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Mislabeled Sushi and Fish

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Has anyone read this article?

"In a tale of teenagers, sushi and science, Kate Stoeckle and Louisa Strauss, who graduated this year from the Trinity School in Manhattan, took on a freelance science project in which they checked 60 samples of seafood using a simplified genetic fingerprinting technique to see whether the fish New Yorkers buy is what they think they are getting.

They found that one-fourth of the fish samples with identifiable DNA were mislabeled. A piece of sushi sold as the luxury treat white tuna turned out to be Mozambique tilapia, a much cheaper fish that is often raised by farming. Roe supposedly from flying fish was actually from smelt. Seven of nine samples that were called red snapper were mislabeled, and they turned out to be anything from Atlantic cod to Acadian redfish, an endangered species."


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post #2 of 13
Interesting but even I can tell tuna from tilapia, its not even close.

They did a study like this in florida a year or two ago, and a lot of places 'grouper' sandwich was something else. Normally the culprit was the supplier not the restaurants involved, and if I recall a lot of these mislabeled fish were coming from Asia.
post #3 of 13
Shoulda labled it "Bait"...

I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
post #4 of 13
Todd Kliman from the Washingtonian wrote an excellent piece about this exact subject...he focused mainly on Tuna, but had great insights/observations regarding mislabeling of fish. The article was called "Rare Tuna" and I found it in the book "Best Food Writing 2007."

If I remember correctly, he exposed the "White Tuna" myth; he explained the chilean sea bass myth; and he also detailed the proper butchering grades of tuna.

Great read if you can find it.
post #5 of 13
post #6 of 13
I read that article on CNN, so we got people using cheaper fish for sushi and also using endangered species, I think some of those fisherman are looking at a civil penalties and possibly criminal charges as well.
post #7 of 13

I've read that the Tilapia farms in china will treat their fish with carbon monoxide and sell it a sushi grade red snapper. The carbon monoxide actually gives the tilapia a more red color.

post #8 of 13

They do that with tuna too.


post #9 of 13

Never order the "Izumidai" in a restaurant.  It really ticked me off when that started happening a few years ago.  I ordered it and was like seriously?    You can buy it at the Japanese grocer in the frozen section.

post #10 of 13

Izumidai is tilapia, delicata is catfish, and soylent green needs gravy.



post #11 of 13
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post Izumidai is tilapia. BDL

And, tilapia is the common name for nearly a hundred species of cichlids. In the U.S.,almost anything is sold as "tilapia." It isn't all that different with Swai or Panga, which is marketed as white snapper, gray sole, and basa, among other euphemistic names. It is, in fact, Pangasius, a river catfish grown in the Mekong Delta, one of the most polluted bodies of water on earth.

post #12 of 13

"White snapper" aka basa, is pretty good stuff from taste and textural  stanpoints.  I'm pretty sure that some of the best fish I've recently eaten -- Mariscos Martin No. 2 -- was basa.  The servers insisted it was "huachinango" (red snapper).  But, sorry.  No.


Huge amounts are raised in very clean, modern facilities -- just as clean as the places where delacata (if you can believe it, the industry's preferred name for "channel cat") is raised in the south.   Yes it's true that Asian foodstuffs' contents and origins can be "interesting" -- and not in the good way.  On the other hand, there's a lot of propaganda about about evil Asian fish coming from the U.S. aquaculture industry.  


How worried should we be?  Writing categorically, with the greatest assurance, not to mention ex cathedra, I dunno. 


My take on these fish specifically is that fish raised in mud tastes a quite deal different from fished raised in clean water ponds



post #13 of 13


Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

How worried should we be?  Writing categorically, with the greatest assurance, not to mention ex cathedra, I dunno.

My take on these fish specifically is that fish raised in mud tastes a quite deal different from fished raised in clean water ponds



Translated from a French website:




Industrially farmed in Vietnam along the Mekong River, Pangas or whatever they’re being calling, has only been recently introduced to the French market. However, in a very short amount of time, it has grown in popularity in France. The French are slurping up Pangas like it’s their last meal of soup noodles. They are very, very affordable (cheap), are sold in filets with no bones and they have a neutral (bland) flavor and texture; many would compare it to cod and sole, only much cheaper. But as tasty as some people may find it, there’s, in fact, something hugely unsavory about it. I hope the information provided here will serve as very important information for you and your future choices. Here’s why I think it is better left in the shops (and not on your dinner plates):


1. Pangas are teeming with high levels of poisons and bacteria. (industrial effluents, arsenic, and toxic and hazardous by-products of the growing industrial sector, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT and its metabolites (DDTs), metal contaminants, chlordane-related compounds (CHLs), hexachlorocyclohexane isomers (HCHs), and hexachlorobenzene (HCB)). The reasons are that the Mekong River is one of the most polluted rivers on the planet and this is where pangas are farmed and industries along the river dump chemicals and industrial waste directly into it. To Note: a friend's lab tests these fish and tells us to avoid eating them due to high amounts of contamination. Regardless of the reports and recommendations against selling them, the supermarkets still sell them to the general public knowing they are contaminated.

2. They freeze Pangas in contaminated river water.

3. Pangas are not environmentally sustainable, a most unsustainable food you could possibly eat – “Buy local” means creating the least amount of environmental harm as possible. This is the very opposite end of the spectrum of sustainable consumerism. Pangas are raised in Vietnam. Pangas are fed food that comes from Peru (more on that below), their hormones (which are injected into the female Pangas) come from China. (More about that below) and finally, they are transported from Vietnam to France. That’s not just a giant carbon foot print, that’s a carbon continent of a foot print.

4. There’s nothing natural about Pangas – They’re fed dead fish remnants and bones, dried and ground into a flour, from South America, manioc (cassava) and residue from soy and grains. This kind of nourishment doesn’t even remotely resemble what they eat in nature. But what it does resemble is the method of feeding mad cows (cows were fed cows, remember?) What they feed pangas is completely unregulated so there are most likely other dangerous substances and hormones thrown into the mix. The pangas grow at a speed light (practically!): 4 times faster than in nature…so it makes you wonder what exactly is in their food? Your guess is as good as mine.

5. Pangas are Injected with Hormones Derived from Urine – I don’t know how someone came up with this one out but they’ve discovered that if they inject female Pangas with hormones made from the dehydrated urine of pregnant women, the female Pangas grow much quicker and produce eggs faster (one Panga can lay approximately 500,000 eggs at one time). Essentially, they’re injecting fish with hormones (they come all of the way from a pharmaceutical company in China) to speed up the process of growth and reproduction. That isn’t good. Some of you might not mind eating fish injected with dehydrated pee so if you don’t good for you, but just consider the rest of the reasons to NOT eat it.

6. You get what you pay for – and then some. Don’t be lured in by insanely cheap price of Pangas. Is it worth risking your health and the health of your family?

7. Buying Pangas supports unscrupulous, greedy evil corporations and food conglomerates that don’t care about the health and well-being of human beings. They only are concerned about selling as many pangas as possible to unsuspecting consumers. These corporations only care about selling and making more money at whatever cost to the public.

8. Pangas will make you sick – If (for reasons in #1 above) you don’t get immediately ill with vomiting, diarrhea and effects from severe food poisoning, congratulations, you have an iron stomach! But you’re still ingesting POISON not poisson.Final important note: Because of the prodigious amount of availability of Pangas, be warned that they will certainly find their way into other foods: surimi (those pressed fish things, imitation crab sticks), fish sticks, fish terrines, and probably in some pet foods. (Warn your dogs and cats and hamsters and gerbils and even your pet fish!)

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