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Any safe seafood out there?

Battling the MSG Myth » Archive » Help! I Have a Question » Any safe seafood out there? « Previous Next »

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Posted on Monday, July 09, 2001 - 9:28 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Regarding seafood: my husband and I both have bad reactions to most seafoods - whether purchased at a grocery store or at a restaurant - we assumed they spray or sprinkle an msg type preservative on it either on the boats (which I read in another persons posting is true) or in the store or both. We have, however, found the fresh fish at Whole Foods doesn't bother us, but good luck getting getting the fresh ones. (I believe fresh is safe there because I feel they may not spray it with anything until it starts to get a little old). Getting the freshest fish is really a challenge because they want to get rid of the oldest stuff first. If they leave the heads on and the eyes are clear I know it's fresh, but sometimes they cut all the heads off and you don't know if they are old or if they just decided to cut them off because some people don't like the heads on. I have tried asking them, but I don't believe their answers sometimes. My husband and I love fish and it's so healthy, but I understand Carol doesn't have any problem with seafood. We live in Texas, maybe you live closer to a coastal area where it's fresher so they don't need to spray anything on it? One word of warning about fish (not really related to msg), from my brother-in-law who is just finishing up school to be a doctor - watch out for predatory type fish, like shark, tuna, and salmon. They tend to build up toxins, like mercury, and if you eat too much of these types of fish, you too can get mercury poisoning. This can be especially dangerous if you are pregnant.

Now as far as shrimp goes, we can eat plain shrimp from the regular grocery store. As long as we cook it, and not them. And restaurants are ok too, for shrimp and oysters, esp. fried - but just about everything else gives us problems.

And thanks for the info about steamed vs. boiled - that is a great idea and we will try that - I know when we eat chinese food we have been getting steamed rice instead of fried - we have found about 2 chinese restaurants that either use no msg (other than soy sauce), or they tell us exactly what to avoid at their restaurant. So far we have been able to eat at both places successfully, after learning what to order. I'm afraid it's all just a case by case basis. We have learned through trial and error. These are not places you can find anywhwere across the country, so it probably won't help to post the names.

I just wonder if it's sulfites we may be having the reaction to on the seafood, or if it really is an msg type preservative on the fish. If anyone knows about this, please post. I'm hoping someone out there works at a grocery store or has worked on fishing boats who could help out.
Carol H
Posted on Monday, July 09, 2001 - 2:45 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Melissa, there is a type of food poisoning that can happen to fish that are not kept on ice as they should be. This type of food poisoning is explained well in Ruth Winter's book "Poisons in your Food". It is called scombroid poisoning. The symptoms can be similar to an MSG reaction. Histamine response is involved. Symptoms are: dizziness, headache, diarrhea, burning sensation or peppery taste in mouth, irregular heartbeat, itching, asthma symptoms, weakness, and paralysis. (This is in addition to dangers from sulfites that some must worry about.) I live in New Jersey and most of the restaurants and fish stores here buy their fish directly from the Fulton Fish Market or local fishermen. The supply here is usually very fresh, and being near the coast, most places are good about proper handling. I may just be lucky because of my location. Make sure you go to a reputable supplier or restaurant.
Posted on Monday, July 09, 2001 - 3:18 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I live near the Gulf of Mexico, in Houston, and I still wouldn't touch fish unless I saw it swimming first. That brings me to the question, does anyone know if anything is added to the tanks that fish are swimming in? My Chinese collegues at work know very well of my sensitivities to MSG, sulfites, and tyramine, and are curious about what I eat. They are anxious to help me find a safe, fresh fish to eat, and suggested the Chinese markets not far from where I live, because the fish are still alive. You can't get any fresher than this, as long as there is nothing added to the water.
Regarding sulfites, I just discovered a very informative web site today at I e-mailed the person there and suggested he include in his list of links.

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