I love Chinese food. I can have it anyday. Even though there are no confirmed reports of Ajinomoto (Monosodium Glutamate or MSG) having effects on your growing foetus, people are advised to avoid it. I was also advised the same and my heart broke yet again because we all know how the chinese cuisine is loaded with it. So I bid a teary goodbye to all my favourite Chinese restaurants.

My doctor told me that eating out once a week is totally fine and that was my silver lining. But how do we know if rest of the food we get outside has Ajinomoto or not? Restaurant staff can easily lie if you ask them about it. So my mom figured out a way for that and it worked pretty well throughout (or I like believe so).

Everytime K and I went to a restaurant, I would beckon an informed waiter or the manager and let them know I’m SEVERELY allergic to Ajinomoto. This scares them right away because it wouldn’t be a nice sight if I drop dead in front of all those people eating their gorgeous food. After I tell them this, I ask them if any of their dishes can be prepared without adding that doomy spice and they help me right away. They are amazingly honest – they tell what all has been pre-marinated with it, what all are prepared from scratch after receiving the order and I get to choose from it. Yay!

Once a waiter asked me what would happen if I consume it and I demonstrated with frightful expressions that i’ll vomit and get blisters all over. Poor guy, he got scared and rushed to the kitchen. However, Ajinomoto-less food is awfully bland. K was nice enough to eat it with me everytime without grimacing. I have since mastered the ability to know if the food given to me is really free from it.

During my seventh month, I had this irresistible craving for KFC Rice bowl, which I hadn’t had since I got pregnant. So I thought i’ll have it just one, single time and not have it again. I dragged K and my cousin with me & bounced to the counter gleefully. Before I opened my mouth to order, the staff looked at my huge tummy and said I cannot have any of their chicken products because of Ajinomoto in them. I was dejected, but it made me wonder how much they must put in their food to actually warn me about it. Grateful, but it’s scary.

So once your bump starts to show, the ‘allergy’ trick won’t work because they’ll know why you are asking about it. Hopefully they will treat it with the same seriousness they showed for the allergy cause.

Now as you read this you may have wondered why I had to go through so much difficulty just to eat, why not just stay away from it entirely for nine months. I swear, I tried, but you know how it is – Once a foodie, Always a foodie.

Picture courtesy : Pinterest