6

votes

Anyone eat fresh fish raw?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 02, 2012 at 1:08 AM

I see this thread about eating frozen fish http://paleohacks.com/questions/59090/is-it-safe-to-eat-frozen-fish-raw#axzz1lBGuQGMv, but I'm wondering if anyone has experimented with eating raw fish that was just caught and hasn't been frozen yet.

Specifically, this Vermillion snapper which was "just caught this morning" according to the meat manager at Native Sun where I got it. The only reason I'm asking is because my gf and I love sushi and sashimi but would prefer to get our fish fresh from the market instead of the farmed, who-knows-where-it-came-from-and-what's-in-it fish that is typically served in sushi restaurants.

I understand the basic situation involving parasites, and that apparently most "sushi-grade" fish is usually bled on the boat and put on ice before freezing it for a few weeks in order to get that (unofficial) designation.

I'm thinking of at least trying a bite or two before I bake him to see if he even tastes as good raw as he does cooked. In the meantime, I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this?

Medium avatar

(12379)

on October 17, 2012
at 03:50 PM

@zaitz - at that temperature celcius and farenheit are the same

Bdc4873264ec9dbec27505e678dabce0

(432)

on October 08, 2012
at 03:05 AM

negative 40 in F or C?

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on February 03, 2012
at 04:19 PM

Thanks Jenny, this was very helpful!

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on February 03, 2012
at 04:19 PM

Thanks for chiming in everyone! I decided to forego the pre-cooked taste test and play it safe. Fish came out great baked for an hour at 350 with butter, fresh lemon and thyme :)

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 02, 2012
at 07:19 PM

Yeah, you just kind of pretend you can't see those when you have a garden! About your comment though, most of these are not parasite at all, but rather larval/grubs of bugs (ex beetle larvae) or aphids. Very different from the parasite you get from fish- you can crunch down grubs no problem, but parasites will wreck *hit up.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 02, 2012
at 07:15 PM

For sure Bree! I'm actually in Montreal a la moment, but I am born/raised in BC. Love it there more than anywhere in the world, will always wind my way back to the coast :)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 02, 2012
at 06:16 AM

I've heard the same warnings for fresh water versus salt water fish in the past. If those overly-dramatic reality medical shows where people can't seem to find a diagnosis are to be trusted, I've gotten the impression that freshwater fish is prone to tapeworms, and their blastocysts will form in your brain and give you vertigo while driving if you don't cook your trout or bass fully. ;)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 02, 2012
at 06:12 AM

OK that's gross.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 02, 2012
at 06:10 AM

I bet it would taste way better as ceviche, I've done that with fresh caught ling cod and rockfish. The hope is that the vinegar or lemon/lime juice you use will pickle any living parasites before they can get you. I've usually served ceviche during cocktail hour too hoping the booze might add an extra layer of security.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on February 02, 2012
at 05:45 AM

Elves do a lot of weird things anyway. I don't wanna be an elf. I'm more a hobbit or a dwarf.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on February 02, 2012
at 05:25 AM

I don't think his intent was to demonize it, it is just for depth and richness of characters. Elves, dwarves, orcs and the like are archetypes and amplified expressions of the types of personalities real world where some people just get too emotional about eating animals to do it. Tolkien was clearly down with the bacon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPFoxptN9DE ;)

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on February 02, 2012
at 04:36 AM

(but, those broccoli bugs aren't parasites, to be fair; mostly aphids n' such.)

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on February 02, 2012
at 04:34 AM

Lol...we had a big veg garden growing up, and used to just stand in it and eat everything. My mom told me recently that she never told us just how many wriggly bugs floated out of the broccoli when she washed it. She figured, "hey, extra protein." Right on, mom!

800547661e2d20d03f5a313d86eb6102

(155)

on February 02, 2012
at 03:36 AM

You think snapper is nasty take a look at the new fad fish Talapia! I won't eat that cooked to a crisp! catfish is no picnic either, you think farmer aided fish is bad, these two are about as bad as any bottom dwellers, scavengers you can get.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6244)

on February 02, 2012
at 02:49 AM

LOL - you know that the elves are vegetarian in Lord of the Rings although Tolkien wasn't! So much of literature has demonized meat-eating ...

Medium avatar

(12379)

on February 02, 2012
at 02:09 AM

Jenny - it sounds like you live in BC?

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 02, 2012
at 02:00 AM

Yeah, I'm not sure if this is right...no pro, but I've filleted some rockfish/sportfish, and you can actually see some of the flesh parasites if you really get down there, even if you just have a little hand-held magnifying glass. Even the prawns will have little parasite on the outside of their shells on some hauls, you have to throw them in boiling water or flash-freeze to shake them.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 02, 2012
at 01:57 AM

The fine is huge- one guy in our harbor got fined $20,000 for his three boats violating the freezer requirements. They don't mess around.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 02, 2012
at 01:45 AM

I thought it grew in brackish salt water- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vibrio_parahaemolyticus

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on February 02, 2012
at 01:40 AM

+1000 I was totally going to post that. It's good to know that when I'm not around you have the obligatory LOTR references covered :-)

Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

(3125)

on February 02, 2012
at 01:28 AM

ts my understanding that the human disease bacterium vibrio parahaemolyticus thrives only in salt water species.

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8 Answers

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12
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 02, 2012
at 01:25 AM

My BF and his family is fishermen, I grew up on the docks, and we don't eat fresh catch raw. He used to participate in studies with a local university for some extra money, and they would send us all the results of parasite testing (what they were usually studying), and even the freshest of fresh fish almost always had some kind of parasite. Usually totally innocuous to us, but you never know. I don't think there was probably ever a piece of fish analyzed that didn't have parasites. The parasite would still be present and alive in the flesh after "cool storage" (think big fridge), but were completely killed with flash-freezing (super fast freezing). Now he flash freezes all his fish and can sell it all at "sashimi grade", parasites killed. It is delicious raw (we usually do different salmon such as pink and sockeye).

When we catch sport fish and want to eat it raw, we still flash freeze it first. Alternatively, we soak it in vodka (Russian style!) as a sort of booze-y lox, or smoke it.

That being said, he used to have an oyster farm, and we would eat those raw or lightly smoked all the time. Also we cook prawns for only about 30 seconds tail on, so those are usually pretty raw when we eat them. He never had his shellfish tested for parasites before, so I'm not sure about shellfish parasite levels or anything. We had to test everything for red tide already, so we didn't have that worry.

All-in-all: it's your choice if the risk is worth it, but if you are a big fan of sashimi and want to eat raw fish that you know where it's from, seek out sashimi grade if it's worth the peace of mind to you.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on February 02, 2012
at 02:09 AM

Jenny - it sounds like you live in BC?

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 02, 2012
at 07:15 PM

For sure Bree! I'm actually in Montreal a la moment, but I am born/raised in BC. Love it there more than anywhere in the world, will always wind my way back to the coast :)

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on February 03, 2012
at 04:19 PM

Thanks Jenny, this was very helpful!

5
Medium avatar

(12379)

on February 02, 2012
at 01:54 AM

I would be careful with any rockfish like snapper eaten fresh raw. The reason that sushi grade fish is ok for consumption is that it is blast frozen at sea to -40 which kills parasites. Sushi grade is not an unofficial designation - there are very serious laws guarding the landing of fish at fish plants and it is a condition of the fisherman's liscence to keep the freezers in good working order. (and if they don't not only can they not sell the fish they caught, they also are fined)

Bottom(ish) dwellers like rockfish have parasites and worms in the flesh (if you don't believe me go catch one and filet it yourself). And when I buy fresh snapper on the docks or when I catch it I definitely cook it up - in my opinion snapper is so much better cooked than raw (unlike tuna and salmon which are delish raw).

800547661e2d20d03f5a313d86eb6102

(155)

on February 02, 2012
at 03:36 AM

You think snapper is nasty take a look at the new fad fish Talapia! I won't eat that cooked to a crisp! catfish is no picnic either, you think farmer aided fish is bad, these two are about as bad as any bottom dwellers, scavengers you can get.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 02, 2012
at 01:57 AM

The fine is huge- one guy in our harbor got fined $20,000 for his three boats violating the freezer requirements. They don't mess around.

Bdc4873264ec9dbec27505e678dabce0

(432)

on October 08, 2012
at 03:05 AM

negative 40 in F or C?

Medium avatar

(12379)

on October 17, 2012
at 03:50 PM

@zaitz - at that temperature celcius and farenheit are the same

5
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on February 02, 2012
at 01:36 AM

Gollum is so paleo: ""Yes, yes we could. Spoiling nice fish, scorching it. Give me fish now, and keep nassty chips! '" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYiCPmwOV4A

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on February 02, 2012
at 05:25 AM

I don't think his intent was to demonize it, it is just for depth and richness of characters. Elves, dwarves, orcs and the like are archetypes and amplified expressions of the types of personalities real world where some people just get too emotional about eating animals to do it. Tolkien was clearly down with the bacon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPFoxptN9DE ;)

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on February 02, 2012
at 01:40 AM

+1000 I was totally going to post that. It's good to know that when I'm not around you have the obligatory LOTR references covered :-)

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on February 02, 2012
at 05:45 AM

Elves do a lot of weird things anyway. I don't wanna be an elf. I'm more a hobbit or a dwarf.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6244)

on February 02, 2012
at 02:49 AM

LOL - you know that the elves are vegetarian in Lord of the Rings although Tolkien wasn't! So much of literature has demonized meat-eating ...

2
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 02, 2012
at 03:12 PM

I know from the store owner that salmon that is sold as sashimi is handled very differently to any regular fish. That's why it is so much more expensive. He told me that it is not regular raw salmon. According to regulations, they are not even suppose to keep them together. Sashimi salmon is kept where it cannot be contaminated by anything else.

If I were you, I would not eat raw fish. You don't know what kind of disease/parasites it can carry. Better safe than sorry.

1
0b7c3e7fd96005f0b2dfd781e512fc2e

(1237)

on August 21, 2013
at 08:03 AM

One point RE parasites and other hazards: Your body is not stupid. It has an immune system. We are constantly bombarded with toxins every day and we do just fine. I'm no expert so don't take my word for this, but my suspicion is that the dangers of eating raw fish are overblown in light of this.

I read somewhere that humans have been consuming raw fish since antiquity. Unlike other animals, it does not contain much connective tissue so it is easier for us to digest.

I bought some fresh hake two days ago and had some leftover yesterday - not enough to justify the effort of cooking so I just ate it raw with lots of veggies. I felt AWESOME afterwards. Tons of energy and mental power. Must be the nutrients and enzymes that get destroyed in cooking. I am wary of the hazards, though, and I think I will try to incorporate a mix of cooked and raw fish rather than consume the latter exclusively.

The paleo-ish blogger Denise Minger has raw fish as her staple protein source: http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/01/20/my-current-diet/

fish and shellfish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, snapper, yellowtail, oysters, mussels, clams; the fish typically raw), usually daily

1
800547661e2d20d03f5a313d86eb6102

(155)

on February 02, 2012
at 03:40 AM

Worried about all these parasites? Throw some broccoli in cold salt water for about ten minutes, see what's floating around later! Mmmmm, now you know where the protein comes from!

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on February 02, 2012
at 04:34 AM

Lol...we had a big veg garden growing up, and used to just stand in it and eat everything. My mom told me recently that she never told us just how many wriggly bugs floated out of the broccoli when she washed it. She figured, "hey, extra protein." Right on, mom!

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on February 02, 2012
at 04:36 AM

(but, those broccoli bugs aren't parasites, to be fair; mostly aphids n' such.)

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 02, 2012
at 07:19 PM

Yeah, you just kind of pretend you can't see those when you have a garden! About your comment though, most of these are not parasite at all, but rather larval/grubs of bugs (ex beetle larvae) or aphids. Very different from the parasite you get from fish- you can crunch down grubs no problem, but parasites will wreck *hit up.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 02, 2012
at 01:23 AM

It's my understanding that it would be safe to try a bite of any fish that lives its whole life in salt water. Any fish like salmon that travels from fresh water to salt and back may get parasites and must be frozen before eating raw. (According to my sushi class teacher).

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 02, 2012
at 02:00 AM

Yeah, I'm not sure if this is right...no pro, but I've filleted some rockfish/sportfish, and you can actually see some of the flesh parasites if you really get down there, even if you just have a little hand-held magnifying glass. Even the prawns will have little parasite on the outside of their shells on some hauls, you have to throw them in boiling water or flash-freeze to shake them.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 02, 2012
at 06:16 AM

I've heard the same warnings for fresh water versus salt water fish in the past. If those overly-dramatic reality medical shows where people can't seem to find a diagnosis are to be trusted, I've gotten the impression that freshwater fish is prone to tapeworms, and their blastocysts will form in your brain and give you vertigo while driving if you don't cook your trout or bass fully. ;)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 02, 2012
at 06:12 AM

OK that's gross.

Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

(3125)

on February 02, 2012
at 01:28 AM

ts my understanding that the human disease bacterium vibrio parahaemolyticus thrives only in salt water species.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 02, 2012
at 01:45 AM

I thought it grew in brackish salt water- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vibrio_parahaemolyticus

0
25cbcb23b13a3826c615ebcbb7fb6ea3

on August 21, 2013
at 02:28 AM

I just went deep sea fishing in Mexico. We caught a small tuna and they filleted it on the dock when we got back. My son and I love sushimi and they guy gave us a piece. It was fishier than normal sushi so I was semi skeptical. I prefer shashimi cold and dock temperature was weird but I got through it. We didnt get sick. It was great grilled. My wife made me swear to never do it again.

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