Sodium Showdown

The Lempert Report
May 25, 2023

Sodiim. Sodium sodium sodium. About 55% of our food budgets are spent on foods that are prepared and consumed away from home. And what we find in a survey of over 6,000 adults, while 52% of respondents prefer low sodium, low salt menu selections when dining out, only 6% of us or them actually ask for them. Customers choose a restaurant most often for the deliciousness of the cuisine according to the survey, and only 29% select a restaurant for its healthfulness. This is a study that was just published in the Journal Advances in Nutrition that really talks about the fact that, bottom line is, food service operators are at a standstill. They know that consumers want lower sodium but they're struggling to create tasty foods that have lower sodium. We talked about the Campbell's example before, and, what are we gonna do to get people to have less sodium? 

Sally: Yes, it is a challenge for creators of these foods and these chefs to come up with. Ingredients that taste as good as those high sodium ones, and it's also a matter of availability of those ingredients. But, as we reported last week here on the show, we heard from the USDA from one of their reports that we are still getting too much sodium as Americans, and we're getting it mostly from eating out of our homes at restaurants. But I did see something really interesting in the news last week, Phil, about MSG, which has been considered for a long time, something that we wanna stay away from. However, that myth as this article is saying, is being debunked by a lot of popular chefs right now. There are some chefs in New York that create Asian dishes and they are using MSG, they're using this glutamate to bring that flavor. If we don't remember glutamate is the original umami flavor. And so that is one way that we can start bringing some of that balancing some of that sodium flavor. 

Phil: Yeah. And there's a lot of controversy over MSG but most of it has not been scientifically proven. So it's really one of those ingredients that we really need to re-look at.