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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Restaurant Review of Sushimoto

My partner & I chose to dine at Sushimoto since we had a yen for Japanese food. The restaurant appeared near the top in a Google search and made a claim that it served 90% organic food. One of the highest percentages, we noted. It is located under the Holdom SkyTrain Station, at Holdom Avenue and Lougheed Highway in Burnaby, British Columbia.

We arrived at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday evening and were seated almost immediately. It’s a small place with about eight tables. As we browsed the menu, no mention was made of the word “organic” so I had to wait until a waitress actually came to take our order to inquire about organic menu items. She didn’t have the answer, so she consulted with the chef and the rest of the staff. I couldn’t hear what was said because first, it was in a foreign language and second, the restaurant was loud and echoed like the cone of silence in those old Maxwell Smart sit-coms back in the day. Remember that?

After about five minutes the waitress again approached me and pointed to three kinds of wild/organic sashimi and a garden salad. Sort of fell short of the 90% claim, but oh well. Whether these folks actually know what the term “organic” means came to mind. I’m kind of at the same place I was at with the gluten-free transition I underwent back in 2005. Some people seem to think if they “buy local” they are buying organic. So I suppose we are breaking new ground and I must trust what the restaurant staff suggests.

The food arrived quickly. My partner ordered four kinds of fish atop a bowl of rice. I ordered Wild Atlantic Salmon Sashimi garnished with radicchio and a mint leaf. The second dish contained a beautiful Garden Salad. The dressing I'm guessing consisted of sweet vinegar, oil, slivered almonds and cranberries. Good size portions — and truly delicious!

I will know if they mislead me — even inadvertently — by morning I will have an eczema eruption with which to contend. Pesticide-laden vegetables or farmed fish filled with growth hormones and antibiotics will do that to me.

Fortunately I brought my own organic pickled ginger without toxic Aspartame. As well, I brought along an organic and gluten-free tamari sauce. There is no such thing as organic AND gluten-free soya sauce I have discovered. But for me, Tamari is a reasonable facsimile. No such thing as organic AND gluten-free wasabi either. Yes, a gluten-free version exists, but the second ingredient is Canola Oil and you can bet it’s genetically modified.

Well, sure enough, Monday morning I awoke with an eczema outbreak. I suspect the salad dressing was the culprit. Also I couldn’t help notice the divide between the restaurant’s “90% Organic” claim and the waitress suggesting four menu items. Next time we want sushi I’ll bring my own home-made dressing in my trusty “condiment bag.”

I do realize there is much mis-information about what defines healthy food. Terms such as Organic, Natural, Non-GMO, Healthy, and Buy Local, all have different meanings depending on where you live and how much industry lobbying (read: BRIBING) goes on in the government. Why, back in the 50’s Monsanto placed a food ad with the catchy phrase that "DDT is good for me-e-e!"

Imagine. DDT is a toxic pesticide now widely used on our food. No wonder organic farmers are springing up all over the map.

In a previous blog, I mentioned that I recently turned to organic eating, and as a result of the toxins in our food which were making me sick, we haven’t eaten out in three months — and it’s high time my partner and I had a date night!

I do hope that one day soon restaurants will post signs in their windows such as “Non-GMO, Gluten-Free and Organic Meals available here!”

As time moves forward I believe more and more people will be requesting healthy organic food — and real food will be the norm. The food industry as it now stands is not sustainable.

Is anyone else out there in search of organic restaurants in the Vancouver lower mainland? I’d love to know about your experiences with eating out.


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Copyright © 2014.

1 comment:

  1. There are many reasons for concern about food served in restaurants. As you have indicated, our food supply is laced with pesticide residues, and restauranteurs are unaware of it, and/or unable to do much to avoid incorporating it in their meals. Ditto for gluten. We do need laws to require full disclosure of pesticide residue levels and gluten in food generally. Often restaurants use food products in a bulk form, and the labels on the buckets do not even list ingredients, so the restaurant staff have no idea what they are cooking and serving to customers. Another dimension of concern is hygiene back in the kitchen, and adequate refrigeration. Here is an example:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/restaurant-inspections-at-national-chains-uncover-repeated-major-violations-1.2605475

    We need political action to create or revise legislation to make progress on these issues, and ongoing inspection and enforcement.

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