In highly unwelcome news, sushi can carry worms. Yep. A particular type of worm called anisakid nematode.
It starts off as little egg in the ocean, which then hatches into larvae and eventually become a parasitic crustacean.
The crustacean is eaten by small fish – exactly according to its devilish plan – and slowly make its way up in the food chain, burrowing into its hosts’ gut walls.
Eventually it lands on your plate in the form of raw fish at a sushi restaurant, soon to be burrowing into your gut wall.
When that happens, you get sick. Really sick. The anisakid nematode causes an infection called anisakiasis and symptoms can include vomiting, fever, stomach pain, anaphylaxis and death. This is no small-time worm.
A’though the infection is more common in Japan, the way we are adopting sushi and sashimi as a staple seen on every block corner, the little anisakid nematode is slowly making its way around the world.
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Recently, the British Medical Journal reported the case of a man in the UK who had eaten sushi and ended up with an intestine squirming with ankisakis larvae. (Gross).
Frankly, it’s rude.
Sushi has always been the ‘healthy’ option in the world of fast food.
When your alternative is a burger dripping in grease with cardboard cheese and pickles that could survive a nuclear attack, sushi is the equivalent to a farmer’s market basket of raw, virgin, organic super-foods.
It’s an oasis of nutritional value when put beside chicken nuggets and fries that can almost stand up and run away with the fat they’re fired within.