A substance added to food to trick the stomach into feeling full. Wears off after half an hour. MSG is used most often in buffet-style restaurants and Chinese food restaurants to help maximize profits by saving food resources.
This chemical is an additive which is used in many types of foods including pre-packaged foods such as Doritos and Cheetos, as well as fresh foods such as Chinese and Japanese cuisine. It is usually found most abundantly in ramen.
The FDA classifies MSG as safe - however, some people do have reactions to the substance that include headaches, nausea, etc. Additionally, some people feel that MSG is a widespread cause of cancer, suicide, and the like (for example: www.msgtruth.org). These allegations are regarded by most scientists as complete nonsense], and the allegations are made only by "off-the-wall" scientific groups, these groups being not unlike fundamentalist]s in terms of absurdity.
Contrary to popular belief and the other definitions found here, MSG is primarily used in order to stimulate the sensory taste umami]. (American]s, of course, do not using words that are not "American", and thus bastardized the word into "savoriness".)
In Asian cuisine, MSG is used abundantly only in cheaper or pre-packaged foods. In finer Asian cuisine, MSG is used sparingly or, as some chefs find MSG to be "cheating", not at all.
"Part of the reason ramen] tastes so good is because of the MSG used in it"
"The fundamentalist] denounced MSG as sinful towards God"
Adding MSG to common foods found in your local Ranch 99 market was not difficult, since Monosodium Glutamate is practically the only thing in Oriental cuisine ("Chinese food") that tastes good to non-Asians.