Sushi, Sashimi and Other Food Facts

Sushi class and other food facts! A little while ago, I went to Maze, Gordon Ramseys, restaurant on Grosvenor Square in London for a sushi class. It was great fun, but have to admit I have not tried my hand at making sushi since the class, though I will!


Sashimi ( which is raw fish) and Sushi using raw fish, can cause foodborne illness because of bacteria and parasites. A study in Seattle, Washington, showed that all wild salmon had roundworm larvae capable of infecting people, while farm-raised salmon did not have any roundworm larvae. Freezing is often used to kill parasites. The European Union brought in regulations (EC 853/2004) requiring that all fish that was going to be eaten raw must be frozen first  (−20°C ) for 24 hours to  kill parasites. However  the Scottish salmon producers were confident that their farmed salmon wouldn’t have parasites because the feed given was controlled and sea pens where salmon are raised were maintained in such a way that the parasite risk was extremely low and as of 2011, farmed fish is now exempt from being frozen..

The intake of large amounts of certain kinds of fish may affect consumer health due to mercury content, and these include Tile Fish, Orange Roughy, Shark, Swordfish , Atlantic Blue Fin Tuna. Other fish that should be avoided are, trawler caught Chilean Sea Bass ( over fished), Mahi Mahi (histamine poisoning) Atlantic cod ( overfished) White Tuna… Escolar ( can cause diarrhoea ), Red Snapper ( over fished) and Caviar (overfished).


On another note, also of concern, particularly in  American processed foods are food additives.

BHA and BHT are substances which are banned in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and the EU, however are still used in the USA particularly in snack foods such as crisps.

Azodicarbonamide, is used for the texture in cheap white bread, is used in the USA by MacDonalds and Burger king in their Burger Buns., it is banned in the countries above, AND if a company uses it in Singapore, they can get a large fine and 15 years in gaol! Bovine growth hormone, banned in the EU, but not in the USA.

Potassium Bromate, used in the USA in flour, but again banned in the EU.

Food colourings , especially Blue dye #1, Yellow dye numbers 5 and 6, the yellow dyes are used in ready meals, colourings for some cereals and the bright yellow of American Cheese.

However my favourite  realy bad one isis OLESTRA . I remember this being hailed, when we lived in the USA as the big new thing for the food industry. What could be better  there be than zero calories, zero grams of cholesterol and zero grams of fat? In January 1996, the FDA approved OLESTRA as a food additive. Cut out the unhealthy cooking oil.Dump the shortening.Trash the butter. Frito-Lay was among the first companies to jump on board, introducing its WOW! division of potato chips in 1998 to claim fat-free stomach satisfaction.However  olestra was of course too good to be true. It  removed the fat from food but also stopped the body from absorbing vital vitamins . Side effects included cramps, gas and loose bowels.! OLESTRA is still  legal food additive in the USA despite  the obvious side effects. I think the bottom line is, avoid processed food, as far as possible and read the food labels. Happy Eating!

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