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Is That Sushi Hazardous To Your Health? 554

Posted by timothy
from the these-tiny-worms-sure-look-healthy dept.
pdclarry writes "A recent study by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History and Columbia University found that a piece of tuna sushi may not be tuna at all: 'A piece of tuna sushi has the potential to be an endangered species, a fraud or a health hazard,' wrote the authors. 'All three of these cases were uncovered in this study.' The study, published in PLoS ONE examined 68 samples of tuna sushi purchased from 31 restaurants in Manhattan (New York City) and Denver, Colorado. Some of these were from endangered species, others were not as labeled, and some were not tuna at all. Of these last, five samples labeled as 'white tuna' were from a toxic fish, Escolar, which is a gempylid species banned for sale in Italy and Japan due to health concerns. 'It can cause gastrointestinal symptoms ranging from mild and rapid passage of oily yellow or orange droplets, to severe diarrhea with nausea and vomiting. The milder symptoms have been referred to as keriorrhea [i.e. flow of wax in Greek].' Fraud in sushi is not new; Slashdot also reported study on mislabeling in 2008. This new study shows that some sushi can actually make you sick. The study was also covered by Wired."
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Is That Sushi Hazardous To Your Health?

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  • Technically... (Score:5, Informative)

    by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @07:24PM (#30197714)
    <pedantic>
    If we're just talking about the tuna, then it's Sashimi [wikipedia.org].
    Sushi is vinegar rice, topped with other ingredients, such as fish.
    </pedantic>
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by 2.7182 (819680)
      Sushi, and other words, are defined by how people use them. And in the US that means rice and raw fish wrapped in seaweed for 99% of the population. Then english language, unlike C, does not have an ansi standard. It's all fluid.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        But the English language does, and it's in Oxford.
        Bonus points for those getting the puns.

        • Re:Technically... (Score:5, Informative)

          by Joe Decker (3806) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @09:35PM (#30198640) Homepage

          Technically, Oxford's lexicographic philosophy is more descriptivist than prescriptivist. Their stated intent is to document, record and communicate the language they find through actual usage. Thus, Oxford, while the gold standard of English lexicography (more so British usage than American, but it's pretty strong in either case) is not to be confused with an "ANSI standard." It's an entirely different thing, a better analogy might be the SIbley Guide.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Tablizer (95088)

            Their stated intent is to document, record and communicate the language they find through actual usage.

            i don't think them fucken bastards really wanna do shit like that.
                   

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by sjames (1099)

          The O.E.D. [oed.com] is intended to be descriptive, not prescriptive.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jargonCCNA (531779)

          The English language, sadly, is not standardised, which is why we have differences like “kerb” and “curb”, “lorry” and “truck”, “lift” and “elevator”, and so on, and so forth.

          French, on the other hand, has L’Académie française, an institute that actually does define a standard French language. Québec also has their own OQLF (who will have none of that bastard English in their French, merci beaucoups) and they

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Not counting, of course, the veggie roll... whose predominant ingredients include cucumber, carrots, rice, and other non-fish products.

        And on a related aside, Fish roe is absolutely disgusting. Every time I eat sushi with fish roe it's like i'm chewing on dozens of tiny eyeballs. It's enough to make me want to gag.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by fahrbot-bot (874524)

        Sushi, and other words, are defined by how people use them. And in the US that means rice and raw fish wrapped in seaweed for 99% of the population.

        Sure, thank you for bolstering my point. The title asks if the sushi is hazardous, but the story is only about the fish, not the rice or seaweed (etc)... (I'm tired and feeling a bit picky.)

        Slack language is a cause and/or result of slack thinking. For example, single TV episodes advertised as "all new" or the Dodge Ram commercial that states the truck is

        • by 2.7182 (819680)
          But this means that "fish" allows, for example, the extinct species of giant armored fish, which includes the deadly Xiphactinus, as featured in the BBC's "Sea Monsters", as well as "National Geographic's Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure". Now was that on your list? NOO it was not. But it's allowable for putting in sushi and calling it sushi in the good old US of A. Touche'!!!
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Garridan (597129)

          If we're being completely pedantic, then you should read the title again.

          Is That Sushi Hazardous To Your Health?

          Here "that" refers to a particular piece of sushi. Reading the summary and then the article, one finds that "that sushi" refers to "sushi containing 'tuna'". Raw fish on its own is sashimi. Raw fish on rice is sushi. If the raw fish in either case is poisonous, then the entire thing will be hazardous to your health.

          Or, do you somehow think that the rice is going to save you?

        • Re:Technically... (Score:5, Informative)

          by turbidostato (878842) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @08:51PM (#30198364)

          "The title asks if the sushi is hazardous, but the story is only about the fish"

          The story is not even that: is a non-story. Eating a mislabelled piece of raw fish might produce disease. Well, yeah...

        • Re:Technically... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by causality (777677) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @08:54PM (#30198374)

          Slack language is a cause and/or result of slack thinking. For example, single TV episodes advertised as "all new" or the Dodge Ram commercial that states the truck is "all brawn, all brain" - sigh.

          What about ManBearPig? In the episode he was described as "half man, half bear, and half pig". So he's 1.5 individuals!

          And I definitely agree about the slack thinking. There is nothing quite like a disciplined mind that serves you well with efficient and effective action. Minds become that way by not yielding so easily to the temptation to cut corners and exhibit laziness and it starts with the tiny insignificant things first. Think of all the native English speakers who cannot correctly use words like "loose"/"lose" or "they're"/"there"/"their". It shows that they still struggle with basic usage of their native language, the sorts of issues that they should have worked out back in elementary school. It's noteworthy that foreigners who learn English as a second (or third) langauge tend not to make these mistakes.

          Having said that, I'll add that It's okay to have a hard time with something. Not everyone is a great writer or a good speaker and we all have something we're not very good at doing. What's not okay is when an excuse is made for it. The original mistake is just a simple error, like spilling the milk or working an equation incorrectly and getting the wrong answer. It doesn't make you a moron and it doesn't make you a bad person. It's the kind of error that anyone could potentially make because they're human.

          The excuse, on the other hand, is cowardly in a sense. It attempts to justify or dismiss something that is clearly incorrect, and all of this to avoid the process of saying "ah-hah, I made a mistake there. Now I know what to do differently in the future." I suspect that they think they are showing weakness or acting "inferior" if for even one moment they say "hey, you're correct; you are right and I had that wrong." The obsession over preventing the perception of inferiority at all costs, including the cost of accuracy, is why I call this cowardly. Nowhere in this can you find the security of knowing that you are who and what you are, whether or not anyone else thinks so.

          By and large, people who make those grammatical mistakes are full of excuses. It's the reason why they keep making the same mistakes and their writing does not gradually improve with usage over time the same way that other skills would. You would expect a blacksmith to make a higher-quality knife after 20 years of experience than anything he made when he first started out. So why do native English speakers fail to correctly apply rules of grammar that they should have learned and mastered as children?

          The blacksmith has a boss who expects a certain level of job performance, and if he is not internally motivated by an appreciation of his craft then this external motivation will spur him to improve his work. The average Slashdotter who reads and posts for leisure has no external motivation. The only reason why he'd try to get things right is because he values excellence. When you value excellence, you don't see yourself as a static person who scrapes by on the path of least resistance. You see yourself as a dynamic, growing individual who gradually learns more and becomes better at everything you do, whether or not anyone is looking, whether or not anyone is impressed, and whether or not you would have been penalized for a lesser effort. It's an internal thing. The reason to become a better speaker and a better writer is simple: you speak and write on a daily basis, so your life (and quite possibly others) is enriched by being able to do these things well. It's also hard to really enjoy doing something when you struggle to achieve even basic competency.

          The antithesis of this is a form of laziness with perhaps some elements of apathy. In that case, you're not really convinced that it's worth doing at all because yo

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Omestes (471991)

            Think of all the native English speakers who cannot correctly use words like "loose"/"lose" or "they're"/"there"/"their". It shows that they still struggle with basic usage of their native language, the sorts of issues that they should have worked out back in elementary school. It's noteworthy that foreigners who learn English as a second (or third) langauge tend not to make these mistakes.

            You are correct, at least as far as written language. If you were to talk to someone who just confused "lose" with "l

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              Also, most forms of electronic communications generally foster bad habits and promote general laziness.

              Hogwash. E-mail no more promotes lazy writing than the Pony Express did in the 19th century.

              The problem, once again, lies not in our stars but in ourselves. We have become more permissive in our acceptance of a butchered language. If you want people to write better, you need to openly ridicule their efforts when they demonstrate their abject ignorance.

              Our society is far too kind to the moron, and it is

      • by Kelzar (1642061) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @07:57PM (#30197966)
        Why can't we all just get along? It doesn't have to be this way! Can't it be both? Just like a whale is a fish and a mammal?
      • Re:Technically... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tjstork (137384) <todd@bandrowsky.gmail@com> on Sunday November 22, 2009 @08:15PM (#30198094) Homepage Journal

        Most good Japanese restaraunts have the difference between Sushi and Sashimi on page 1 of their menu, and more Americans than you think know the difference.

      • Re:Technically... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ArundelCastle (1581543) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @08:21PM (#30198152)

        Sushi, and other words, are defined by how people use them. And in the US that means rice and raw fish wrapped in seaweed for 99% of the population. Then english language, unlike C, does not have an ansi standard. It's all fluid.

        You flurbing pizzats and your fempy ticrans. Can't even warrup a mekci bommits.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by morari (1080535)

        Raw fish hazardous to your health? Go figure!

  • Keriorrhea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pinkj (521155) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @07:26PM (#30197732)
    I can finally be a lot more accurate about my bowel movements whenever I call in sick or I'm late for something.
    • by RobVB (1566105)

      Because that's just what any employer wants to hear, more details about their employees' bowel movements!

      Though I have to wonder, you do know about the existence of camera's, don't you? A picture says more than a thousand Greek words...

      • Magic (Score:5, Funny)

        by jDeepbeep (913892) on Monday November 23, 2009 @09:43AM (#30201868)

        Because that's just what any employer wants to hear, more details about their employees' bowel movements!

        I've found there are two magic words, that when said together, sequentially, cause the listener to not care any further why you are going to not make it in to the office today.

        Word 1: Explosive
        Word 2: Diarrhea

  • by Cornwallis (1188489) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @07:27PM (#30197736)

    Eating sushi is almost as disgusting as eating raw fish!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 22, 2009 @07:59PM (#30197984)

      Cavemen discovered that cooking meat was a good idea some millennia ago and we've been doing it since then, but some people never got the memo because they were on an island or something.

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @07:29PM (#30197746) Journal

    PLoS ONE, if you didn't know, is a public-access scientific journal publishing enterprise. No more use/abuse of scientists as creator of content AND reviewers of content (who both do this for free) and then only releasing the articles for profit, for the next 100 years. I am thoroughly disgusted by this business model which takes the work of us scientists, gives nothing back and then profits from it. Fuck that.

    PLoS ONE, I wish you luck. Please do crush the Natures, Sciences and Elseviers of this world. Pretty please.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tomhudson (43916)

      PLoS ONE, if you didn't know, is a public-access scientific journal publishing enterprise. No more use/abuse of scientists as creator of content AND reviewers of content (who both do this for free) and then only releasing the articles for profit, for the next 100 years. I am thoroughly disgusted by this business model which takes the work of us scientists, gives nothing back and then profits from it. Fuck that.

      Thanks for pointing that out. Maybe you can submit a story about them [plosone.org]? It's certainly News for

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by arb phd slp (1144717)

      When they add social sciences to their stable of publications, I'll be submitting to them exclusively and encouraging my students to do the same. I hate what the publishers are doing to my field. (And you haters can shut up; my work is as rigorous as it is possible to be when investigating something as amorphous as language and human behavior.)

    • Please, no. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Sunday November 22, 2009 @09:05PM (#30198442)

      PLoS charges scientists to get published. A big part of what caused the economic collapse is that rating agencies started to hand out AAA ratings to securities that didn't deserve them, and they did this because the issuers of these securities were paying the rating agencies. This PLoS ONE's business model is the same thing. PLoS ONE receives more money when it publishes more articles.

      Doesn't this just scream CONFLICT OF INTEREST to anyone else?

      Please, I'll take Science and Nature any day.

  • rapid passage of oily yellow or orange droplets, to severe diarrheaM

    Huh, so that explains last week... :)
  • Maybe it's just me but I don't eat the tuna anyway.. if I want tuna I'll go buy some John West.

    Salmon on the other hand....

    • by selven (1556643)

      Same. In terms of fish in general, I almost exclusively eat salmon.

    • by TempeTerra (83076)

      Raw tuna's pretty fab actually and definitely worth a sample, but I wouldn't be surprised if you're not getting it in your local sushi. Raw tuna, raw or smoked salmon and eel are where I jump to on a sushi menu. It should be a deep red colour like red wine, not can brown.

    • by Nethead (1563)

      Salmon for me too. But the tuna I get at sushi houses around here (US Pacific Northwest) is real tuna. I think I would catch it if they swapped it on me, unless it's a badly made spicy tuna roll, only taste the burn then.

      I live in a native fishing village, I doubt that they could swap the salmon on me with any success. The biggest day of the year here is the First Salmon Ceremony.

    • Re:Tuna sushi (Score:4, Insightful)

      by amRadioHed (463061) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @08:35PM (#30198266)

      Yuck, can can you possibly compare tuna sashimi with canned tuna? I hate that canned crap but tuna sashimi is heaven. Especially a piece of nicely marbled toro.

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @07:38PM (#30197838) Journal
    Just recently, Tuna was able to be bred. Prior to that, Tuna pretty much had to be caught in the wild. It would be nice to see DECENT aquaculture come to fruition.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drizek (1481461)

      Aquaculture still doesn't solve it. You still have to catch all the fish you need to feed the Tuna.

      Humans should stop eating meat altogether, but if people can't manage that then at least stop eating top level carnivores.

    • by Dunbal (464142) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @08:26PM (#30198184)

      It would be nice to see DECENT aquaculture come to fruition.

            Yikes, aquaculture is hard enough to do with fresh water fish. You want to do it with salt water fish? Good luck...

            It's one thing to have a salt water aquarium, at a zoo or for a hobby (read: slavery). But aquaculture involves raising fish at incredibly high densities in order to be profitable. These high densities mean that the slightest little change - in dissolved O2, pH, temperature, nitrites, ammonia, etc will kill your fish. Now you want to add salinity which not only has to be kept within limits but corrodes your pumps, pipes and valves, increasing the chances of breakdowns?

            No thanks! Have fun!

            PS: Fish die really really quietly, and they love to do it in large quantities. I know whereof I speak, I promise...

      • by welcher (850511) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @09:34PM (#30198634)

        As it happens, saltwater aquaculture is widely practiced from Norway to Chile. It basically involves putting a cage out in the sea and growing fish in it.

        Of course, there are lots of reasons not to encourage most fish-farming like the fact that it requires huge amounts of wild fish to be caught, mulched and processed to be fed back to the "desirable" fish species that is being farmed. That is, fish farming uses more fish than it creates, thereby exacerbating the chronic overfishing problems that plague the seas.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Dunbal (464142)

          That is, fish farming uses more fish than it creates

          That's true of any form of agriculture. Biological systems are not 100% efficient. Crops will leach nitrogen out of the soil, requiring fallow, legumes or fertilizer. It gets even worse when you consider that at harvest time, you remove the crop and carry off all that nitrogen. Cows, pigs and chickens are even less efficient. They eat inefficient grass and digest it in an inefficient manner, so that you need a lot of grass to keep one

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by nedlohs (1335013)

            It's a self correcting problem.

            Once we really do have too many humans for the food supply those humans will go to war over food and kill large numbers of each other. And then we don't have too many humans anymore.

            But fell free to kill yourself for the good of humanity if you really think you and your offspring (and their offspring) are going to petri dish the earth.

  • Buyer Beware! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chicken_Kickers (1062164) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @07:40PM (#30197856)
    I currently live in an inland city, hundreds of kilometers from the the nearest ocean. This is why I refuse to eat sushi at the restaurants here since the fish will not be very fresh. I am a microbiologist, so I don't even eat that much sushi anyway since I know what sort and how many bacteria will grow on uncooked fish. Regarding fake or poisonous fish, ask around first before you eat at any restaurant (not only for sushi). I am sure that bad reputation will spread very quickly. There are many websites and blogs that do restaurant reviews. Alternatively, you can make your own sushi as it is not very hard to do. If you can make a sandwich, you can definitely make sushi.
    • Re:Buyer Beware! (Score:5, Informative)

      by jrumney (197329) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @08:21PM (#30198150) Homepage
      In many Western countries, the health authorities specify that fish served raw must be frozen first to kill certain types of parasite, so what you get in the middle of the country probably doesn't differ much from what you get on the coast. If you go to Japan, they rely on the chefs being trained to recognize and remove the parasites, so you get much better tasting fish and much higher chance of contracting food poisoning due to an untrained chef.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by value_added (719364)

        In many Western countries, the health authorities specify that fish served raw must be frozen first to kill certain types of parasite, so what you get in the middle of the country probably doesn't differ much from what you get on the coast.

        Similar to chicken.

        Storage and handling regulations mandate a range of temperatures, but the bottom of that range is below freezing, a fact you can be sure the producers are happy to take advantage of. The result is that most of the "fresh" chicken sold at your local sto

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Keebler71 (520908)
      You say you are a microbiologist... have you ever heard of flash-freezing to kill parasites? I'm a pilot... have you ever heard of air cargo?
      • Re:Buyer Beware! (Score:4, Informative)

        by raddan (519638) * on Sunday November 22, 2009 @11:42PM (#30199422)
        Freezing only kills some food-bourne pathogens. Parasites are only a part of the story. Camphylobacter [wikipedia.org] needs to be frozen for extended periods of time [nzfsa.govt.nz] to see a significant reduction in bacteria count-- probably not long enough from the time the ship catches and freezes the fish to the time it is served. There's a reason why (at least in Massachusetts) all raw food comes with a little warning on the menu.

        It's not like this is a new thing, or surprising, though. People have been catching all kinds of nasty things from raw seafood, like Hep A from oysters, for a long time.
    • Re:Buyer Beware! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @09:01PM (#30198424) Journal

      I currently live in an inland city, hundreds of kilometers from the the nearest ocean. This is why I refuse to eat sushi at the restaurants here since the fish will not be very fresh.

      I remember reading this years ago:
      http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/08/nyregion/08SUSH.html?pagewanted=all [nytimes.com]

      Food and Drug Administration regulations stipulate that fish to be eaten raw ? whether as sushi, sashimi, seviche, or tartare ? must be frozen first, to kill parasites. "I would desperately hope that all the sushi we eat is frozen," said George Hoskin, a director of the agency's Office of Seafood. Tuna, a deep-sea fish with exceptionally clean flesh, is the only exception to the rule.

      It seems once a year, someone re-discovers the amazing fact that uncooked fish should not be served fresh.

    • Re:Buyer Beware! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by zippthorne (748122) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @10:46PM (#30199128) Journal

      When you make your sandwich, it doesn't matter much if your uncooked meat slices (most luncheon meat is "cooked" by injecting it with salt and spices) are a little thick or wide. You just try to get roughly the right total amount and balance it off with veggies.

      When you make sushi, if you don't get juust the right size, the texture is all wrong. Something that should be sublime and delicious becomes a disgusting gag inducer. Even the taste seems different. Inexperienced or American* sushi chefs can easily make that mistake, and home chefs all the moreso. (*"American" cuisine being of the "it's not the highest quality, so lets give them more of it" bent more often than it ought)

      And then there's Fugu, which is extra difficult because a little bit of toxin is part of the experience.

      I don't know how "sushi chef" compares to "executive chef" in terms of preparation difficulty, but it's definitely way above "sandwich artist" on the scale of difficulty.

  • by ninjackn (1424235) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @07:45PM (#30197900) Journal
    Considering that Colorado is surrounded by land on all sides and New York is about as far away as possible from the pacific ocean (while staying in the US) i'm not surprised the tuna sushi you get there is a bit off.
  • Ass-plode (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BlueBoxSW.com (745855) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @07:50PM (#30197922) Homepage

    I'm more interested in hearing what kinds of places serve the bad sushi, so I can avoid those.

    I will not be avoiding sushi.

    I've already bought into the fact I'm eating raw fish.

  • Too late (Score:2, Funny)

    by LeeBarnes (473092)

    NOW they tell me. I just ate some tuna sushi for lunch today. ::sigh::

    I, for one, welcome my new parasitic overlords.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Dunbal (464142)

      I, for one, welcome my new parasitic overlords.

            Although in your case, "innerlords" may be more accurate. Or in a few hours, "underlords".

  • by Hadlock (143607) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @07:59PM (#30197982) Homepage Journal

    The chances that the fish you eat in sushi is an endangered species in a sushi bar is roughly the same as if you go to any other seafood restaurant. There are a lot of fish in the sea (no shit sherlock) - assume that 0.01% of fish are endangered. Now imagine dragging a net behind your boat. In theory at most 0.01% of all fish in your net will be endangered. Let's look at this more closely: Endangered fish are likely to exist in much smaller quantities, so while there might be 500 tuna per square mile of ocean, there might only be 1 of super-endangered-deliciousfish. Secondly, super-endangered-deliciousfish (SEDF) may only exist in the Bahamas, while the fisherman may be trawling off the coast of Georgia for Tuna, where Tuna are known to be abundant. Your likelyhood of catching a SEDF is highly unlikely.
     
    In any case the fish is dumped in the boat's hold on ice, and then sorted out when they get back to port. Fish are already partially ready for consumption at this point. It's not like fisherman go out in the forest and hunt individual endangered fish with rifles where they can see them. Making most any argument about endangered fish in a commercial fishing situation is completely retarded. The only argument for this is situations where opportunistic overfishing occurs in specific areas like when salmon swim upriver to lay their eggs, and this is already highly regulated.
     
    Also this article came out almost a year ago in the NYT this is old news(!)

    • by deboli (199358) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @08:34PM (#30198264) Homepage

      Not exactly true. Fish schools are specifically targeted by trawlers, found by sonar and fished out. There is not much by-catch in these nets contrary to indiscriminate trawling or using longlines or gill nets. Bluefin Tuna, for example is only found in the Mediterranean and the chance of catching a endangered species that lives in the Arctic is zero. Of course Bluefin is already endangered and there lies the crux of the problem: We generally overexploit all fish stocks and should declare large areas of the oceans at no-fishing zones to recover fish populations and become sustainable in the long run.

  • by houghi (78078) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @08:01PM (#30198004)

    Back to good old American Hamburgers. At least nobody ever got sick or died eating those, right?

    Or in other words: People do stuff with food that might be harmful. There is no reason to take out Sushi in particular.

  • by Eil (82413) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @08:04PM (#30198020) Homepage Journal

    I just sat down at the computer for dinner with my spicy tuna roll and this is the top story on the Front page. Thank you Slashdot, for ruining my appetite yet again.

  • Interesting that the Japanese won't/can't eat this, but consume many other poisonous fish. Perhaps we should warn them of the dangers of contact with whales...
    • Re:Escolar (Score:5, Informative)

      by jrumney (197329) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @08:32PM (#30198254) Homepage
      The poison in Fugu (the only poisonous species that is eaten in Japan) is localised and easily removed by the specially trained chefs who are licensed to prepare it. Escolar has its oil spread throughout the flesh, so for people who are sensitive to it, it is unavoidable.
  • endangered (thus rare) fish randomly ends up in your dish?

  • by domenic v1.0 (610623) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @09:00PM (#30198418)

    This is exactly why i don't trust the cheaper sushi places in Texas...Yes i said Sushi and Texas in the same sentence.

    Being born and raised in Hawaii, you are fed almost anything and everything out of the ocean, cooked or raw. Once example is Ahi Poke. Raw tuna marinated. It is freaking delicious! Ask any local in Hawaii and that food is as staple as corn in the midwest. Seafood can be caught/bought fresh daily in Hawaii. So even the cheaper sushi places in Hawaii have awesome sushi that doesn't get you sick. I never got sick once eating sushi in Hawaii. The fish you see on the menu is the fish you eat on your plate, no substitutions (except for maybe a few imitation crab items). And the prices are also cheaper since the fish is caught locally.

    Here in Texas, you need to go to a fine-dining seafood restaurant to get the same quality sushi as a regular mom and pop sushi restaurant in Hawaii. ($35 2-roll sushi plate in Texas vs $15 sushi PLATTER in Hawaii). The finer dining establishments in Texas have their fish flown in overnight frozen and prepare it the same day it arrives, it never sits after the fish is delivered. It is setup and prepped for the days meals once it arrives in the morning. I've had the unfortunate privilege of eating at a cheaper sushi place years ago when I first moved to Texas; this was my first sushi experience in Texas. Never again will I ever eat at another cheap sushi establishment here. The sushi was dry, tasted like crap, and even looked cheap. It was a bad experience for me that night when i got home. Now I just stick to the higher price and eat sushi ad finer dining sushi restaurants and go home with a settled stomach and a smile on my face, rather than sit on the porcelain throne all night.

  • by Fencepost (107992) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @09:29PM (#30198594) Journal
    I've taken to pretty much completely skipping the tuna when I'm getting sushi - not because of concerns about which fish I'm getting, but because of mercury levels. Since commercial tuna are very large pinnacle fish, they tend to accumulate significant amounts of mercury - much higher than is found in smaller fish such as salmon. There's a nice little article about mercury levels in tuna sushi in NYC from early 2008: High Mercury Levels Are Found in Tuna Sushi (NYTimes January 23, 2008) [nytimes.com]
  • by jipn4 (1367823) on Monday November 23, 2009 @04:29AM (#30200248)

    The fish contains indigestible fats; as such, it has about the same effect as eating large amounts of Olestra: it's laxative and leads to oily "leakage".

    "The US FDA has warned consumers about potential mislabeling of oilfish [same thing applies to Escolar], but has concluded that any laxative side effects that occur are uncomfortable at worst and pose no health risk."

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