20 Days, 20 Lessons: #4

Recently, I had one of those bottomless pit days. I spent every waking hour wanting food. I would get full, but thirty minutes later I’d be searching for something to munch on again. I tried to keep my snacking on the healthier side, but after dinner I was craving something salty. The only thing I had was kerupuk (flaky Indonesian crisps that double as a scoop depending on the variety) that a teacher had given to me. I polished a few of them off without thinking, but then it came…the dreaded but ever-present aftertaste of MSG.

This brings me to…

Lesson #4: Be cautious of what you eat in Indonesia. Beyond the traditional warnings about unsanitary water and produce, I would like to call attention to the looming issue of MSG. MSG is added to food here more often than not. Upon reading through a selection of snack labels in a local mart, I think I found all of one item that did not have MSG listed in the ingredients. I should be clear that most warungs add it into their dishes as well, it’s not just the processed snacks. I consider myself a culturally understanding and patient individual, but it’s 2016 and, excuse my language, this shit needs to go.

*As a follow up, refer to this article.

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