Sushi is one of the most popular delicacies made by the Japanese cuisine, it consists of fresh raw fish companied with cooked and seasoned rise shaped into a piece of art. Sushi is so popular in some cities that its restaurants can be found on every street’s corner.
Unfortunately we are not here to sell you how amazing sushi is! On the contrary; this article is about how dangerous consuming sushi could be. Sushi lovers who find it to be a gate way into the Japanese perfection obsessed culture with all its wonders should know that not all sushi is created the same and knowing where every ingredient came from and how it is prepared could be the different between an enjoyable meal and some nasty consequences.
Not So Healthy
Sugar is the last thing that comes into mind when thinking about sushi, and at the rate of about one table spoon per a cup of rise, it doesn’t look like much. However as white rice degrades in the digestive system it turns into a form of sugar, in addition to high amount of sugar added to the sauces you can find yourself with amounts of sugar matching those in a cup of coke rather than a healthy meal.
Industrial pollution has filled the sea with a variety of toxic materials, one of which is mercury a heavy metal that can get into fish food chain and contaminate it and the bigger that fish is the higher the amount of mercury found in it. The more contaminated fish you consume the more mercury you get into your body, that’s because mercury does not leave the body after it gets in.
Mercurialism (mercury poisoning) can be acute or chronic and can have long term side effect it can even threat the well-being of unborn children if consumed during mothers’ pregnancy.
Listeria is a genus of Gram-positive bacteria that are parasites of warm blooded animals, it can infect wild and domestic animals and are transmitted to humans by consuming animals or animal products. It may cause a disease called listeriosis ranging from influenza like symptoms to meningeoncephalitis, depending on how strong the immunity system is. In pregnant women it may terminate the pregnancy or damage the fetus.
Salmonella is genus of Gram-negative that inhabit the intestines of animals and humans and cause disease, it finds its way to the human digestive system through improperly handled food such as fish and chicken. And since we are talking about sushi which is basically raw fish, the danger of getting salmonella is higher.
Salmonella causes paratyphoid fever and typhoid fever. Other species of it can cause food poisoning and septicaemia.
Scombroid Food Poisoning
Unless kept in proper conditions, fish can go bad so easily. The optimum time for consuming fish is when it is just got out of the sea and still very fresh, but not all of us have that luxury and our fish has to travel over long distances in containers. If these containers are not cold enough fish starts to rot and during this process the meat breaks down and releases histamine, a compound if consumed can cause allergic type reaction including flushing, rash, headache, dizziness, and sweating. A severe enough reaction can cause anaphylaxis.
Since the down of time, humans use nature as a dumpster and the ocean is no exception. Consequently, sea water is full of toxins of all kind, these toxins find their way to our food one way or another. PCBs, pesticides, heavy meals and fertilizers are a few of many toxins released into the sea and consumptions of these compounds causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, neurological symptoms, and hallucinations or anxiety. Symptoms may last for few years or a life time.
Any group of flatworms that have a long flat thin ribbon-like body and live as parasites in the intestines of humans and other vertebrates. After the eggs find their way to the host’s body in whose tissue the larval stages develop. The best way to cut the worms way into human body is by cooking the food properly destroy the eggs. Humans are the primary hosts for some kinds of tapeworms and they can live to reach shocking lengths without even knowing they are there.
Herring Worm Disease
Much as tapeworms, Herring Worm live in the intestines of the fish and people get it through improperly cooked or raw fish. It usually feels like food poisoning but it’s a warm trying to setup camp in the guts.
Sushi is a joy to eat and it even became a trend but it is risky when prepared by unprofessional hands or if the source of the fish is compromised either by being from polluted origins or by the way it was handled on the way to table.
There aren’t statistics that break down infections by food type, but one in six Americans gets food poisoning every year. And risk multiply for those with weak immunity.