Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mislabled Fish

"No, really, I am tuna!"
The Boston Globe has a great but disturbing investigative piece into the seemingly growing practice of mislabeling fish.

That it occurs in not particularly surprising, especially when you consider how trendy fresh, locally-caught fish has become.  It's easy to imagine a couple of unscrupulous wholesalers out there who can't pass up the temptation to double or triple the price of the humble hake by labeling it cod or upgrading some perch filets to snapper.

What's a more unsettling is how widespread and accepted the practice seems to be among restaurateurs.  In some cases it's just a little creative substitution when the price of a menu fixture gets too high.  In others, though, it seems to almost a standard operating procedure, like serving tilapia as "red snapper" and escolar as "white tuna" in sushi restaurants.  This does little to calm my own sushi fatigue.

And, as fish supply chains grow longer and longer, it makes one wary of the whole thing.  The Globe piece is Part 1 of 2.  I'm curious now to see what the second piece reveals.

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