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Something 'fishy' going on at LA sushi restaurants: study


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Makes sense with fish, it's not consumed as heavily as in Japan so likely hardly anyone knows what they're eating. The same thing happened in Europe a few years ago when it was discovered everyone was eating horse instead of beef and no one suspected a thing

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“We didn’t really expect that because Los Angeles is a very foody culture and in general people are very conscious about what they eat,” he told AFP.

Foodies are generally as ignorant about food as anybody, often more so. Pretension doesn't create knowledge. And Americans in general aren't very familiar with fish, so swaps are easy. And not just fish. 100% of the "Kobe beef" served in the US in not Kobe beef. Which is maybe just as well, considering it's often made into hamburgers and such.

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The fraud is surely not limited to fish and to LA. They should do random DNA testing at all levels in food industry and close the business of the cheats.

Foodies are generally as ignorant about food as anybody

Even if you know a lot.... A fishmonger will identify most species when they are whole, but it's not easy to tell precisely when you are not shown the whole fish and you don't know what part you are given. That's why they has to check the DNA from the samples.

salmon is almost always salmon

Unless it's rainbow trout, "salmon trout". Or when lard is mixed in into the shaketoro, as it's done in Japan.

while red snapper was substituted

What is supposed to be the real 'red snapper' ? Yes, I've looked it up and I still don't know. English speakers call so many species that name.

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I was speaking with a fisherman in San Francisco who told me they routinely misrepresent a fish when they can get away with it and it will make them more money. Which seems to be fairly often. So it starts right off the boat. There's nothing to stop fishmongers, wholesalers and restaurants from doing the same anywhere along the line.

Add to this the general lack of knowledge of fish among the consumer, the frequently changed names of fish (for marketing purposes), and the tendency to bury the flavor of the fish in sauces or such, and the results are not surprising. And I wonder how many people actually even care.

What is supposed to be the real 'red snapper' ? Yes, I've looked it up and I still don't know. English speakers call so many species that name.

I wonder too. But many of these names are made up to sell the fish more easily. Like dolphin fish suddenly became mahi-mahi because people were afraid they might be eating dolphin. A simple name change makes an unappetizing sounding fish into a premium menu item.

I think DNA certification will steadily come into common usage - not just for fish, but for all animal protein.

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