Dr. Jennifer McDonald, a Biology instructor, gave a lab assignment to her senior college class to go on different sushi restaurants for fish sample identification. This said to be a part of an experiment in determining the exact fish name used in each restaurant’s menu. Perhaps, this recent exposure does not only uncover the unraveling truth but also to some dangerous “gruesome” ingredients involved.
This Biologist disclosed the so-called "sushi scandal' through a Twitter thread about some "peculiar" actions
Dr. McDonald is a known Biology professor at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. Lately, she tweeted something about an experiment that she managed to look for the DNA match of each fish samples to its corresponding menu list. This instructor said the idea came from Twitter. Moreover, she wants something that can make her Molecular Biology class hands-on, integrated, entertaining, and relevant in today’s biology world. Besides, she shared that she used a kit given by one of the developers from Bio-Rad which became very useful.
While the instructor couldn’t foresee the results, she had knowledge with some studies about the fish fraud anomaly. She said that mislabeling in the fish and seafood industry was something well-verifiable. It was something that numerous governments were trying to address and implement strict rules and regulations and equivalent fines.
Moreover, she discussed that she expected to find some enraging results. She mentioned that there were about 50% fishes which were not labeled accurately with the same species such as the Red Snapper and White Tuna.
To know the possible results, she performed DNA sequencing on the samples. The said procedure goes like this:
The identification of the species must be recognized through a sequence barcode just like taking a shopping spree. Concerning this, a gene sequencer can read its genetic codes. Afterward, it will be processed through a barcode database.
This kind of situation can cause significant health problems. According to the researchers from Oceana, there are 84% of White Tuna samples tested in the US was found to be an Escolar. Since 1977, Escolar fish was banned by the Japanese government due to toxicity.
Not to mention, she said that food allergies may happen, for instance. Also, fillers added to it may cause harm.
Withal, she explained that food fraud costs almost $50 billion annual industry that does not stop every sushi restaurant. Fish mislabeling in Canada started due to another issue – the horse meat scandal fallout, where it was labeled as either pork or beef.
The class finally knew the awful magical ingredient
They found out that an insect material in the food sample. Yikes!
Although this nauseous discovery was revealed, she said that she wasn’t deterred with eating fish or sushi. But, this will not stop her from eating despite its results. What is more important is to know if it has a fishing certification on the label and an MSC logo to tell if it is edible and sustainable or not.
Consumers should not let themselves be fooled. Proper prevention is key.
A piece of advice for all of us is to be aware of everything. Let us be observant in all the things we buy, for our safety is our priority.
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