Yesterday, I drank Euglena.
What is euglena, you might ask? That’s a really good question. I had no idea what euglena is, but my husband and his other Japanese friend were very excited about the prospect of drinking it.
Ryosuke was all like “it’s super-healthy! It makes your metabolism faster and is really good for you!” I thought it was like the acai berry supplements or some other vegetable that is surprisingly good for you. It tasted just like any of the other vegetable drinks you can find at the supermarket.
So I looked it up.
Nope. Nope, nope, nope. For other clueless people (like me), euglena is not a vegetable. It is a single-celled flagellate protists. Or, in more simple terms (hey, science was never my forte), euglena are green single-celled organisms with the characteristics of both plants and animals.
They are also an incredibly popular food item in Japan. That looks like this:
You learn something new every day.
That afternoon, Ryosuke showed me an aloe yogurt at the convenience store across the street (Family Mart) – their aloe yogurt also contains a bit of euglena. We also found some Euglena cookies at a museum near Odaiba. This Japan Times article talks about the popularity of euglena is a food item in Japan, if you’re interested.
Perhaps I’ve just been living under a rock, but before we got this drink, I had never heard of euglena. Several of my Japanese friends have.
So next time you’re walking around Tokyo and see a euglena food item, check it out. This drink was pretty good (you know, as far as super-healthy drinks go). I give it an 8/10.
Apparently eating certain single celled organisms is actually good for you.