The myth of sushi and pregnancy

My friends Robin and Mark are expecting their second kid in the fall. Of course, very exciting and it’s cool that Marjorie will now have a playmate. I did have a concern however; Robin is a sushi freak and I off-handedly mentioned that she’ll be without the good stuff for the next 36 odd weeks. Pretty much as soon as I messaged her I thought that this wasn’t correct. Well, Robin corrected me; that sushi is perfectly fine for expectant mothers. Now it’s my turn to shed some light on this myth. Sushi is okay for pregnant mothers.

Robin pointed me to this article by Steven Shaw in the New York times. In it, he brought up some good points about sushi. In Japan, sushi has been a part of the dining culture for generations and they seem to be doing fine. A big point that was brought up was that for some, the matter of avoiding sushi during pregnancy was a bit of a scare tactic, started as a safety measure forsaking a bit of logic.

I’m sure that there are some things to be mindful of when eating sushi and if you’re pregnant, but I’m just as sure that you can’t take things at face value without some research. That’s what I’m here to help with. I’m by no means an expert of food nutrition for expectant mothers, but hopefully I can be another resource so food that is so beloved won’t be avoided.

Of course, there is a bit of logic involved with this too. Don’t eat sushi everyday! This goes without saying; enjoy it. And why burn yourself out on something that love you already? It’s known that the larger fishes (tuna, swordfish, etc) have the higher levels of mercury, so be mindful of that. Secondly, go to restaurants that you are already comfortable with and have high cleanliness levels. Lastly, if you worry about who is handling your food, sit up at the sushi bar. This makes for one of the best sitting at the bar occasions. You can see the level of precision that a sushi master has for their craft. That way you will know exactly what you’ll be eating. And I’m sure it’ll be delicious.

Basically, do your research before you fly blindly into believing what you’ve ‘heard or read somewhere’. It’s like those high-fructose corn syrup commercials that try to debunk the outcry against HFCS. A bit audacious, but they do bring up a good point. Do your homework. I’m not the final voice and I don’t want to be; I just want to be another resource for food information. Talk to your doctor, research, figure out what’s best for your body. Ultimately it’s your choice, not someone elses. Besides, almost anything you eat has a chance to make you sick. Seriously, almost everything has a chance to hit you up something awful.

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