Author Topic: Worms in my fresh, raw, wild salmon from whole foods--a short video showing them  (Read 45402 times)

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Offline bharminder

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Hey guys I got about 4 pounds of raw fresh wild salmon from whole foods. The fish there was whole except it was degutted and deheaded. They filleted it for me and I got a good price, that's why I got 4 pounds worth as they were only selling the entire fish.

So I ate it and got abdominal discomfort. Then the following day I cut some more but intuitively guessed there could be worms. So I cut it up very well but couldn't find any. I kept looking and then I found some. Then I marinated a few pieces in lemon juice to see if that did anything and found some more. All in all I only inspected about 1 pounds worth, as I already had eaten 2 pounds (and consequently gotten a stomach ache) and I didn't inspect the last one ( I just steamed it becasue I didn't want to throw it away)

So here is a video that I recorded of the little white approx 1 inch worms and extremely thin in diameter. They were both coiled and they also swim like powerful robust animals. They have been swimming non stop for the last 3 hours in this little container of water I put them in.

Before I put them in this container shown in the video, I put some habaneros on them and tried to squeeze the juice from the pepper onto the worms to see if that would kill them. Also there are a few pieces of corn in the container that fell in when I was cutting some up.


Anyways what do you all make of these worms. I believe they were the cause to my abdominal discomfort, though I can't prove it. How would anyody else have handled this situation? Find them and pick them out and eat the rest of the fish? chuck the whole fish?

I guess my main question is how do I go about continuing to eat meat the paleo way?

http://s936.photobucket.com/albums/ad206/bharminder147/?action=view&current=MOV04112.mp4


Offline KD

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Yeah, I see these guys in salmon, and sometimes cod all the time, although I haven't eaten alot of either lately. I assume there are smaller guys that you can't see in at least all the omnivorous creatures we eat if not pastured ruminant meat. I have a hunch actually that the larger ones have less chance of actually making it through your stomach acids but I don't know how scientific that is.

Its hard to say definitively, but if I had any concern I would make sure I ate a very clean and probably all raw basically fiber-less diet, and facilitated other practices where there was very little debris for parasites to thrive.

Offline djr_81

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How would anyody else have handled this situation? Find them and pick them out and eat the rest of the fish? chuck the whole fish?
I had similar experience with Smelt one time. I ate a fish or two then found some worms in the next. It did deter my desire to eat fish for a bit but I got over it. Finished the fish they were in after going over it closely to avoid eating any worms.
If they're so prevalent I'd most likely toss it. I don't know if they'll hurt you but it's not terribly appetizing IMO.
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Offline Sully

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Never had that experience with the wild salmon I buy. Although, the salmon I but is frozen usually.
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Offline bharminder

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Hmm, when discussing this on the forum it is no big deal. But then when I go to live my life it becomes a much bigger, and huge deal, especially since I still feel abdominal discomfort since yesterday.


I'm not sure what I should do. Should I just start freezing all meat that I get? or is the prevalence of this worms not harmful(which I'm having a tough time believing in, but am open to any possibility)

I just feel that the theory that parasites only feed on waste is not realistic because humans thrive on healthy, nutritious food, yet if all nutritious food were absent and the only food available was unhealthy, junk food, then humans would still eat that junk food.

Likewise if a parasite were in a human's body who was totally healthy and there was no waste for it to feed on, I believe it would still eat whatever food it could to survive.

Either way, I'm interested in finding a solution to this predicament. I feel that Whole Foods market is a pretty reliable place for food including meat as the other stores I've visited the food doesn't look nearly as fresh, and many don't have fresh meat counters, just simply prepackaged meat.

So, I guess I could freeze all meat. But I remember reading that freezing the meat damages it and creates more wasteful byproducts. However, with the amount of worms i found(5 or so) in a 1 pound fillet, and there were 4 pounds of fillet in all, I'm sure there were more than 5 total as they were so hidden they were like finding a needle in a haystack. I feel really set back even though I was making great progress. Any advice guys? Freeze it? Toss it? Eat it after deworming it? The thought of worms growing into large 1 foot worms piling up in the abdominal area sounds it could be highly dangerous

Offline KD

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well, there does seem to be some intellectual and casual dismissal about such things, but largely because people don't seem to experience much damage/symptoms at least that they know of.



I just feel that the theory that parasites only feed on waste is not realistic because humans thrive on healthy, nutritious food, yet if all nutritious food were absent and the only food available was unhealthy, junk food, then humans would still eat that junk food.

Likewise if a parasite were in a human's body who was totally healthy and there was no waste for it to feed on, I believe it would still eat whatever food it could to survive.


I don't quite understand your analogy as there should be little undigested and decaying matter passing through the digestive system if it is properly combined/moves quickly through the bowel etc...its not like these things chill in the esophogus and prefer twix bars but will eat meat if starving. The idea (true or not) is that it eats decaying tissue if its deprived of foods like digested and fermented sugars and so forth. No decaying tissue would just mean death.

I think the raw flesh sandwich thing was really pushing the envelope there. I would chalk it up to a fluke that it didn't bother you before. Also there have been some anecdotes here about some people having problems with raw salmon in general.

although I've gotten over the frozen red meat thing (as long as eat a good quantity of fresh meat to compliment), I won't regularly consume frozen fish, poultry, or pork. Just my preference/idea of what is safe. All these foods seem to have more intense bacteria for me even fresh.


Offline bharminder

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True the sandwich thing might be a fluke, ...isn't the incidence of at least 5 of these worms also a possibility of abdominal pain?

Symptoms of these kinds of worms from fish include nausea, abdominal pain, etc. according to my google research. I don't mean to argue.

Its just that I want to find a solution to this because I think cooking creates toxic compounds, particularly for foods that can be eaten in their raw states, i.e. flesh foods. Beans and rice, on the other hand....I don't really think can be handled well in their raw state.


However healthy I think raw flesh foods are, this isn't the first time I've found these kinds of worms in fish. I prefer seafood over other types of flesh food however due to their nutrition(essential fatty acids, zinc, b vitamins, protein, iodine,), but I want to get over this whole parasite thing.


I refuse to consciously consume these living worms though, as my google research indicates these worms can not only cause intestinal blockages in heavy infestations but they can also migrate to other parts of the body.

I guess what is confusing is why are all these wild fish infested with parasites in the first place? And I'm finding most of these worms in their flesh, not the organs which have been removed prior to market sale.


So I agree that freezing is a great option, and I usually don't eat previously frozen fish or other meats, considering the availability to me. But how can I assure myself that all these visible worms have been removed? It takes far too long to cut the fish horizontally into long slices and then vertically to ensure there are no worms within the slices.
              It seems as though despite numerous cuts I miss worms that marinating the fish in lemon juice have revealed. Therefore my confidence in my ability to spot these worms has decreased.

I feel a huge dilemma. To avoid flesh foods from reasonable fear from these worms isn't optimal because I'll be missing out on a lot of nutrition and health. but to ignore these worms and eat them, would be equally as bad because eaten in high enough numbers over time

 these worms can likely cause some health problems, which often may not surface until months later, possibly a year or more.  Any idea of solutions to this often encountered dilemma? I'm not willing to give up flesh foods for fear of these worms, but ignoring this issue and just eating the worms is not healthy.

Any differing opinions are welcome as these are simply my beliefs. And a way out of this dilemma that I'm in would be most appreciated

Offline goodsamaritan

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There are MANY foods other than Salmon
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2010, 11:15:23 am »
If salmon doesn't work for you, I'm sure there are HUNDREDS of other alternative sea food out there for you.
Wet market hunting is just that.
Choose what seems right for you.
Discard those that suck, even if they are wild.
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Offline bharminder

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At what point should I consider a piece of fish to be unacceptable? 1 worm, 2 worms, 3 worms?


Offline KD

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did the article say these symptoms occur so shortly after ingestion? that seems pretty odd to me. I've had some super intense intestinal stuff, always banked on it being bacterial or toxin related as I vomited up metallic liquid, and never seen a worm or any food matter. I think the parasite concern would be as you say more about potential long term problems to organs or other types that are particularly nasty.

My understanding is that most wild animals are intensely infested with some sorts of parasites. Largely they exist within harmony of that ecology, but it is true for sure that parasites can and will overwhelm certain creatures/penetrate their organs etc...and result in premature death.

I think the process of searching out worms will eventually prove fairly maddening. I mean even conventional dieters and raw vegans and such come into contact with parasites. Parasite spokespeople speak about not touching babies and kissing people you don't know and such. it is sort of a joke. I can't vouch 100% for it, but I think maintaining a proper environment seems to be the best way to prevent conflicts, short of that I would recommend just cooking it, particularly if you are mixing foods which is a recipe for poor digestionand transit of quick moving raw flesh foods. I believe if you are going to eat frozen fish, you might as well buy it pre-frozen as it should be less degenerated that way and likely cheaper than freezing stuff sitting out for a day or two.




Offline goodsamaritan

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At what point should I consider a piece of fish to be unacceptable? 1 worm, 2 worms, 3 worms?



That may be totally up to you.

If I am certain that fish made me sick, I would not feed it to my kids and I'd throw the rest of it out.
Problem with this salmon, is you bought a big fish and may feel a bit of a waste to throw it out.

If it was a small fish, you'd throw it out in a jiffy.

I've had times I bought a kilo of fish and my cook said my fish wasn't fresh, so I did not feed it to my kids.

Spoilage is part of the learning and experience and you will have to earn your lumps.
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Offline Sully

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At what point should I consider a piece of fish to be unacceptable? 1 worm, 2 worms, 3 worms?


What kind of salmon? (not that it matters)

I would recommend grass fed bison to you (I get it from north star bison). I like it myself.

 I will try to figure out the brand of wild frozen salmon I get from this health food store. It taste fresh even when frozen and and has nice deep orange color. I will let you know what the brand is soon (sent the store a message). For now, you might want to stay away from sea food at whole foods if it gives you problems.
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Offline Haai

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I try to think of worms as a bit of extra protein. Whether that is the case though I don't know.
"In the modern, prevailing view of the cosmos, we sit here as tiny, unimportant specks of protoplasm, flukes of nature, and stare out into an almost limitless void. Vast, nameless tracts of emptiness dominate the scene. Talk about feeling small.
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I try to think of worms as a bit of extra protein. Whether that is the case though I don't know.

    That's what I was thinking.  I never even look for worms.
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Offline Sully

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    That's what I was thinking.  I never even look for worms.
Same here, i never looked for a worm in my life, i assumed they were eggs then hatched inside of you
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Offline bharminder

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I'm not one of those people who are like, oh worms? "i'm never eating fish again"......or anything like that. I still want to consume wild fish.  I like salmon in particular because it is a fatty fish with lots of good fats, and from what i've read on google that tuna has far less fat. Tuna is generally 2x more than salmon, pound for pound.

This particular salmon that I got was called fresh Wild keta Salmon and I think it also said Pacific in parenthesis.

Usually the kind of salmon I get is wild coho or sockeye. Other than shellfish like oysters and clams, salmon is the only fish I eat because the tuna and swordfish are pretty expensive, like $20 a pound, and scallops are a similar price.


So if you found a couple living worms in the fish by chance, would you still eat it ? I guess I can always discard the fish or possibly return it....I'm just not sure how many fish will be tainted with the worms. Salmon is about to go out of season anyway. I guess this will play out over time but I just wanted immediate answers because i utilize flesh foods as an important part of my diet and after finding these worms I've been subconsciously questioning that choice. I want to continue eating flesh foods but am not fond of these live worms or abdominal discomforts (which i believe to be because of the worms, though it could be from the pollution or general quality of the fish)

I would've tossed out a little small fishy , since I got 4-5 pounds I felt obligated to eat it.

Offline goodsamaritan

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Try and eat many different kinds of fish raw.
You may surprised that medium sized and small fish are good raw too.
Here are a couple of pics of the wide selection of fish daily in the big wet market beside my office.
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Offline bharminder

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Wow cool deal! Must be nice living there, with a nice variety of fresh foods to eat.

I realize in hindsight from this experience that I was over reacting, after all, a parasite infection can be handled by drugs or herbs.

But the thought of worms either becoming concentrated in numbers or migrating to other body parts was a weakening thought.

Another reason I am more accepting is that after some google research, some websites have indicated that the most common type of worm in salmon and most fish are roundworms, and that they cannot survive in humans long term, and after 3-10 days should die off. On those websites the symptoms were listed as cramping, bloating, diareha. I just have the cramping

abdominal pain that has lasted for about 1 1/2 days now. But it's nothing severe, I just expect perfect health and any slight deviation from that feeling always concerns me as I feel vitality and health are achievable goals to maintain throughout our lives.

So, I will continue to purchase salmon and the other shellfish, and I will be more diligent in slicing up the fish slowly and properly to inspect it for worms deep in the flesh. Mostly they were near the skin, as the fillet was somewhat thick. The inspectors must not have been able to see them so deep in the fillet cut. These worms in the video looked powerful for their size. I recorded the video after 3 hours, and before I put them in the water container, I had them in the same container without water, and i even smeared them with habanero,

thinking it would kill them. I thought it did too, as they seemed dead, but then I added a bunch of water in there and they started swimming crazily for like 3 hours! I can see how these worms try to migrate to other areas of the body because they seem like they are constantly moving and if they penetrate the intestinal lining they can swim into other areas of the body.

Here are some websites that allowed me to come to this conclusion(about fish roundworms not being a problem other than possible discomfort, though not everyone experiences symptoms:

http://seafood.ucdavis.edu/pubs/parasite.htm

http://www.13.waisays.com/fish.htm


From this experience I've learned that I should diligently check the fish(albeit destroying it's texture by cutting it up so many times) for more significant live worms and less significant dead worms and put them aside so I can get all the benefits of raw while not succumbing to the worms.

Offline Sully

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Offline Sitting Coyote

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I've never gotten along with raw salmon, even when it's been frozen.  I always have a little nausea, and get a moderately bad case of gas.

It's important to be responsive to your body when trying something new.  If raw salmon doesn't agree with you, stop eating it.  I doubt the stomach discomfort is from the worms, although they may cause more symptoms later on if they become established.

More generally, I rarely eat fish.  I subsist primarily on ruminants, including deer, cattle, sheep, goat, bison.  I eat muscle meats, organ meats, marrow and suet.  That's worked very well for me, and I never have abdominal symptoms.

Offline bharminder

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so I don't get.....if parasites like some worms only establish themselves when there is dead decaying matter in the body, then why do wild fish like salmon sometimes show parasites? Or the infamous worms in cod? Thes aren't factory farmed animals, so why would they have these worm infestations feeding on a raw diet in the wild?


and these abdominal symptoms were only with this type of salmon(wild pacific keta). I generally get other salmon (coho, sockeye, whatever is available generally) and other shellfish and don't show any symptoms. Next time I'll take back the salmon and ask for something else or another fillet of salmon  if I find worms in it.

Offline Alan

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It is VERY much easier to catch an insect than to catch a fish.   Our paleolithic ancestors ate insects frequently.

Folks in IndoChina do still do.  They claim the insects are delicious.

If a worm hatched out of an egg laid in a wholesome fish, and then spent its whole life eating that nutritious wholesome fish.... does that mean the worm is a valuable bit of protein?

Your report of stomach discomfort is meaningful in your eyes, but to an objective outside observer,  it is merely a specimen of "confirmation bias".    Show us a lab report which confirms presence of parasite eggs in your stools, then we will believe that there was any real problem.

Offline bharminder

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Ah, I've never seen things from that point of view before. We must share different customs.


If the theory is that "parasites" like worms only sustain themselves on decaying tissue in an animal, and generally don't take hold in healthy animals, why are wild animals and fish sometimes full of parasites?

Offline Sitting Coyote

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so I don't get.....if parasites like some worms only establish themselves when there is dead decaying matter in the body, then why do wild fish like salmon sometimes show parasites?


I don't buy the theory that parasites only establish themselves when there is dead or decaying matter in the body.  The wild salmon you bought disproves it.  AV makes this claim in his Primal Diet books, but while I admit there are benefits to eating animal foods raw I think he takes, and gets his clients to take, some pretty obscene risks. 

I hunt and have butchered my share of wild whitetail deer here in the United States.  With a perfectly natural and nutritious diet, deer will sometimes have parasites--liver flukes, stomach worms, brain worms, lung worms, esophageal worms, etc.--and sometimes not.  Most of the time the parasites exist at a low enough population density that they aren't pathological (i.e. they don't cause symptoms that harm the animal).  But sometimes they do, and sometimes wild animals with access to perfectly healthy diets become so overridden with parasites that they die. 

While small amounts of parasites won't hurt us, I don't think it's in our best interest to create silly theories that predispose us to infection.  On the other hand, I suppose that's natural selection at work.  Stupid folks who think parasites can't hurt them or are good for them will be the ones who end up with pathological concentrations of parasites, be sick all the time, be quite unattractive to members of the opposite sex, have fewer children, etc.

Offline sabertooth

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I had parasites pre paleo, blood parasites and pin worms , I also had severe pancreatic and liver pains with blood sugar problems, I had liver congestion and a High Eosiniphle count(a clear indication of parasite infection).
I may or may not have had flukes its hard to tell because they are prevalent, but rarely diagnosed.

In some parts of the south east united states 7% of autopsy's revel trichinosis,even in people without symptoms

In the time when my grandmother was a child the old folks claimed she had worms an made her down Castor oil and ware a sack of herbs around her neck.

Now that I am on a Low carb raw paleo diet all my gut trauma has vanished. I am not as sure as AV about the harmlessness of parasites, but I do believe if you clean up your digestion and rid yourself of excess carbs, grains and fibrous material then it is much harder for pathogenic varieties to gain a foot hold, plus with the immune system free from having to fight off gluttins and what not is more able to purge the pathogens once they do start to cause problems or get out of their place.
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