Know your fish…or shit your pants.

by Rodzilla on December 18, 2012 · 5 comments

You may have seen Kim Severson’s latest NYT article on mislabeled fish prompted by the recent Oceana report, Widespread Seafood Fraud Found in New York City. The former is the more entertaining read, if you haven’t.

According to the report, 39 percent of the 142 seafood samples tested in New York City were mislabeled  This may seem alarming, but it’s not actually that surprising. It’s still less than the 42% from Boston, or the much more problematic 55% around LA.

So why is this happening? A number of reasons,  but most notably greed (over-fishing, deliberate mislabeling) and buyer/consumer ignorance.

This is why you find wholesalers you trust, ask about an establishment’s sourcing, and avoid those roll-factories calling themselves sushi restaurants. Most importantly, this is why you should educate yourself… or risk shitting your pants. I’ll explain.One of the examples given in the article was the mislabeling of 3 of my favorite fish as White Tuna. White Tuna or Shiro Maguro generally refers to Albacore. However, it’s often used as an umbrella term for anything Albacore/Ono (Wahoo)/Escolar

Real Ono is Wahoo (pictured above), but I often find something labeled Ono ends up being Escolar. They’re easy enough to confuse at first glance, so I’ve learned to ask (though I love them both).

but Albacore (left) vs. Escolar (right) that’s easy photo credit. If you can’t discern between the two, you deserve every bit of what may come.

To be frankly and bluntly specific – and I’m sorry for this – consumption of escolar causes explosive, oily, orange diarrhea.”  -The Kitchen

Now before you swear off the deliciousness of Escolar entirely, realize this generally only happens when eaten to excess. The fish can’t metabolize certain wax esters found in their diet, and guess who that GI distress is passed on to? This guy.

Yes, it has happened to me.  Yes, I still risk it.  Yes it’s that good…just try to stay under 6oz.
Buyer beware, or rather, informed.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 uhockey

:-) lol

2 Kirk

Yah, you really don’t want to be unknowingly eating escolar if you’re susceptible to ahem….”agent orange”. I believe it’s still banned in Japan. They often label it as “white tuna” in sushi bars……

3 Rodzilla

Mike – glad you enjoyed :)

Kirk – Agreed. I still love the taste, I just limit the amounts. I’ve found that anything labeled “SUPER white tuna” is almost always escolar.

4 Lily

Dearest Rodzilla,
Your tiny font size makes it very difficult for elderly people to read your blogs. For example, oz. and lbs. look pretty similar to the entire population of old persons. I whipped up enough six-pound Escolar and hashish brownies for all the residents of my nursing home. I emphasized that no one should eat more than one of my six-pound masterpieces. Due to the effect of cannabis on appetite, everyone finished their brownie.
It was a disaster—98 percent of residents died from diarrhea induced dehydration and/or pathological embarrassment. We hold you responsible because of your use of a font size dangerous to the elderly. The 2 percent of us who survived are suing you for damages to our intestines and self-esteem. You’ll be hearing from our attorney when he gets out of rehab.
Bless you,

5 Rodzilla

I would suggest a quick google search to figure out how to adjust the text size in your browser. If that’s too technologically advanced for you and your elderly companions, it doesn’t seem that any of you have/had much hope for functioning in today’s society anyway. I don’t think I’m the one to “blame” for this, but if you must, I will unapologetically take “credit”. It sounds like it was time to die, and escolar and brownies are a hell of a last meal.

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