If you wouldn't eat a gorilla you probably don't want to be eating a dolphin either.
Or supporting other food production techniques that damage our planet or it's most defenseless inhabitants- wild animals. It is important to know where your food comes from and how your food was harvested. Especially with animal proteins. Just sayin...
RECENT ARTICLE FROM A SEAFOOD INDUSTRY NEWS SITE
"A study by a food engineering student at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) has found that evidence of tuna cans produced in Mexico containing dolphin meat.
The study, performed by food engineering student Karla Vanessa Hernández Herbert, with advice from UNAM’s Secretary General José Francisco Montiel Sosa, examined 15 cans of tuna bought nearby the university. Of those 15 cans, three were found to contain traces of dolphin DNA, confirming the presence of dolphin meat.
"Although the ingestion of dolphin does not represent a health risk, the fraudulent addition of substances that are not authentic and the deception of the consumer are unacceptable," Hernández said in a press release from UNAM.
The DNA identification used the same technique utilized by the Fast Fish ID – the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The reaction can be used to create many copies of specific strands of DNA, allowing for easier identification of individual species.
The study was intended to determine whether the canned tuna contained any species other than what was advertised on the can.
The news comes two years after a decade-long fight between the U.S. and Mexico over dolphin-safe labels was concluded by the World Trade Organization. Beginning on 24 October, 2008, the fight centered around Mexico disputing the U.S. rules on the labeling of tuna as dolphin-safe, on the grounds that the standards unfairly discriminated against Mexico. At issue was a strategy of tuna fishing in Mexico known as “fishing on dolphins,” where vessels will follow dolphins swimming with tuna.
Ultimately, the WTO sided with the U.S., upholding the dolphin-safe labeling requirements and allowing Mexican tuna to be excluded.
The news also comes in the wake of other ongoing seafood trade issues between Mexico and the U.S. In 2018, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service placed bans on imports of multiple types of fish caught in Mexico, related to potential harm to the highly endangered vaquita. A challenge on that ban by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration was later rejected, and the seafood ban was expanded earlier this year.
Mexican publication Excelsior reported the study did not identify the brands of tuna tested.
“The objective of the work was not to denounce any brand as such, and of course even in 2018, with another administration, it was not the objective to point out at the national level that we were doing something wrong,” Montiel Sosa told the publication.
August 26, 2020
Feed lot food coloring and dolphins in your tuna sandwich? What is going on with our food system...? part 1
Of course I am intensely interested in all things seafood, particularly salmon.
While enjoying a nice cup of tea and browsing on the internet this morning I came across two disturbing items that reminded me just how difficult it can be to find a trusted source for quality seafood. And I made the decision to create my first blog post because- well, I felt I had an obligation to shine the light.
A product listing from a prominent seafood purveyor caught my eye. My curiosity was peaked as I considered the flavors. Without regular access to quality restaurants I've managed to become a pretty good cook (friend's tell me this... so it must be true). I took a close look at the ingredient list- what did I find? I was prepared to see the usual disappointing preservatives, additives and fillers that are so prevalent in prepackaged and already prepared foods. The secondary ingredients actually didn't look too bad.
But the first ingredient of Alaskan Salmon had me really stumped. It stated on the packaging that coloring was added through feed. This really bothered me for a couple of reasons and led me to question what else might be incorrect on that ingredient list. As you probably are aware there really isn't much enforcement or inspection that goes on with regards to ingredients used versus ingredients claimed. When buying food in a box it really comes down to taking a company at their word.
All of Alaska's Salmon is Wild Caught. Fish farms are absolutely not allowed in our states waters. They are unwanted and banned from interfering with the wild and healthy fish runs of Alaska. Our fisheries are managed for perpetual sustainable harvest. For always is the plan. But that's not the story I want to tell here now.
Back to the coloring talk.
Wild Alaska Salmon are varied in coloring, solely dependent on naturally varying genetics and locality of that particular salmon run. Our Copper River Sockeye is renowned for it's striking color and unique depth of flavor- laden with heart healthy fats. Other regions may produce a similar shade but with a drastically reduced fat content, or they may have a markedly different paler shade all together. It's natures call. Not a color additive scientists or product development research panel. The farmed fish mega farms dye Salmon to match regional fish buying preferences. There are color cards used very similar to the ones you use to pick out a can of paint. Any shade is possible. If they did not add colorant to the feed it would be an unappetizing grey. It simply is not the same thing visually or nutritionally as a Wild Salmon.
But my point is this.
How can the primary ingredient be listed as Alaskan Salmon and then a reference made to the feed color additive they use in farmed fish? "Coloring" certainly is a more neutral term than stating "chemicals added to feed" which would be more descriptively accurate but also a little terrifying to read..
Please research what you eat and where it comes from. Find healthful foods from a trusted source. Whenever possible choose as close to the start of the food chain as you can. Small businesses like ours take great care in the food we produce and can tell you the story and source of our ingredients. Let that guide you in your purchasing decisions. Plus in these crazy times independent food producers need to be kept afloat for everyone's sake. We don't want to loose the diversity in our food system to mega corps. Once lost it would be nearly impossible to regain. But maybe that is a topic for yet another blog post...
“I am a fisherwoman with a commitment to sustainable fishing practices, environmental protections and the advancement of gender equity."