Friday, 30 April 2010
What can I eat?
I have been asking my students who work in sushi bars if there has been any downturn in tuna consumption recently. "No", they have all replied, "Why should there be?" No-one in Japan seems in the least aware that we are facing a global tuna shortage due to overfishing. We are in Golden Week here, seven days of holidays, and the weather after a couple of weeks of constant heavy rain, is warm and sunny. Sushi is the perfect meal for this weather but it is impossible to buy a sushi obento that does not contain maguro (raw tuna) (see pics above). So I have switched to shrimp. (I have a child`s taste in sushi. Tuna and shrimp are the least sophisticated tastes.)
If the Japanese don`t care about the shortage of tuna then they might be persuaded to consider their health. A recent report by the US Environmental Agency found that all the tuna they tested (in the USA) contained higher concentrations of mercury than was considered safe to eat in one day. Their recommendation is to eat no more than 7-8 pieces of tuna per month. Japanese mercury limits are lower than the US but aren`t they both fishing the same sea? I eat A LOT of raw fish. No wonder the fridge magnets keep sticking to me.
*Child`s Taste: Last week I read an article in a British Sunday newspaper in which a restaurant critic tried to get his children to enjoy sophisticated dishes at an elegant restaurant. They would only eat pasta or pizza and he couldn`t understand why. The Japanese know why. They believe that children`s taste buds must grow and develop so they start their children off with simple tastes such as rice, tuna and shrimp and as they grow older offer sea urchin and eel. As a Brit I believe `bland` is a very palatable flavour and I`m sticking with it ...and avoiding the new season pizza, the Mini Dog.