Wednesday, April 19, 2006


I wonder if I will have to rethink my assumption that regular old Korean diner food - 분식 - is basically healthy. I had a student tell me that he tries to stay away from little Korean restaurants because he feels the MSG and the artificial ingredients are not good for him. Now, I'm pretty certain that my current diet is heavy with MSG - but based on the (very little) reading I have done on the matter, it seems that MSG is bad for people who are sensitive to it, but not especially unhealthy for people who are not sensitive to it (and I don't seem to be).

The artificial ingredients part does kind of worry me. I mean, I was never under the illusion that the food I eat in little Korean 분식 places comes direct from the hearty farms and soils of Korea to my lunch table. But it seems to be just so heavy with vegetables and white rice, that I wonder exactly where the factory-made artificial ingredients could enter the picture. Kimbap seems more prone to have factory-assembled ingredients (I am somewhat suspicious of its seaweed wrapping) but could ordinary sanchae bibimbap, or sundubu, possibly be all that unhealthy?

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