A recent study has produced some astonishing and disturbing results. Tuna was ordered from 31 sushi restaurants. Genetic tests were then used to identify the species of fish ordered. Nineteen of the restaurants surveyed incorrectly described or could could not indicate which species of fish they had served. A few establishments actually served endangered bluefin tuna not knowing which tuna type they were selling to their customers.
The customers were also unaware of what they were eating exactly, because they believed the menu information was correct. Pacific bluefin tuna are overfished and in danger of being driven into extinction. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch has rated them a fish to AVOID. If some restaurants are not aware of the types of tuna they are serving, consumers will have a very difficult time trying to be environmentally conscientious diners.
In a few instances, the fish species Escolar was served instead of tuna, but this fish has caused intestinal problems for some people. ( Five of the 68 fish samples were Escolar, and they had been sold as tuna ). The study report states Escolar has been banned in Japan and Italy due to health concerns.
The authors wrote, “A piece of tuna sushi has the potential to be an endangered species, a fraud or a health hazard.”
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