monosodium glutamate

Everything is about racism these days. From politics to sports, somebody, somewhere, wants you to feel bad because something might be racist.

This uniquely American tendency to assign racism where none exists has struck again in yet another bizarre way: Celebrity chef David Chang says that Americans are racist toward Chinese food.

Before we (dumpster) dive into this peculiar accusation, let's first pause to ask whether it might even remotely be true. Consider McDonald's and Starbucks. Nothing is more American than cheap fast food and fancy, overpriced coffee. There are just over 14,000 McDonald's restaurants and just under...

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 11.21.01 AMWho hasn't heard of the so-called "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome," complete with symptoms such as headaches, flushing, sweating, heart palpitations and more?

Since the 1960s this collection of ailments has been ascribed to the consumption of monosodium glutamate, or MSG, which is often found in Chinese foods, as well as in Japanese and Korean cuisines as a flavor enhancer.

MSG is composed of the naturally-occurring amino acid glutamate, with one atom of sodium attached to each...