Is Acupuncture Right For You?

acupunctureKaty Perry’s tweet about the sushi Katy Perry she ate in a Montreal restaurant created quite a stir both online and offline.

What was so newsworthy about this particular tweet?

The special dinner created by chef and owner, Antonio Park for Katy and her friends David Burkta and Neil Patrick Harris featured sushi made from acupuncture treated fish.

Sushi and Sashimi

The chief ingredient in the popular Japanese dishes, sushi and sashimi is raw fish. So, these taste best when made from freshly caught fish. To a gourmet the experience of eating sushi is akin to savouring fine wine.

Some of the most desired qualities of the fish sourced for these dishes are

  • A sweet taste
  • Firm flesh
  • Lack of odour

But a within a few minutes of their demise, fish lose these qualities. When they are transported thousands of miles to restaurants across the world, the recipes they go into fail to deliver on authenticity.

So, how would you transport fish at its rawest best?

Fishy Coma

Kaimin Katsugyo and Chi-nuki are old Japanese acupuncture techniques that put fish into a state of induced coma in order to maintain rawness. Here’s what happens when the needles go into the fish.

  1. The treated fish is still breathing but brain dead.
  2. The nervous system is still functioning.
  3. Since the brain is dead, its messages urging decomposition does not reach the cells.

The pink snappers that arrive at Park’s restaurant appear as fresh as just netted ones. In addition, they don’t have the bruises fish acquire when they flop around in their final moments of life. The carcasses are neither mushy nor limp and the inner organs are still firm.

Is there another angle to giving fish destined for the dinner plates, the kaimin katsugyo or chi-nuki treatment?

The Trauma Angle

If you’ve read Robin Cook’s Toxin, you’ll be concerned about meat left too long in the freezer.  The book also highlights the trauma animals go through just before slaughter.

A whole new school of thought has cropped up around the theme of, trauma in the animals we slaughter for food and its effects on the people who eat it.

Putting fish into a zombie like state before slicing it up for a meal is apparently a more humane approach to relishing seafood.

To the chef who prepared Katy Perry sushi, the whole thing is about treating seafood with dignity while dishing out the freshest sushi his patrons have ever eaten.