Jenny Yang Food Education campaign asks Goop to reconsider MSG posts – News Kidda

Comedian, writer and actor Jenny Yang dispels myths surrounding MSG and ‘clean eating’ with a clever campaign – developed with Ajinomoto, a Japanese multinational food and biotechnology company – called #DinnerWithGoop.

The dinner, which was held on September 7 at The Gourmandise School in Santa Monica, was not attended by Gwyneth Paltrow or other representatives of her popular wellness platform Goop. Yang extended the invitation in an effort to start a fact-based conversation about “clean eating,” a lifestyle and diet that Goop promotes, and how she believes it’s ultimately problematic because it propagates the idea that the way many people’s food is impure and assigns moral value to food choices.

“Food is a lifelong passion of mine because it’s so tied to my culture, it’s so tied to identity,” Yang said. News Kidda Wednesday night. “As I became a comedian and built a following online, it became one of my favorite things to talk about with people who would harm ingredients or foods that represented my culture. [Goop] MSG didn’t mention healthy eating when that’s not even supported by scientific evidence…so this was a natural fit for me.

Yang’s relationship with Ajinomoto (which produces and sells condiments, including MSG) began in 2020 during the early months of the pandemic when the company asked her to participate in their #TakeOutHate campaign, which kick-started because they predicted that the Asian community would face backlash due to the origin of the coronavirus. (Margaret Cho, Harry Shum Jr. and Gail Simmons also participated.)

“When you think about how Asian-American representation takes place in this country, people immediately think of food. That’s one of the most prominent formats where we’re impacting culture,” Yang says. “[Goop] put their flag in the sand and said MSG is not clean food so dirty. There is a huge history of demonizing MSG for what it represented – it was very connected to Chinese restaurants and people. There’s a lot of baggage with MSG, and I don’t think they’ve thought of this when they call it dirty.”

Jenny Yang Dinner With Goop

Thanks to Ajinomoto Co. Inc

Dinner last night featured Laos dishes with a California flair from LA-based chef Saeng Douangdara, such as rehydrated sticky rice, Lao meatballs and spaghetti, chicken laab rice paper tacos, and Hong Shao Rou braised pork. All items had MSG present, but the first course—a cold corn chowder with lemongrass—was offered in MSG and non-MSG versions so guests could taste the difference. It was grim. (When monosodium glutamate is present in food, the glutamate binds to the umami — or, fifth taste — receptor on the eater’s tongue, creating a more savory sensation.)

dr. Tia Rains, vice president of customer engagement and strategic development at Ajinomoto North America, is committed to getting more food and culture media to talk about misconceptions surrounding MSG (which has a long history of being considered unhealthy despite the fact that the science shows it has two-thirds less sodium than table salt) and ingredients associated with certain cultures. “I believe in bringing the truth about food and food ingredients to the public. MSG is safe and can be used not only as a food fortifier but also to reduce sodium by 30 to 50 percent. My background is nutritional science, so that’s extremely important to me when 9 out of 10 Americans are consuming the amount of sodium you should have for a healthy diet,” she said, adding, “Unfortunately, it’s common that eventually some” [some platforms are] to do is to mislead the American public into diets that are not in their best interests. Anyone who has a health and wellness platform should use the [science’s] sense of what makes a healthy diet.”

Jenny Yang Dinner With Goop

Thanks to Ajinomoto Co. Inc

Despite common misconceptions, MSG is considered safe by the FDA, the World Health Organization (WHO), and many more reputable health organizations. Common foods with MSG include Parmesan cheese, ranch dressing, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, nutritional yeast, soups, savory snacks, and other prepared foods.

Yang and other diners claim that since this campaign has been underway, Goop has clandestinely removed articles mentioning MSG or adding disclaimers. “I’m always very attuned when someone with power and influence like Goop tries to blend in by calling something from my culture good or bad, clean or dirty,” Yang says. “I think the company is so smart that if they really thought about it, they would correct themselves. We’re not trying to demonize Goop, we’re really just trying to have a conversation.”

THR contacted Goop and had not heard anything at the time of publication.

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