All you can eat?

When I was at university (and, I would like to add did not know that I shouldn’t eat wheat) my friends and I would walk down the hill from our halls and go to the all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant at the bottom of the hill. It was quite nice really. Not a take-away, an aesthetically pleasing low-lit set up where you could get a white box and jam in as much food as possible to take home for a fixed price (or eat there if you so wished.) So we would go and get a wide variety of dishes from prawn toasts to Singapore noodles and head back up the hill with our boxes to eat our spoils in the warmth of someone’s room, usually with some sort of American film.

Gradually however, I went off the idea. It’s not that they changed, more that I did. Or maybe they did change… Now, being a food lover, the all-you-can-eat experience should be one which is naturally enticing. What could be better after all than food that keeps going and going and going? Here’s an answer: food that doesn’t make you ill?! It boils down to this- why is there so much MSG in some sorts of cuisine? Why can’t we enjoy beautiful once-healthy dishes from China without being pumped full of additives. MSG is just something which I cannot understand the appeal of. Not only can you taste it but if the dishes were being cooked authentically, then there should not be any need of a flavour enhancer because the subtle combinations of vegetables, rice, meat and sauces should speak for themselves.

I went to an all-you-can-eat restaurant with a group of people the other night. Two not over-crowded plates, and a pudding, though I was full by the first. It was the first time I had been to that type of restaurant since university, so (sadly in terms of my age) around 5 years ago. I chose carefully; mostly Indian food with a tiny bit of Thai and a little Chinese. I was not only full by the first plate I might add, but I was starting to feel ill. It wasn’t wheat, but my stomach started hurting and I felt an increasing sense of exhaustion. The next day I was nauseas and was ill before I could have breakfast. I won’t go into details. I think MSG should be illegal. I want to be able to go out for dinner and even if I am making unhealthy choices, know that the food is unhealthy in of itself (because it’s fried or covered in butter), not know that I will be ill because my dinner is smothered in chemicals.

End of rant.


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