Sunday, February 7, 2010

So Long, Sushi...For Now.

I really miss eating sushi. It used to be a regular with me, and now I'm stuck getting noodle soup while P orders some tantalizing plate of colorful rolls then dips them decadently in wasabi and soy sauce.

I'm obedient though, and my doctor told me to abstain while pregnant. And I get the whole raw-fish-is-at-higher-risk-for-bacteria argument, I do.

But my question is this: What are all the Japanese preggos doing?! Are you telling me that THEY aren't eating sushi for nine months?

If so, I don't believe you.

So, because I'm seriously questioning my doctor's recommendation and was perched precariously on the verge of giving up and giving in over the weekend, I've decided:

While all the other Catholics are struggling with pescetarian Fridays, my Lenten obligation will be distinctly less fishy.

Sushi, I really won't be seeing you until at least after Easter. Let's just hope by them I'm not past the point of nori turn. (heh. I couldn't restrain myself.)

Is that tempura in your belly, or are you just happy sashimi? (Jim Carrey)


  1. Hi there -- I work at the same company as your husband, and he just asked me the sushi question. I emailed him back, but just in case he forgets to tell you (as husbands often do) I will answer here, too: It's not the bacteria, it's the chance of parasites.

    While uncommon anywhere, parasitic infections from sushi are more common in the U.S. I've heard it has something to do with fresh water fish getting stored next to salt-water fish? Freezing doesn't kill parasites, only cooking.

    When I was pregnant with the first two, I was in LA, and my doctor was somewhat of a gourmet himself. He told me it was okay to eat oysters, as long as I was 100% sure they were farmed. And he said I could eat sushi as long as I stuck to maguro -- he said it was shipped over in big frozen blocks, and had a lower chance of parasites. This was 15 years ago, so who knows what the situation is like now.

    My third pregnancy was in Japan, 8 years ago, and my doctor said I probably didn't need to worry about parasites because they are still very uncommon here -- but advised me not to eat so much maguro because of all the mercury in tuna.

    As for Japanese women eating sushi....I don't think Japanese women eat AT ALL while they're pregnant -- doctors here still tell women to limit their weight gain as much as possible.

    By the way, I am from Connecticut -- born in Hartford, raised in Wethersfield. Now liviing in Tokyo -- nice to meet ya!

  2. Wow, thank you! I find it very interesting that Japan has fewer parasites than we do in their sushi. I wonder if it has to do with the fish itself or the handling/preparation.

    In other things-I-can't-eat news, they also told me not to eat lunchmeat unless it's been heated up, because of nitrates. I'm not sure what nitrates are or do (I'm sure a simple google would solve this problem) but considering I almost always heat up my sandwiches anyway, it's really not a big sacrifice.

    Peter did actually send me your response about a week ago I think, but I'm very happy you commented here and I can officially say hi! And thanks!