Lesson: DON’T EAT THAT! (C1)

2. All about MSG

a. In a moment, we’re going to watch a video about Monosodium Glutamate, or MSG. First, let’s see what you know about MSG. Can you answer these three questions?

  • What is it?
  • How is it typically used?
  • Why has it been controversial?

b. Okay, now let’s listen, with these three questions in mind. How are they answered in the video?

c. True or False?

  • (i) In his letter to the medical journal, Dr Robert Ho Man Kwok presented firm evidence that his headache was caused by eating MSG.
  • (ii) Glutamate is produced naturally by the human body.
  • (iii) An umami taste is produced by mixing sweet, sour, bitter and salty foods in a particular way.
  • (iv) MSG was invented as a way of increasing the umami taste of any dish.
  • (v) At the time of the letter, it was unclear whether MSG was safe or not.
  • (vi) The narrator suggests that giving the symptoms the name ‘Chinese Restaurant Syndrome’ contributed to fear about the health risks of MSG.
  • (vii) According to the narrator, it’s likely that some people could have significant side effects from even small amounts of MSG.

Answers to this page are here.

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