless you've been living under a rock for the past five years, you've probably heard of the internet trend commonly referred to as a mukbang, or "eating show." These self-produced video clips typically involve one hungry individual, their filming device, and an obscene amount of delicious foods.

Though these broadcasts originated all the way from South Korea (hence the foreign vocabulary), the growing popularity of eating videos has taken the internet by storm. Nowadays as you scroll through YouTube, you'll find an outrageous amount of uploads with titles like "10,000 CALORIE PASTA MUKBANG," "EATING EVERYTHING ON THE MCDONALD'S MENU," or "THE ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE CHALLENGE."

Popular 'mukbangers' such as Peggie Neo, Megan McCullom, and Steven Sushi have made a sizable profit off of their viral eating shows, some collecting tens of thousands of dollars in revenue.

So, what's the big deal you say? You order a large quantity of food, indulge in said food, film yourself completing this menial task, and upload to the internet for money and fame. On the outside, this may seem like a luxurious lifestyle, but behind the camera lens sits an individual battling their own demons and influencing the world of social media to partake in their harmful behaviors.

Mukbanger Livia Adams ("Alwayshungry" on YouTube) has opened up about her unhealthy relationship with food in the past, praising herself for fasting several hours in order to justify her over-indulgence on camera.

Similarly, internet sensation Trisha Paytas claims to diet and starve herself for weeks just to be able to satisfy her subscribers with epic mukbangs, which are essentially binges.

In all actuality, these social media celebrities are negatively impacting (and possibly triggering) vulnerable viewers.

Many fans only see the highlight reel of YouTubers shoveling bowls of cereal or boxes of doughnuts into their mouths, yet remain completely unaware of what truly goes on behind-the-scenes. Messages saying:

"I'm on a diet... watching this is giving me some sort of satisfaction, like as tho I ate, you know?"
"I watch these videos because I know I physically can't afford to eat like this because I gain weight too easily."
"When having an eating disorder, watching Trisha's mukbangs is sorta comforting in a way omg"

flood the comments sections of Paytas' videos. Quite obviously, fans young and old are heavily influenced by this content and continue to support these creators to fulfill a self-destructive need.

Additionally, famous mukbang accounts never seem to include the painful after-effects of their ginormous feasts in videos. Fitness model Stephanie Buttermore flaunts her slim physique just days after consuming over 10,000 calories for a challenge, giving the impression that her previous overindulgence had no repercussions on her health whatsoever. Because Buttermore is a trained, athletic young woman, she was able to quickly bounce back after a series of workouts and low-calorie meals.

On the contrary, if a sedentary woman of about the same age were to attempt this challenge, she would most likely feel sluggish, irritable, bloated, stomach discomfort, and even vomitous post challenge. Eating regularly like this could lead to bigger issues such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer. Unfortunately, because topics like these aren't glamorous and attractive to subscribers, mukbangers often edit them out.

Now don't get me wrong. Though not everyone who uploads a mukbang to the internet has an eating disorder or an evil agenda, they have to realize the kind of audience they're appealing to. This generation is more susceptible than ever to emulate the actions and words of their favorite celebrities. Young boys and girls look up to successful adults, and influencers should be remembered for the change they inspired, not the disease they encouraged.

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It’s Not The Super Bowl Unless You EAT Like YOU'RE Playing

I mean, I'm not wrong. I know I ate like they could have "put me in, coach."

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Step aside, Thanksgiving, there's a new holiday in town and it's called the Super Bowl. I had no idea until the other day that more calories are consumed during the Super Bowl, but if you really think about it, it kind of makes sense.

It's a time in American history, or at least that's how serious it seems to be, where every team across the nation has battled each other, down to the last two. As these extremely fit individuals run around on the screen, we're there on the other end just stuff, stuff, stuffing our faces.

It's like Super Bowl party hosts everywhere are competing for the best buffalo chicken dip, the best wings, the best beer stash, or who can arrange the best cheese platter. There's nothing like a Super Bowl party, or even better, being invited to multiple Super Bowl parties.

Let's admit, this year's Super Bowl was just downright boring, and I actually found myself eating so much more than usual. But why?

Was it because Goff just couldn't connect with any of his fellow teammates, or that their kicker just couldn't connect his kick for that last-stitch effort? Or maybe the fact that I knew I'd be getting numerous calls, texts, and Facebook posts from my mom congratulating Tom Brady on yet… another Super Bowl.

I always questioned why she did that, too, because I'm not a Patriots fan. I respect what they've created for themselves, but I've never been a fan. So, the only other explanation is to congratulate me on all of the food I stuffed my face with that day. Either way, it's so odd that no one really catches on to the amount of food they've consumed during the Super Bowl.

I know one thing is for sure, next year's Super Bowl is going to be a little different.

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