GOOD

Uncovering Fictitious and Fraudulent Fish with the Barcodes of Life

Could the DNA barcodes used to expose widespread fish fraud also become a shopper's best friend?


Argentine Roughy, Cherry Snapper, and Salmon Trout only exist at the fish market. They’re fictitious names for fish that don’t exist anywhere, except in the minds of unscrupulous fishmongers. "Grouper" sometimes gets sold as catfish. Gulf shrimp spawn, impossibly, in Thailand. Menhedan masquerade as "Pamplona Sardines in tomato Sauce." Importers traffic in "Leather Jacket Fillets" or "Freedom Cobbler."

Despite growing awareness about the origins of our food, we’re often served a completely different fish species than the ones we order. This comes with economic costs and often means that sustainable seafood you’re eating might not be so sustainable. Global "ichthyologic name-swapping" obfuscates the origins of fish, so contaminated or toxic food causing health problems often can't be traced to the source.

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Dietary Supplements: Suspect Seafood, Mustard Madness, and Tastebud Training

Today's round-up of what we're reading at GOOD Food HQ. Enjoy!

Even if Japan's seafood isn't contaminated by nuclear radiation, the fear of contamination could have lasting effects.

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GOOD Instructions: Things You Didn't Know Were Made of Oil—and How to Avoid Them

More than just car fuel, our dependence on oil includes everyday household products, clothes, and beauty products.




You don't need us to tell you that our dependence on crude needs to change—and this couldn't be truer than it is now. Conservative estimates say the leak in the Gulf spewed 200,000 gallons a day; others say it’s closer to 3 million. Either way the environmental and economic repercussions are going to be disastrous.

We all need to do some adjusting—and we can do much more than just avoid the gas station. There are 42 gallons in one barrel of oil. About 20 gallons of a barrel go to gasoline, and the rest goes into making approximately 6,000 other items we regularly use, consume, and toss. So, what can we do in our own lives to reduce petroleum reliance? We can bring awareness to the products we purchase. Here are few ways you can start to reduce your daily personal intake.

Get involved. Pay attention to what is going on locally and nationwide with energy policy. Recently the House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act. (For a summary of the 964-page document, see Grist's handy primer.) The senate has yet to vote on it, so if you support it, write to your state senator and let him or her know.

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