The recent instant noodle-buying frenzy and the ensuing jokes about hair loss made me think of the amount of MSG we ingested in Japan.
There are many who would defend MSG as harmless, or even beneficial, but I do know people who react to MSG and who would shout down all those positive points about it so it is probably best not to have too much of it.
For tourists, though, especially if you are rushing around, it is easy to keep falling back on the same type of food so you may end up like us, eating too much(?) ramen and udon.
Not the best of menus if you want to keep your MSG intake minimal.
I have to say, though, that our meal at Ramen Sen No Kaze in Kyoto was well worth the (fairly short) wait.
Not sure about the MSG load, though.
Besides MSG, and sodium itself, sweets, treats and crispies abound.
Someone once told me of a folk ‘food theory’ about how we have two stomachs and one opens up at the end of the meal to make space for dessert! Well, to keep one’s stomach in shape, perhaps one could think of how these look lovelier when they are displayed than when they are in one’s tummy.
I’ve often wondered how the locals cope with these health concerns, as they don’t look like they are a particularly balding and overweight nation. In fact, just randomly looking around us, it seems like they are generally trim and have a normal amount of hair (and pretty hair colour, too!).
It could be that their normal eating patterns are more balanced, or maybe drinking a lot of matcha helps. We also often read about how the healthy Japanese way is to go low-fat and eat lots of tofu and fish. We’ve never eaten all that much fish in Japan – a much more expensive option than a bowl of ramen – but I should keep that in mind and do better the next time we are there!
Well, at least we did enjoy a good amount of fresh fruit!