Blindsided by Sushi

by - July 21, 2011

You know the saying? Never grocery shop when you're hungry. Whoops. So I was shopping at Sprouts, which is kinda-sorta known as a healthier store. (Sidenote: I'm not a gigantic fan because there are a lot of things I'd like to see them do better, but there are some gems to be found in health products.) I walk by the ready-made sushi and can't help myself. The California rolls looked so good. When I get home, ready to dive in, I rip open the packets of wasabi and soy sauce and something catches my eye -- the ingredient list. Why-oh-why did I have to look? was bad on top of bad, with a side of bad. Let's take a look, shall we?

- ASPARTAME (i.e. poison) *the worst offender in my opinion

Soy Sauce
- Hydrolyzed soy protein (i.e. MSG)
- Caramel Color (i.e. cancer-causer)
- Disodium inosinate (i.e. MSG)
- Disodium Guanylate (i.e. MSG)

- Sorbitol (artificial sweetener and laxative)
- Yellow No. 5 (carcinogen/can cause ADHD)
- FD&C Blue No. 1 (carcinogen/can cause ADHD)
- Vegetable oil (genetically-modified corn)

Are you disgusted yet? Click the links to learn about why each of those ingredients are BAD BAD BAD. The worst of it is that I've been preaching label reading for a few years now and yet I've managed to turn a blind eye to my beloved sushi. I patron many a sushi restaurant (the craving is just too much) and never ask what is in their wasabi or soy sauce. Take a stab in the dark? It's likely the very same ingredients above. Doubtful that devouring this stuff on a near-weekly basis is helping my fight against auto-immune Hades.

ALTERNATIVES (to the crap)

Soy Sauce: Pack a small bottle of Bragg's Liquid Aminos when headed to the local fare. This stuff always has a place in my pantry and I use it whenever any recipe calls for soy sauce. And trust me, you cannot tell a difference in taste.

Wasabi: So I found out that REAL wasabi root is very difficult to grow/cultivate, so it is expensive. Therefore, nearly all wasabi here in the US is from a powder. Likely powdered and processed products contain less than desirable additives and ingredients. However, if you have a decent asian market nearby, it wouldn't hurt to check it out and see what you can find. Just be sure to read the label. If you don't understand the ingredients, don't buy it. This realization was a major bummer for me because now what will I do at my beloved sushi restaurants?

Another alternative at home is to grate your own horseradish root. It's not the same flavor, but packs a similar punch to the palate. I for one am a huge horseradish fan so this may be the route for me. Might I be the crazy lady who brings her own horseradish and liquid aminos when going to sushi restaurants? Perhaps. But my body will thank me for not filling it with harmful chemicals.

And if you DO happen upon some sushi or other foods with chemically-laden ingredients, check out these essential oils which can help cleanse and detox your liver.

Life Force - Builds, strengthens, and protects the body because it is an immune and adrenal gland stimulant and toner.

Revitalize - Cleanses the liver and is a good digestive aid, particularly in eliminating bloating, belching, and heartburn. It stabilizes energy levels and improves vitality.

Chamomile - Mild and soothing, also neutralizes allergies and is a cleanser of the blood.

Long live (healthy) sushi!


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