MSG: Toxic or Delicious?
Taught By: Sarah Tracy
Since the 1960s, the flavor enhancer MSG has been the subject of enormous popular and scientific commentary. It is the source of the infamous “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” and a racist moral panic through the 1970-80s. It has been studied for its medical benefits and its possible toxic effects. In the twenty-first century, MSG has become closely associated with the taste sensation umami (translated from Japanese as “savory delicious”). So which is it? Is MSG toxic, or is it just delicious? This class uses historical methods to examine the science, culture, and politics behind MSG’s changing definition in the United States. Students will adopt science and technology, sensory, critical literary, feminist, and post-colonial studies approaches to examine a gastronomic phenomenon that spans the Pacific and the twentieth century.
College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)
Department: Food Studies (NFDS)
Campus: Online (DL)
Course Format: Seminar (R)
Max Enrollment: 18
Enrollment Status: Open*
*Enrollment status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 11:52am 4/23/2019