Monday, May 14, 2007

Just Say "No" to MSG!

Lately, I've been on sort of "green" kick and it has spread to what I eat. While I've never been one to munch on unhealthy things ; chips or drink tons of soda, I've been considering how I can make my diet healthier overall. The other day one of my friends told me I should cut out salt of my diet, and I easily responded I didn't salt my food.

Then she asked if I used Sazon or Adobo in my food, to which I replied "of course, I do," I mean what good Puerto Rican cook doesn't, right? That's when her tsk-tsking began - I went home and checked the labels and found that my adobo was obscenely high in sodium and that my sazon was not only high in salt but also contained a lot of MSG.

I did make an attempt to not use those products and my dinner turned out badly, the food was bland and missing it usual sabrosura.

I, then bought the new reduced sodium Adobo, and the "natural" Sazon to my dismay however, both products are very high in MSG. Now while some argue that MSG is not harmful, i.e., Wikipedia, it does note here as well that MSG has an addictive type of quality (read: crack) that has induced obesity in lab rats.

I also found this which doesn't seem like a very credible read but if you want to be petrified, then feel free to check it out:

Not cool, man!

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 (Photo: minusbaby)
So what's a girl to do, when diabetes, lupus, high blood pressure and even autism have reared their ugly head in her gene pool? Well, I decided that unless Goya and all the other ethnic seasoning companies do something serious about lowering the levels of sodium and other "ingredients/chemicals" in our food, I'm going to go the DIY route.

And, I welcome you to join me! So in that light, I'm adding some DIY seasoning recipes with no preservatives (and better for your wallet too).

Homemade Sazon

Latino garlic-pepper-vinegar marinade

Puerto Rican adobo powder

Puerto Rican green sofrito

I'm sure that if you google these condiments you will find an array of ethnically customized versions of all the above.

So get in the kitchen, have fun and stay healthy!


  1. What about azucar? ?

    I just found your blog. Fun stuff that I will have to come back to!

  2. To think that I have used sazon in all of my recipes, thanks for the info. I really like the links and will be putting them to good use. Let me know how your cooking turns out.

  3. Latino Pundit11:25 AM

    I will be home brewing some things now - thanks.

  4. Anonymous2:27 PM

    Even commercially-made Mojo Criollo is made by some brands w/ the unnecessary MSG. I am so glad that a latino has given the rest of us the truth. I, of course, knew the risks MSG could pose to one's health but even Badia has a sazon Tropical without MSG that taste almost similar to it's Sazon Completa with MSG.

    So read the labels.

    Some brands have it and others do not.

    1. Anonymous1:28 PM

      The Badia version is just as bad. Has ingredients that go with the free glutamate.

  5. Anonymous12:15 PM

    Wow great Post! I will try your homeade sazon recipe too. Also I think that all of us should write a letter or email to Goya telling them that we will ban their products until they get rid of the msg. Or maybe you can start a petition that we can all sign.. ??

  6. I am so cheerful that a latino has specified the relax of us the truth.Goya Products are trusted all over the world for the reliable foods and seasoning of the Mexican and Latin cooking. Goya Products

  7. OK I'm so late to this game! I see this was posted in 2007! But I've been on a search for an Adobo substitute, Being Puerto Rican as well I need my food full of flavor! Thanks for these tips!

  8. Great to be visiting your blog again, it continues to be months for me. Well this post that i’ve been waited for so lengthy. I will need this post to total my assignment within the university, and it has exact same topic together with your article. Thanks, excellent share.

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  11. Anonymous1:08 PM

    Please be aware that the FDA only requires companies to list MSG if there product has 99% MSG, so if it has 98% MSG they can say that it's MSG Free and they are now using disguise names for MSG or just food additives that always have MSG in them like the following: Monosodium Glutamate,Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein,Hydrolyzed Protein, Hydrolyzed Plant Protein,Plant Protein Extract,Sodium Caseinate
    Calcium Caseinate,Yeast Extract
    Textured Protein (Including TVP)
    Autolyzed Yeast,Hydrolyzed Oat Flour,and Corn Oil. The next following may contain MSG and they are: Carrageenan,Enzymes,Soy Protein Concentrate,Soy Protein Isolate,and Whey Protein Concentrate. Please become familiar with these terms and read the labels and chances are if you eat out you are getting MSG, even if they say its MSG Free.

  12. Great post. I was pretty devastated myself. Me the guy that preaches reading labels never bothered to notice that my favorite seasonings since birth were chock full of MSG! I'm thankful I hadn't posted any recipes yet with them. I was rather upset that Goya would choose to not have alternatives to this. Thanks for the links. The mrs. And I will be taking some time out to make our own seasonings. Goodbye magic in a packet!

  13. whocares3:37 PM

    I blend a head of garlic, 1 green pepper, 1 onion, 2 TBL olive oil, 2 handfuls of coriander leaves, several pinches of sea salt & fresh cracked pepper. This is what is used to make delicious puerto rican meals all week long!

    Dolores who loves arroz con black beans

  14. I would love for you to post one for "Sazon Rosada" (the Goya seasoning with Cumin and Annato- the box it comes in is pink). I've tried to perfect it but it's very tricky since cumin can be so powerful.
    If you look at the ingredients on the back, the FIRST INGREDIENT IS MSG!!!! OMG

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