I know what you're thinking. "This guy is not just nuts, he's toasted-golden-brown nuts!" Well, no. Well....okay, maybe I'm a little nuts, but really, this is based on fact.

Why on earth would someone who is lactose intolerant need to avoid sushi - raw fish - of all things? I mean, only mammals produce lactose to begin with, so how can fish possibly have lactose in them? Well, the fish don't, obviously. There is no lactose in raw fish, or cooked fish or eel, of course. In fact, there's no lactose in the rice, the seaweed, the sesame sauce, the soy sauce, the carrot, the avocado, or any of that.

So where's the lactose? In that constant companion of sushi, the Wasabi! Wasabi - which is made from an asian variety of horseradish, is very frequently "bulked" with lactose, much as many medications have lactose added to the pill to give them enough size and shape to be easy to handle. I've never noticed a hint of sweetness from wasabi, but then, lactose is not a very "sweet" sweet, really, having about half the sweetness of sucrose (if i remember correctly). But wasabi can be chock-full of lactose, and while it's true that one doesn't usually eat handfuls of wasabi (unless one is into a peculiar form of masochism!), there's enough there to cause some definite rumblings from below if one doesn't watch out - and take a lactase pill before indulging.

So that's my story. Watch out for that wasabi, in more ways than one - and let's be careful out there!