MSG or Monosodium Glutamate


MSG, or Monosodium Glutamate is a salt of the amino acid – Glutamic Acid (glutamate).  A salt is the chemical name for a molecule held together by opposite charges.   Basically one (mono) sodium atom is “stuck” to the amino acid glutamate.

Monosodium Glutamate, better known as MSG, is a form of concentrated salt added to foods to enhance the flavor. This salt version of glutamic acid is an amino acid the body can produce on its own, but the MSG we find on store shelves is processed and comes from fermented sugar beets. Because this kind of MSG is processed, it can cause many adverse reactions, including skin rashes, itching, hives, nausea, vomiting, migraine headaches, asthma, heart irregularities, depression and even seizures
Since MSG acquired its infamous reputation for causing migraines, the food industry has given it new names and new forms, including autolyzed yeast, yeast extract, maltodextrin, hydrolyzed protein, sodium caseinate, mono-potassium glutamate,and textured protein. Consumers who are watching out for monosodium glutamate in long ingredients lists usually don’t know the aliases, but should.

Because MSG is so cheap, the food industry can use much lower quality foods and simply add MSG as a flavor enhancer. Currently, there is a huge investment by the food giants in MSG medical research to convince consumers of its safety. Monsanto, the giant biotech company that creates genetically modified corn, soy and canola, also controls more than 90% of the sugar beet industry; therefore, MSG contains the gene of the pesticide Roundup. Consumers who don’t filter MSG out of their diet are catching a double dose of toxicity.

Foods which contain the largest doses of MSG are spicy corn chips, many soups, certain Chinese foods, ranch dressing, sausages, hot dogs, barbecued meats, smoked meats, processed deli meats, and sauces. Also included are most powdered packets like chili, gravy, taco seasoning, French onion dip and dried dip mixes.

Consuming products loaded with MSG on an empty stomach or without water can be especially dangerous. MSG affects nearly everyone because it causes a spike in glutamic acid, which is used throughout the body as a neurotransmitter, so many migraines are accompanied by photo-sensitivity (sensitivity to light) and phono-sensitivity (sensitivity to sound). This explains why many people need to relax in a dark, quiet room to recover.



Recipes sometimes call for cooks to “blanch” fruits or vegetables. All that means is to put the item in question in boiling water, lift it out after the prescribed time, and cool it off quickly.

Blanching helps loosen skins for peeling (as in the case of peaches and tomatoes), gets items partially cooked before being added to a dish, sets bright green color and keeps pretty vegetables from turning gray (asparagus, greens, peas, green beans), leeches out bitterness (as with kale, collard greens, and dandelion greens), and prepares some vegetables for freezing.

To blanch:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add enough salt so it tastes as salty as the ocean.
  2. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
  3. Meanwhile, rinse, trim, or chop fruit or vegetable as called for in the recipe.
  4. Put items in the boiling water for the prescribed time (usually a minute or two).
  5. Drain or lift out fruits or vegetables and transfer them to the ice water (alternatively, you can lay them out generously spaced in a single layer on clean kitchen towels and let them air-cool). Swish them around in the water until cool.
  6. Drain and pat dry or, in the case of greens and spinach, squeeze the water out of them.

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It’s as simple as that!

Enriched and Fortified foods

Foods that are enriched or fortified have one or more vitamins or minerals added to them. Enriching a food means the manufacturer added nutrients to replace vitamins or minerals that were lost. For example, refining wheat to make white flour removes a lot of the B-complex vitamins normally found in the outer portion of the grain. So B-complex vitamins are added back into the flour.

Fortified foods have extra nutrients added to them too. But in this case those nutrients aren’t normally there in the unprocessed state. Fortified foods are more common than enriched foods and include calcium fortified orange juice, iodine fortified salt and vitami D fortified milk.

Fortifying and enriching processed foods is good because the nutrients are needed, however many of these foods, like sugary breakfast cereals and fruit-flavored (not 100-percent) juices, are also loaded with sugar that adds calories and no additional nutritional value.

This below is the example of enriched food with omega 3


Fortified with fibre

Zimbabwe’s traditional food


History of Zimbabwe and food

Zimbabwe  literally means “House of Stone.” This name comes from the 800-year-old stone ruins left by the Shona people. The descendents of the Shona people make up 77 percent of the Zimbabwean population in the twenty-first century; the other 18 percent are Ndebele.  By 1300, gold was discovered in the Zimbabwe area and the value of the land for farming was discovered. The Shona and Ndebele peoples alternately held power over the area until the Europeans arrived in the 1850s. The British gained control of the Zimbabwe area (then called Rhodesia) until 1923. As a result, food unadorned with spices, commonly associated with British cooking, infiltrated Zimbabwean cuisine with sugar, bread, and tea.

The Lipopo and Zambesi rivers outline the border of Zimbabwe and supply the soil with moisture and nutrients needed to grow crops. These crops, such as squash, corn, yams, pumpkins, peanuts, and mapopo (papaya), flourish during the summer and autumn months, but can be destroyed in the dry winter months. To preserve food for consumption during the winter months, Zimbabweans dry various produce and meats after the rainy season. Tiny dried fish called kapenta are a common snack. Another dried specialty is biltong , which is sun-dried, salted meat cut into strips similar to beef jerky. Beef or game, such as kudo and springbok (both members of the antelope family), may be used.

Mapopo (Papaya) Candy


  • 1 papaya (approximately 1 pound)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Lemon peel, grated
  • ½ teaspoon mint, dried or fresh


  1. Peel the papaya and wash well. Slice into little strips.
  2. Place the papaya, mint, grated lemon and sugar over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Cook for 10 minutes, then set aside for half an hour.
  4. Reheat over medium heat until the mixture crystallizes.
  5. Remove from heat and, using a spoon and fork, mold into ball or stick shapes.

Happy Africa week

Peacan nuts butter cake

Peacan nuts butter cake

Yield: 1 cake

Costing: R29.81

Preparation time: 2hrs 15mins

Total kJ: 1224.15


250g cake flour

100g sugar

300ml milk

80g butter diced

60g peacan nuts chopped

1 egg

1g salt

6.5g yeast

Butter icing

125g butter

300g icing sugar

2ml vanilla essence


Preheat the oven at 180˚C and grease the cake tin

Sift flour and salt in large bowl and add sugar

Rub the butter in the sifted ingredients until it resembles bread crumbs; add 40g of chopped pecans

Mix egg and milk and add to the sifted ingredients then mix using a wooden spoon until it forms a batter

Leave the dough in the prover for 1hour

Bake at 180˚C for 50 minutes

Leave it cool; cut the cake in half horizontally to make two layers

Pipe butter icing in the bottom layer and on top of the second layer then sprinkle chopped peacan nuts

Serve with coffee

Butter icing

Soften butter

Add vanilla essence and icing in the softened butter

Convenience foods

Convenience food is commercially prepared food designed for ease of consumption. Products designated as convenience foods are often prepared food stuffs that can be sold as hot, ready-to-eat dishes; as room-temperature, shelf-stable products; or as refrigerated or frozen products that require minimal preparation (typically just heating).

The use of Convenience food became so popular because usually they are a quickie snack. For those who are on the go and don’t have time to prepare a good meal convenience foods are just what they need. The use of convenience foods safe hygienic preparation and handlingenhancement by use of fresh foods limitations of convenience foods.

Advantagees of convenience foods

  • Does nt have to utelise skills on preparing
  • They are convenient
  • They are quick and easy to make
  • Frozen meals are great for taking to work and one only has to wash a fork or spoon afterward.
Disadvantagees of convenience foods
  • Time consuming
  • They are high in cotton
  • They are expensive
  • They make people lazy



Avocado recipe

Spicy Avocado Chicken Stir fry


Serves  2
Calories: 385 per serving

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bell pepper cut into thin strips
4-6 button mushrooms quartered
1 handful of bean sprouts
1 handful of sugar snap peas
1/2 avocado peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
1 orange juiced
1  cup chicken stock
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp chili paste
1 thumb sized knob of ginger minced
1 clove crushed garlic
salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a wok or sautee pan over medium-high heat combines the chicken and olive oil. Sautee for 2-3 minutes or until almost done
  2. While the chicken is searing, add mushrooms, peppers and chili paste and continue to cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until vegetables just begin to soften
  3. Mean while, combine the chicken stock, soy sauce, orange juice and cornstarch in a small bowl Set aside
  4. Once the peppers and mushrooms are just about done, add the bean sprouts, snap peas, garlic and ginger. Cook for an additional 1 minute
  5. Add the chicken stock mixture and allow it thicken. About 1 minute
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the sliced avocado
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  8. Serve over rice, noodles, shredded carrots or on its own 



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