We’re almost four months into 2016, and after nine months of absolutely no MSG poisonings, I was stricken with a monstrous migraine headache earlier this week. The culprit? The simple additions of (my roommate’s) McCormick’s onion and garlic powders to a dish I had prepared for dinner. I woke up the next morning feeling like a freight train had just driven through my head. Two days later, my body was STILL recovering.
I absolutely should’ve known better. I clearly was not thinking. I had forgotten to buy fresh onions and garlic and took a shortcut. What I also failed to remember was that even a small amount of anything containing MSG can cause a huge reaction in me. I forgot the cardinal rule, which is that all seasonings, with the exception of salt and pepper, contain MSG, unless otherwise noted. Period.
All of them.
I visited a local supermarket today with my new roommate. She’s a fabulous cook, and very particular when it comes to the seasonings she uses. When we got to the aisle where the seasonings were, she clearly was not pleased.
Many of the seasonings on the shelves were generic no-name brands or imported from foreign countries. She buys McCormick brands exclusively. I began looking at the labels on a few of them only to find that none of them offered any listings of ingredients. Seasonings such as garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, curry, cinnamon — none of the bottles offered any information on the exact ingredients inside.
It should be noted that there is no law here in the states requiring a list of ingredients on seasoning labels. At this point, I limit my seasonings to sea salt, fresh black pepper and Lawry’s seasoned salt — which removed MSG from its product last summer, and proudly places an “MSG- Free” sticker on the front.
After getting so sick this week, I have reaffirmed that I will limit myself to only using salt, pepper, fresh onions, peppers and garlic in my cooking. No more powders. No shortcuts. No substitutions. Ever.
I’d gone months without any bouts of MSG poisoning — only to end up poisoning myself with powered seasonings. I am now more diligent than ever before.
If you have an MSG allergy — or are cooking for someone who does, toss away the onion and garlic powders and opt for pure, natural seasonings.
Next: Are energy bars ever safe for anyone with an MSG allergy?