On Friday night, I was asked to take part in a Giant Robot talk at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena. For my presentation, I showed the process and shared anecdotes pertaining to some of the more unusual articles over the magazine's 68-issue run. By far, the piece that received the strongest response was my essay about monosodium glutamate from GR66 (July-August 2010). Although it was anti- anti-MSG, it came off to many as pro-MSG. Does that make sense? To many in the audience, it didn't. There was an outpouring of rebuttals full of emotion and concern. Likewise, I actually received a letter from a reader who was worried about me poisoning myself and encouraging GR followers to do the same. Here's the article for your consideration. Pass it around and let me know what you think.
Decades before children’s toys made in China were discovered to be adorned with lead-based paint or White Rabbit Candy was found to include Melamine, there was monosodium glutamate. The fear it inspired was big enough to not only inspire a disease (“Chinese Food Syndrome”) but also start an industry (“No MSG” neon signage for restaurants).