Bye-bye, Seliodka

Middle age is truly here. There are now two foods I can’t eat. Sunflower seeds and seliodka (salted herring.) They make me ill. Sunflower seeds make me feel like my gallbladder came back and is hating me for abandoning it.

Coffee is also becoming a rare luxury.

11 thoughts on “Bye-bye, Seliodka

  1. I have always had this problem with sunflower seeds. I am convinced it is because most of the ones you can buy here are rancid. I can nibble the ones from my garden with no trouble.

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    1. “I am convinced it is because most of the ones you can buy here are rancid.”

      It is more likely that they are contaminated with fungi that are releasing toxins, since that is common in things like sunflower seeds. Since from memory you live in a more humid part of the US, it seems likely that any sunflower seeds that you buy would be contaminated unless you buy the kind that are coated in that salty stuff, roasted, and immediately packed (heat will kill fungi and destroy some toxins at some temperatures – depends).

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      1. No, I hated the salted ones. The ones I but are roasted, unsalted, and they are imported from Eastern Europe. They come in shells because the whole point is to shell them. It’s a cultural ritual.

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        1. “No, I hated the salted ones. The ones I but are roasted, unsalted, and they are imported from Eastern Europe. They come in shells because the whole point is to shell them. It’s a cultural ritual.”

          What I’m trying to communicate is that there are fungi that grow on things like sunflower seeds even at the farm where they are harvested. The fungi themselves are (generally) not harmful, but they do excrete various toxins as they grow that are harmful to humans.

          During the roasting process, the fungi themselves are destroyed, which means that it is a good idea to buy roasted nuts. Sometimes, their spores are not destroyed, and since fungi require a humid environment to proliferate, it is a good idea to buy seeds that are packaged in such a way that they stay dry. Lastly, the toxins themselves are sometimes hard to destroy even at high temperature, which means that seeds that are already contaminated with toxins from fungi that were previously destroyed shouldn’t be eaten.

          Apart from that, I know how & where sunflower seeds are eaten since we do the same in the same way. In fact the reason for my familiarity with microorganisms living on the surface of sunflower seeds is because I was eating some about a year and a half ago, breathed in while chewing, had some enter my bronchi, and ended up with an enormous respiratory tract infection/very sore throat that I recognised as being abnormal. So I looked it up 🙂

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      2. It’s possible. All I know is that if I eat more than a spoonful of them, I get a raging headache and upset stomach. So I stay away from them. I don’t think the region makes much difference, given the way supply chains work in the US, and the fact that most of the seeds you can buy are in sealed plastic packages. But I understand quite a lot of nuts and seeds produced commercially are contaminated with aflatoxins and other unsavory things. Those are made by fungi, but cooking them or killing the fungi doesn’t get rid of the toxins they produce.

        But the reason I jumped to rancidity is simply that sunflower seeds are very oily, the oil they produce is a fairly fragile polyunsaturated type, and they’re generally stored at room temperature. I’ve opened more than a couple of packages of them and put them immediately in the trash because they smelled rancid.

        Could be anything, though.

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  2. I have counselled many people with these kinds of problems to eat yoghurt daily if they can tolerate it, with reported results being good.

    In addition to that, I have also counselled/reminded people to take a bit more care to properly chew their food, since it seems that inadequately chewed food often becomes problematic later in life, even to the point of ulceration.

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