What to avoid at Ruby Tuesday, if you are allergic to MSG or processed free glutamic acid
by N J Howell
I've learned that even when a company reveals products that contain monosodium glutamate, they may not necessarily reveal if any products contain free form glutamic acid. Ruby Tuesday actually does a lot better than some I've checked, stating in the side bar on their allergens page which foods naturally contain glutamic acid. However, I still don't rest easy that there is no processed free glutamic acid added to any of the foods. If your allergies are severe enough, you may want to question item by item on that score because processed free glutamic acid is NOT the same as the naturally occurring form.
Monosodium in Ruby Tuesdays Food, per Ruby Tuesday Allergy Menu as of 4/23/2012 I appreciate Ruby Tuesday Restaurants for being forthcoming with products that contain monosodium glutamate. However, I feel the report may not be complete, based on having just eaten there today. Shortly thereafter, I felt the familiar twinges of colon pain and bloating, though not as severe as with foods heavy in msg. Items I had from the no msg suggestions in the Ruby Tuesday report included: grilled green beans, baked potato, steamed broccoli, fresh.fresh salad bar (no croutons). I suspect either the potato salad or fruit salad from the bar. The main complaint I have is that it's not an easy report to read. They tell you what you can have, but in side notes what to leave off. It gets confusing. I'd rather have a list of foods that contain MSG so this is the list of menu items and flavorings from the Ruby Tuesday restaurant chains, that contain monosodium glutamate. (I would add that dressings and sauces at all fast food restaurants I've visited tend to contain it except oil and vinegar type dressings though Ruby Tuesday says their thousand island and honey mustard do not contain msg):
Garlic Cheese Bisquits, Parmesan Cream Sause, Lemon-Butter Sauce, Artichoke Hearts, Boston Barbecue Sause, Brown Rice Pilaf, Louisana Fried Shrimp, Soups, French Fries, White Cheddar Mashed, Potatoes, Onion Rings, Granola, Croutons and Brunch Potatoes.
On one list it said to forego buns on hamburgers, which was odd. Not used to seeing MSG in regular hamburger buns so that may have been a mistake. Also, the white cheddar mashed potatoes were listed with other veggies as good choices but then, further down, there was a note to leave the white cheddar mashed potatoes off so not sure but suspect they do have msg.
For more information on allergens, please read the complete Ruby Tuesday Food Allergens Menu. You will also find information on soy, gluten, wheat, fish, nuts and other allergens in the same pdf report. Interestingly, I couldn't find an ingredient list for the individual products at Ruby Tuesday. Maybe I missed that but I was wondering how many of their products might contain other food additives I want to avoid, including carrageenan, sorbitol, xylitol, etc.?
Health Care Disclaimer: Monosodium Glutamate is considered a safe ingredient to consume or the FDA would not allow it in our foods. I believe it is unsafe and will eventually be banned. MSG is an excitotoxin. By definition, an excitotoxin excites but is toxic. MSG makes food taste better thru excitation of the senses. It is often called a flavor enhancer. The only thing it enhances in my experience, is discomfort after the excitement wears off. Not a fair trade. Notice your reactions after consuming foods where monosodium glutamate is listed as an ingredient. Learn about excitotoxins.
Note: Processed free glutamic acid may be added to foods without labeling as MSG. Some foods natural contain free glutamic acid as well but the processed free glutamic acid is far more of a threat to those sensitive to MSG.
Kentucky Fried Chicken is the biggest culprit in the fast food industry, as far as adding both MSG and ingredients often or always containing msg or processed free glutamic acid. However, their website feedback form makes it tedious and confusing to contact anyone there so I'm going by information posted on various other websites, all of whom say the same thing: Anyone with MSG allergy should avoid EVERYTHING at KFC. Having said that, I don't consider MSG an allergen but rather a toxic ingredient.