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Thread: Think Twice About Going Out For Sushi

  1. #1
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    Default Think Twice About Going Out For Sushi

    http://www.crooksandliars.com/2008/0...out-for-sushi/
    (No links to the related articles; go to url above for that.)

    Think Twice About Going Out For Sushi
    By: Nicole Belle on Friday, January 25th, 2008 at 7:30 PM - PST

    I’m really bummed by this because I’m a huge sushi fan. But the NY Times ran an investigative piece (reg. req’d) on the dangerously high levels of mercury in tuna used in 20 Manhattan sushi bars and restaurants. Just six pieces of this sushi a week would exceed levels set by the EPA:

    Sushi from 5 of the 20 places had mercury levels so high that the Food and Drug Administration could take legal action to remove the fish from the market. The sushi was bought by The New York Times in October.

    Unfortunately, the NY Times doesn’t really go into how that mercury got into the tuna in the first place.

    To understand how mercury contaminates fish, consider the mercury cycle. It begins with mercury being emitted to the atmosphere by sources such as coal-burning power plants. The mercury washes out of the air with precipitation and comes down on land and water.

    Here’s the perfect example of how de-regulation and embracing of conservative free market principles are completely unsustainable: we’re now poisoning our food, and ourselves. But don’t tell that to Rick Berman, who sent out a press release demanding that the NY Times retract the article.

    “Yellow(fin) journalism like this does a great disservice to ordinary consumers,” added Martosko. “Study after study shows that the documented health benefits of eating fish far outweigh any hypothetical risks. I know the Times is losing money and cutting costs, but maybe they shouldn’t have cut back on their scientific research budget.”

    Yeah, I’m going to trust a lobbyist funded by Phillip Morris for all my healthful diet choices. Newsweek’s Sharon Begley takes apart Berman point by point.

    So when the Center for Consumer Freedom sent me (and probably scores of other reporters) a press release slamming yesterday’s New York Times story chronicling the high mercury levels the newspaper found in tuna sushi served in New York City restaurants and sold in upscale stores, I didn’t reflexively think, “oh, this is the group jump-started with a pile of money from a tobacco giant.” I didn’t think, “this is the group whose leader promised said tobacco company, Philip Morris, ‘to unite the restaurant and hospitality industries in a campaign to defend their consumers and marketing programs against attacks from anti-smoking, anti-drinking, anti-meat, etc. activists.’” I didn’t automatically recall the Washington Post editorial citing “documents showing that Coca-Cola, Wendy’s, Tyson Foods, Cargill and Outback Steakhouse are among [founder Rick] Berman’s largest donors.” I didn’t automatically recall that Berman had, as the Post reported, “accused Mothers Against Drunk Driving a. . . of ‘junk science, intimidation tactics, and even threats of violence to push their radical agenda.’” (I found those references only later.)

    She actually gets into the science part to show that once again, free market principles to Berman means that consumers should have the right to allow companies to do their work unfettered by the concern that they may be poisoning the populace.
    Don J. Modesto
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    I eat sushi every week, and have for at least a decade. I'm not worried about it.

    To start with, there is a hell of a lot of sushi to eat besides bluefin tuna, and I don't know anyone that gorges on bluefin every week. The "safe" levels approved by the government also tends to the conservative - you can, in actual practice, exceed the guidelines a fair amount with no ill effects. Anyway, the primary concern is birth defects, and there haven't been any mercury related birth defects of any note in decades.

    This article is little more than a scary fluff piece designed to prod you into action for some green cause, or perhaps decide to become a vegan.
    Harvey Moul

    Fish and visitors stink after three days - Ben Franklin

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    How about that article that showed a picture of a Japanese dude's brain being eaten by parasitic creatures from sushi that was not cooked properly? Not true?
    -John Nguyen

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nii View Post
    sushi that was not cooked properly?
    huh????????

    anyway, how can there be a safe level of mercury? its a metal that stays in your body....
    Jim Boone

    Flick Lives!

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    Beer

    Quote Originally Posted by yoj View Post
    huh????????

    anyway, how can there be a safe level of mercury? its a metal that stays in your body....

    Sushi is not necessarily raw. It does not even refer to the fish but to the rice. Sashimi is the raw fish.

    An example would be ebi, the cooked shrimp on top of sushi rice.
    With respect,

    Mitch Saret

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    Quote Originally Posted by yoj View Post
    huh????????

    anyway, how can there be a safe level of mercury? its a metal that stays in your body....
    Because mercury is found in nature, in most cases in levels low enough to be undetectable and not harmful to the body... kinda like radiation
    Leon Appleby (Tokyo Ouji)
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    SK Blog at http://www.leonjp.com

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    How about that article that showed a picture of a Japanese dude's brain being eaten by parasitic creatures from sushi that was not cooked properly? Not true?

    I remember those pics - they were debunked as the result of eating sushi. Sushi may contain parasitic worms (I worked on a trawler one season - some of the shit you see will put you off some types of seafood), but in general these aren't an issue as you will just digest them. Besides, your sushi chef is looking for these types of things and will cut them out. I've never seen a worm, or even a questionable slice of fish, in any sushi.

    Sushi that has been left out too long at someplace like Todai, for example, is another matter....
    Harvey Moul

    Fish and visitors stink after three days - Ben Franklin

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    I'm not sure if I should be relieved or even more worried! Thanks for the information any how. It was unusual how parsites that would start in the stomach end up in the brain though.
    -John Nguyen

  9. #9
    Samurai Jack Guest

    Default eating out will never be the same

    Hmmm....Puffer fish or Tuna....?

    Then there was Pork
    Last edited by Samurai Jack; 1st February 2008 at 01:51. Reason: A Jewish kosher thing

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    anyway, how can there be a safe level of mercury? its a metal that stays in your body....

    Mercury occurs naturally in nature - everybody will naturally have some trace levels of mercury (and many other metals) in their body. You can't avoid it.
    Harvey Moul

    Fish and visitors stink after three days - Ben Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shitoryu Dude View Post
    How about that article that showed a picture of a Japanese dude's brain being eaten by parasitic creatures from sushi that was not cooked properly? Not true?

    Sushi may contain parasitic worms (I worked on a trawler one season - some of the shit you see will put you off some types of seafood), but in general these aren't an issue as you will just digest them. Besides, your sushi chef is looking for these types of things and will cut them out. I've never seen a worm, or even a questionable slice of fish, in any sushi.

    Sushi that has been left out too long at someplace like Todai, for example, is another matter....
    Most, if not all, of the parasites in fish are destroyed by freezing, and most of the sushi in the U.S. was, at some point in its processing, frozen. The joys of freshly killed raw fish aside (it does taste better), frozen is safer......as far as mercury goes, fish are safer than the fillings in your teeth...if you're around my age, anyway.....
    Aaron J. Cuffee


    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
    - H.L. Mencken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shitoryu Dude View Post
    Anyway, the primary concern is birth defects, and there haven't been any mercury related birth defects of any note in decades.
    .
    Unfortunately, i believe that you are mistaken.

    My sister has a severly disabled child. The doctors are not sure what caused this, but it seems that it may have been caused by dental work that she had when she was pregnant.

    She had some amalgam (mercury) fillings replaced, and I would assume that she inhaled mercury fumes while the work was being carried out.
    Indar Picton-Howell
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    Well maybe it's okay after all, Don?

    http://www.slate.com/id/2182823/
    J. Nicolaysen
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    "I value the opinion much more of a grand master then I do some English professor, anyways." Well really, who wouldn't?

    We're all of us just bozos on the budo bus and there's no point in looking to us for answers regarding all the deep and important issues.--M. Skoss.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nicojo View Post
    Well maybe it's okay after all, Don?

    http://www.slate.com/id/2182823/
    I still find the reservation about mercury collecting in the body compelling, but the Slate citation is an excellent follow up. Thanks.
    Don J. Modesto
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