By Dean L. Jones, CPM
From the mid 1980’s to about 1995, I ate sushi regularly for lunch all the while thinking it was something very decent to eat. Then, I had no idea that this high brow Japanese cuisine contained a considerable amount of hidden processed sugar ingredients. It was disheartening to find after researching sushi ingredients just how much of it contains processed sugars. Although, I should have known that the fish, hand packed rice wrapped in seaweed had to have something addictive for the reason that I kept going back for more.
While seaweed has excellent properties from nature including iodine, vitamins, and minerals it needs to come from clean, non-polluted waters. Unfortunately, the seaweed salad sold at ordinary sushi bars are commonly pre-made in bulk from large production companies that put in high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), plus other junk like vegetable oil, monosodium glutamate (MSG), harmful artificial colorings, and it is made from genetically modified organisms (GMO).
Ginger is something I find very tasteful and it has phenomenal health benefits for conditions ranging from nausea, arthritis pain to heart health and asthma. Sorry to say, the pickled ginger often served alongside sushi is routinely intermixed with the most dangerous food additive, Aspartame. This is extremely disappointing since aspartame is a known carcinogenic that can cause specific cancers in the human body, plus the ginger served has MSG, potassium sorbate, and red #40 coloring that is linked to hyperactivity in children.
Wasabi is an experience by itself and at its origin has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-platelet, and, potentially, anti-cancer effects. This is good to know if you eat at sushi bars to ask if they use authentic wasabi, which is the kind that comes from the wasabia japonica root or rhizome. Conversely, this bright green Japanese mustard at local sushi spots is probably not authentic, since restaurant experts agree that only around 5% of the restaurants in Japan and very high-end restaurants in the United States serve authentic wasabi. The other 95% serve a combination of horseradish, Chinese mustard, and artificial green food colorings. The experts recommend to eat wasabi that is made from only horseradish, spirulina, and turmeric, in lieu of the wasabi imposters.
There’s more ghastly information, as the highly used soy sauce has corn syrup and the other unhealthy suspects including GMO, potassium sorbate, and caramel coloring. Sushi bars frequently serve Fish Roe (seasoned caviar), except for these orange-colored fish eggs are mixed with additives like HFCS, MSG and artificial color yellow dye #6. Accordingly, it stands to reason that the rice would also contain hidden ingredients used to make it sweetly addictive, where in Japanese sushi places the food handlers are adding HFCS and Aspartame. Furthermore, this sugar alert serves to inform on how even those flavored sesame seeds possibly will contain the artificial sweetener Sucralose, aka Splenda.
Dean Jones, Ethics Advocate, Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), contributes his view on consuming various unwholesome packaged foods and beverages.