Is pla-ra safe to eat?

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Re: Is pla-ra safe to eat?

Post by johnjar » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:03 am

For centuries millions of people from Japan to Iceland have been fermenting fish in same fermentation process. “Where do you get it in Hua Hin” No idea that’s the better half’s department. If people listened to all the hype about this food or that food we would all starve :)

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Re: Is pla-ra safe to eat?

Post by 404cameljockey » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:18 pm

johnjar wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:03 am
For centuries millions of people from Japan to Iceland have been fermenting fish in same fermentation process. “Where do you get it in Hua Hin” No idea that’s the better half’s department. If people listened to all the hype about this food or that food we would all starve :)
I agree about the hype surrounding many food and relaxation products. But I think the warnings apply to people who eat it regularly though, as you say you do. Scientific studies that show that symptoms can appear only years after starting to eat pla-ra cannot really be dismissed as 'hype'. Having said that, as I already said earlier we all have to go some time, let's be happy and enjoy ourselves while we can, I don't want to live forever!

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Re: Is pla-ra safe to eat?

Post by johnjar » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:47 pm

404cameljockey wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:18 pm
johnjar wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:03 am
For centuries millions of people from Japan to Iceland have been fermenting fish in same fermentation process. “Where do you get it in Hua Hin” No idea that’s the better half’s department. If people listened to all the hype about this food or that food we would all starve :)
I agree about the hype surrounding many food and relaxation products. But I think the warnings apply to people who eat it regularly though, as you say you do. Scientific studies that show that symptoms can appear only years after starting to eat pla-ra cannot really be dismissed as 'hype'. Having said that, as I already said earlier we all have to go some time, let's be happy and enjoy ourselves while we can, I don't want to live forever!
Yes I love somtam with fermented fish or crabs, also a nice steak done black and red, full English breakfast and many types of processed food and many other foods which they say are bad for you, and enjoy a few drinks to boot. The key is everything in moderation, and enjoy life with your loved ones, and don't take heed of all the media rubbish regarding different food's :)

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Re: Is pla-ra safe to eat?

Post by GroveHillWanderer » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:32 am

The main health risk from uncooked pla ra (liver cancer) has nothing to do with the fermentation process, the smell or bacteria, it comes from the liver flukes commonly found in the fish used for pla ra.

The following are extracts from a BBC article entitled, "Deadly dish: the dinner that can give you cancer." Everything they say in it about koi pla applies equally to pla ra, as the same raw fish with the same risk of liver flukes, is used in both.
For decades, certain populations in the north-east have been known to have abnormally high levels of liver cancer.

In men it comprises more than half of all cancer cases, compared to an average of less than 10% worldwide.

The high prevalence has long been linked to infection by liver flukes, a kind of parasite, found in raw fish.

But it is only in the last decade that a serious effort has been made to get people to change their eating habits, by cooking koi plaa to kill the flukes before they eat it.

Dr. Banchob Sripa at the Tropical Disease Research Laboratory in Khon Kaen University is the man largely responsible for this effort.

His team found that in some communities up to 80% of people were infected by the fluke, some as young as four years-old, but that the cancer rarely developed before people reached 50. Once it does, though, there is little hope for patients.
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-33095945

Here are also excerpts from a medical journal article on the subject.
Primary liver cancer is the leading cancer in Thailand in men and the third in women.

[It] comprises two major types of cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and cholangiocarcinoma (CCA).

No stronger link between a human malignancy and a parasitic infection occurs than that between CCA and infection with the liver fluke, O. viverrini. 

Infection is accomplished when people ingest raw or undercooked fish in dishes such as koi pla [or pla ra]

CCA is generally accepted as a fatal tumor with extremely poor prognosis
The full article is available on the PubMed Central section of the US National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health website, using the link below.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4130346/

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Re: Is pla-ra safe to eat?

Post by Dannie Boy » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:48 am

GroveHillWanderer wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:32 am
The main health risk from uncooked pla ra (liver cancer) has nothing to do with the fermentation process, the smell or bacteria, it comes from the liver flukes commonly found in the fish used for pla ra.

The following are extracts from a BBC article entitled, "Deadly dish: the dinner that can give you cancer." Everything they say in it about koi pla applies equally to pla ra, as the same raw fish with the same risk of liver flukes, is used in both.
For decades, certain populations in the north-east have been known to have abnormally high levels of liver cancer.

In men it comprises more than half of all cancer cases, compared to an average of less than 10% worldwide.

The high prevalence has long been linked to infection by liver flukes, a kind of parasite, found in raw fish.

But it is only in the last decade that a serious effort has been made to get people to change their eating habits, by cooking koi plaa to kill the flukes before they eat it.

Dr. Banchob Sripa at the Tropical Disease Research Laboratory in Khon Kaen University is the man largely responsible for this effort.

His team found that in some communities up to 80% of people were infected by the fluke, some as young as four years-old, but that the cancer rarely developed before people reached 50. Once it does, though, there is little hope for patients.
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-33095945

Here are also excerpts from a medical journal article on the subject.
Primary liver cancer is the leading cancer in Thailand in men and the third in women.

[It] comprises two major types of cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and cholangiocarcinoma (CCA).

No stronger link between a human malignancy and a parasitic infection occurs than that between CCA and infection with the liver fluke, O. viverrini. 

Infection is accomplished when people ingest raw or undercooked fish in dishes such as koi pla [or pla ra]

CCA is generally accepted as a fatal tumor with extremely poor prognosis
The full article is available on the PubMed Central section of the US National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health website, using the link below.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4130346/
Ive only ever smelt the stuff once and that was enough to put me off for life, but if not, this article would have had the same impact - why would you want to take such a risk?

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Re: Is pla-ra safe to eat?

Post by johnjar » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:28 pm

Dannie..Somtam is healthy food and is appropriate to this climate, What does the BBC know! British food is good and tasty but all stodge and all grease! Everything fried in fat! Is that healthy? I remember having fried bread with pork dripping for breakfast in the 50's before going to school, not healthy but still alive at 70! Get real and don't listen to the BBC too much which is typical of this internet media garbage that you seem to swallow. I reckon more people have died of heart attacks due to fatty foods than flukes or whatever you call them.

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Re: Is pla-ra safe to eat?

Post by Takiap » Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:56 am

johnjar wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:28 pm
Dannie..Somtam is healthy food and is appropriate to this climate, What does the BBC know! British food is good and tasty but all stodge and all grease! Everything fried in fat! Is that healthy? I remember having fried bread with pork dripping for breakfast in the 50's before going to school, not healthy but still alive at 70! Get real and don't listen to the BBC too much which is typical of this internet media garbage that you seem to swallow. I reckon more people have died of heart attacks due to fatty foods than flukes or whatever you call them.

I for one don't listen to the BBC, but I must admit, I do kind of pay attention to scientific facts which are backed by indisputable evidence.

With all due respect, your argument has a few flaws. For example, of course more people die from heart attacks caused by fatty foods/unhealthy diets. But, billions and billions of people are consuming fatty foods and processed foods, whereas only a handfull of people are consuming rotten fish.

You say that you ate fried bread with pork dripping in the 50s and you are still alive? well, that just goes to show that fatty foods are possibly not that harmful for you after all.


You also mention that all British food is cooked in fat? During my time in the UK, I never witnessed that at all, unless you label cooking oil as fat as well, in which case I whould say that the Thais almost certainly consume more cooking oil than your average Brit.

The days when Thais are healthy are long gone my friend. How often do you see Thai parents cooking healthy meals for their kids, or how often do you see Thai kids/teens eating portions of vegetable?

My MIL has just this minute cooked breakfast for the kids - fried rice and fried eggs, all of which will be washed down with some full fat sugar-laden chocolate milk. Not to worry though because my kids are far from being overweight, but that's probable because I cook most of their other meals good ol Farang style with plenty of protein, veggies and etc. :D

:cheers:
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Re: Is pla-ra safe to eat?

Post by johnjar » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:57 am

Keep in mind that these “scientific facts which are backed by indisputable evidence” In reality these scientific studies are usually funded by the big corporations who want consumers to consume their processed products and same corporations run the main stream media :cheers:

"Believe half of what you see and nothing of what you hear" Edgar Allan Poe

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Re: Is pla-ra safe to eat?

Post by Nereus » Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:38 am

Yuk!
.....................................................
New standards set for fermented fish

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/genera ... ented-fish

Makers of fermented fish seasoning, known as pla ra, have welcomed new production standards just announced by the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry.

However, some raised concerns they may affect small producers who employ various methods in making pla ra production depending on the their location.

The standards were published in the Royal Gazette on Tuesday.
Pla ra -- a popular seasoning, particularly in northeastern food -- which fails to meet ministry requirements will not be certified.

Fai Nantachuang, chairwoman of a pla ra producing group in Ban Nonplakhao, in Kalasin province's Sahatsakhan district, said she agreed with the new standards as it will help improve quality.

However, small producers were concerned as many follow recipe's and ways of making it that are traditional to certain areas and which might not meet set standards. They say they give large producers an unfair advantage as they will find it easier meet them.

Pim Phuti, a producer in Ban Mo district of Saraburi, said she believed her pla ra was of high quality despite not knowing whether it complied with the standards.

Worawut Iankampaeng, head of the Agriculture and Cooperatives Office in Kalasin, said the standards were announced as a guideline for producers and were not compulsory. He said they can improve their product and expand their market if they follow the standards.

The new standards stipulate the main ingredients are fresh-water and salt-water fish such as snake-head fish, catfish, Nile tilapia, drum fish or lizard fish.

The fish meat should be light pink, light yellow, light orange or dark orange, according to the type of fish, while 5% of another fish meat not described on a label is allowed for each product.

Fermented fish must contain at least 18% salt of its total weight and must not contain parasitic larvae of the roundworm Gnathostoma spinigerum or the Southeast Asian liver fluke. Many colourings and preservatives are not allowed.
As for contaminants, each pla ra product is allowed to contain a maximum 1.0 microgramme/kilogramme (mg/kg) of lead, 2.0 mg/kg of inorganic arsenic, 0.5 mg/kg of mercury from freshwater fish and 0.02 mg/kg of mercury from saltwater fish.

Fermented fish must be packed in new, dry containers which can be sealed to prevent contamination.
Labels must bear details such as product name, type of fish and other ingredients, food additives, net weight, manufacture and expiry dates, preservation and consumption instructions and manufacturer's address.
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Re: Is pla-ra safe to eat?

Post by GroveHillWanderer » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:51 am

johnjar wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:57 am
Keep in mind that these “scientific facts which are backed by indisputable evidence” In reality these scientific studies are usually funded by the big corporations who want consumers to consume their processed products and same corporations run the main stream media :cheers:

"Believe half of what you see and nothing of what you hear" Edgar Allan Poe
Do you have any evidence to back up the claim that studies are "usually funded by [...] big corporations"? Certainly some studies are funded by commercial enterprises but in order to be accepted for publication in any reliable scientific site, sources of funding must be given.

For instance, the BBC article mentioned above quotes information from Dr Banchop Sripa of Khon Khaen University. The studies of his into this topic that I have looked at, were funded by, "the Higher Education Research Promotion and National Research University Project of Thailand, Office of the Higher Education Commission, through the Health Cluster (SHeP-GMS), KhonKaen University, Thailand; the Thailand Research Fund (RTA 5680006); and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institute of Health (NIH), award number P50AI098639."

No corporate funding there. Also you talk about the "main stream media" being funded by these corporations but again, the BBC is not funded that way. So I think your claims of big corporations' involvement fall a little short of the mark here.

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Re: Is pla-ra safe to eat?

Post by HHTel » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:57 am

:thumb:

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Re: Is pla-ra safe to eat?

Post by MDMK » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:58 pm

And the award for the most tactful yet accurate comeback of the week goes to.............
GroveHillWanderer wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:51 am
So I think your claims of big corporations' involvement fall a little short of the mark here.
:thumb:

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Re: Is pla-ra safe to eat?

Post by Takiap » Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:15 am

I think I should perhaps have been a bit specific with regards to the comments I posted about pla-ra.


The pla-ra I was referring to is the "real" pla-ra which is the pla-ra of choice for most dia hard Isaan folk, the foul smelling stuff with lumps of semi-decayed fish and little white beasties wriggling about. Such pla-ra, to the best of my knowledge, is not produced by large businesses, and it is not sold in bottles with labels and etc.


I have just this minute gone and checked my MIL's outside kitchen, and I see she has both versions:

The one is in a plastic jar and has the appearance of a dark type of sauce, with no rotting flesh or worms to be seen, and a smell which one could very likely recover from if you were exposed to it for any length of time.

The other is in a larger plastic jar, and it is also dark brown in color, but with small to medium sized bits of fish in various stages of decay, with the process currently being supervized by an army of wriggling worms. The smell emenating from this is of such a nature, that full recovery after exposure would be highly unlikely. :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

Neither of the two variants I have just looked at are in labelled jars/bottles which implies that neither were/are made in factories by large businesses which might or might not have some form of quality control procedures in place.


I have nothing against fermented foods whether bought in a store, or whether they are made at home. My MIL routinely makes fermented pork and it's delicious, but it also looks delicious and smells delicious, as do many other fermented foods, but pla-ra is definitely not one of them.


:cheers:
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Re: Is pla-ra safe to eat?

Post by 404cameljockey » Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:45 am

MDMK wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:58 pm
And the award for the most tactful yet accurate comeback of the week goes to.............
GroveHillWanderer wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:51 am
So I think your claims of big corporations' involvement fall a little short of the mark here.
:thumb:
Hear, hear!

People who don't believe anything still end up dying from something, just usually sooner....

:)

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