Sporkful podcast host Dan Pashman talks MSG, Chinese food, and the placebo effect.

MSG Won’t Give You a Headache. But the Placebo Effect Might.

MSG Won’t Give You a Headache. But the Placebo Effect Might.

A daily news and culture podcast with Mike Pesca.
Jan. 23 2018 8:50 PM


Dan Pashman hosts a food podcast—and dinner parties. In both capacities, he’s big on monosodium glutamate.

Chow mein.


Listen to Episode 914 of Slate’s The Gist:


On The Gist, more details come out about Garrison Keillor.

In the interview, it turns out something can be good for your taste buds without being bad for your health. Monosodium glutamate has gotten a bad rap since 1968, when a medical journal suggested it might cause all kinds of symptoms. Dan Pashman, creator and host of the Sporkful podcast, tells us why MSG isn’t the boogeyman it’s been made out to be (and why he adds it to his own cooking).

In the Spiel, behold, the mystical power of Maine Sen. Susan Collins’ talking stick.

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Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.