Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The DNA Barcode of Life

I love sushi, but high priced fish is often mislabeled. One of the biggest problems I run into with food is that I can't know for sure what I'm eating. There have been studies that show that most of what we eat in Sushi Restaurants is mislabeled. This is fraud, they are tricking the consumers into eating cheap or endangered species instead of the expensive premium fish they are charging you for. In Japan, using species substitution, fishermen sell illegal dolphin meat, labeled as whale, for school lunches, dosing kids with mercury, a known neurotoxin. Read more at Oceana.org ...

Now EarthSky reports that a clever team of scientists is planing to use cell phone bar-code readers to give consumers more of the information they need to make good choices for the environment.

David Schindel said: “The image that some people have in mind is being able to sit down to a restaurant meal and take out your smart phone and scan a barcode on the menu and find out more about how the dish is prepared, but also about the species. Where was it fished? What fisherman caught this? When it was caught? Was it tested? Does this fisherman have a good record of authentic labeling? And all of that could be on your smart phone while you enjoy a glass of wine and you wait for your meal to be served.”
For more information about what to eat, check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium's SEAFOOD WATCH list: seafoodwatch.org

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