Some Tuna Can Carry Up To 36 Times The Toxic Chemicals Of Others. Here’s Why

Photo by Tigeryan/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Not all tuna is alike….

A new study may prompt hand wringing among you tuna poke and sushi lovers. When it comes to pollutant levels, researchers now say where your tuna was caught matters.

In a first-of-its-kind global study, scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego analyzed 117 yellowfin tuna taken from 12 locations worldwide, measuring the contaminant levels of each. They found yellowfin tuna caught closer to more industrialized locations off North America and Europe can carry 36 times more pollutants — including pesticides, flame retardants and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) — than the same species caught in more remote locations, like in the West Pacific Ocean.

Read on at NPR.org

The Lazy Person’s Guide to Eating Cheap, Sustainable Sushi

Via Munchies
Via Munchies

Look, we’re all guilty of it.

We know that the ocean is full of trash and trawl nets, that many of our favorite foods are destructive to the planet, that we should eat fewer cheeseburgers and more flax meal or whatever. But realistically, when it’s 1:07 PM on a Tuesday and you’re sitting at your office desk hungry as hell, there are other needs and desires that take precedence. Like, for instance, one’s casual craving for a two-roll lunch combo from the cheap sushi spot down the block. “Yeah, yeah,” you say. “I love the environment. Save the Earth. Now pass the soy sauce.”

Read the guide at Munchies.

The Sushi Chef: Daisuke Nakazawa


Via The Seattle Times
Via The Seattle Times

Daisuke Nakazawa is the co-owner and sushi chef at Sushi Nakazawa, one of New York City’s most renowned destinations for omakase. He serves a style of sushi inspired by his adopted hometown, taking the skills he learned during his his 11-year apprenticeship at Sukibayashi Jiro (of Jiro Dreams of Sushi fame) and applying them to ingredients and flavor profiles that would ruffle feathers at home in Tokyo.


Watch the story at Munchies.

The Sushi Chef: Bun Lai

Via Munchies
Via Munchies

This was super pleasant to watch. Start your Monday off right with this sustainable and creative sushi chef.

Miya’s in New Haven, Connecticut is not your typical sushi restaurant. When Yoshi Lai opened the restaurant in 1982, it was the first of its kind in the area and very traditional. When Yoshi’s son Bun became involved, it all changed. From a young age, Bun was always interested in food and it’s impact on the environment. When he started working at his family’s restaurant it became clear that he could lessen their carbon footprint by swapping out traditional sushi fish such as salmon and tuna with more sustainable options such as lion fish, Asian carp, and foraged plants. Today, Miya’s is a New Haven favorite where you can eat all kinds of experimental rolls, many of which use ingredients foraged and grown by Bun and his family.

Watch the story at Munchies. 

The Sushinomics Ethical Conundrum

Photograph: Alamy, via The Guardian
Photograph: Alamy, via The Guardian

“Tuna stocks are in serious decline, with too many boats chasing too few fish, along with widespread illegal fishing,” according to the Pew environment group. But can it ever be OK to eat? To help navigate these waters, arm yourself with lists and guides, including Greenpeace’s Red List. Some trail-blazing businesses have majored in the traceability of their sushi – Moshi Moshi, the UK’s first conveyor-belt sushi restaurant, founded pisces-rfr.org, which is a guide to responsible fish restaurants .

Developing countries represent 50% of global fish exports. The idea should be that high-value fish are exported and low-value fish imported with the revenue, meaning there’s a common-sense flow of money (this brings in foreign-exchange revenues of $25bn) and protein. Unfortunately a study by the WorldFish Centerfound that poor countries are left with a protein gap as fish export revenues are captured by elites and spent on luxury goods (such as imported sushi).

Read the rest on The Guardian.

Toni Silber-Delerive: Up Close and Appetizing

My paintings represent food from a variety of different cuisines seen from above. Their flattened surface planes reduce details to strong graphic images demonstrating a fresh visual vocabulary. This is the essence of edibles: combining elements of abstraction and representation, pattern and grid, surface and illusion, as well as observation, imagination, and memory.

Overall, I strive for a new perspective. While the colors and shapes are traditional, the oversized proportions painted from above display the subject in a way that is both inventive and recognizable.

Fancy Cakes300

Fruit Medley300



Salmon canape300


Born in Philadelphia, Toni studied painting at the Philadelphia College of Art and graphic design at the School of Visual Arts. She is a Manhattan-based artist and graphic designer. Her work is represented in private and corporate collections and has been in many exhibitions, including a two month solo show at the James Beard House Gallery. More information is available at www.tonisart.com

Saving Nemo: 3 Technologies for Sustainable Seafood

Overfishing – removing fish from the ocean at faster rates than they can reproduce – has become a huge concern in recent decades. Many of the world’s fish populations are at levels so low that recovery, if possible, requires long term, innovative solutions. Due to increased demand, overfishing, illegal fishing and buycatch (large nets or trawls used to catch one species often times kill other, unintended species), our seafood supply is diminishing and the health of our oceans is in danger.


Click here to read more at FoodTechConnect.com.

Edible QR Codes on Sushi

Guests at the upscale Harney Sushi in San Diego now get a little something extra with their fresh tuna and crab rolls: edible QR (quick response) codes. When scanned with a smart phone or tablet, the codes take users to the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Fish Watch website, where they can learn about the sustainability of the seafood they are consuming.

Click here to read more on NationalGoegraphic.com.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi Becomes a Foodie’s Dream

from Huffington Post

by Fabio Parasecoli

If we ever needed more proof to confirm that Japanese cuisine is among the most popular and sought after culinary traditions, David Gelb’s documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi might have provided the final consecration. The documentary focuses on sushi, which we, in the United States, can find in all sorts of establishments, from delis to bars, where the morsels of raw fish and rice are transported to patrons on little conveyor belts. Yet Jiro Ono’s legendary 10-seat restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, hails from a completely different universe. The seemingly unassuming Tokyo eatery, located underground in a subway station and with no restrooms on premises, focuses exclusively — at times we’d feel like saying almost maniacally — on sushi. The 85-year-old Jiro and one of his sons have taken this specialty to levels of refinement and perfection that have gained them three Michelin stars and the adoration of food critics and affluent patrons. As the meal can cost around $300.00 per person, not everybody can afford to sit in the coveted spots at the counter and observe the sushi masters do their magic before their eyes.

The documentary is absolutely enjoyable. Jiro, his two sons, his apprentices, and the colorful ensemble of food vendors that sell rice and fish to the restaurant, manage to capture our attention for the full 80 minutes, much of which is shots of the actual food. You end up mesmerized by the sushi preparation, the supple movements that assemble it almost magically, the glistening textures of eels, shrimp, and fat tuna, the vapors of the kitchen, the whiffs of smoke from the burning hay that lightly grills the fish. In other words, all the trappings of the popular visual style that is now often referred to as “food porn.” We might not be fully aware, but we have enjoyed it in numerous movies and many a TV show. Not to mention food commercials and printed advertising.

The filmmaker, clearly passionate about his subject, has fully embraced the foodie aesthetics, adopting its language and principles. Moviegoers, who we can safely assume are interested in food and the surrounding culture, cannot but appreciate the exceptionality of the artisan’s skills, honed by decades of absolute, almost mystical dedication. As frustrating as it is, myriad attempts and tons of imperfect food pave the way to mastery. A recognizable and mildly exotic version of Japanese culture is proposed to Western viewers, who are likely to have some inkling about the hardships of samurai training and their code of conduct, echoed by the sushi masters’ ability to brandish very sharp knives. The mindless repetition of gestures and movements that is supposed to lead to perfection can easily take us back to Karate Kid‘s Mr. Miyagi and his wax on, wax off technique.

We are constantly reminded of the chef’s uniqueness and the sublime quality of his food by a renowned Japanese food critic. He plays the all-important role of the insider, implicitly allowing viewers to feel “in the know” by sharing his expertise and his cultural capital. Moreover, he pledges the sushi’s authenticity, one of the most crucial and controversial values in contemporary food culture. We want to be reassured we are getting the real thing, even if such a thing does not — and cannot — exist. The master’s work is represented as the epitome of taste and refinement, which is all the more exciting because the sushi he serves would come across as simple and ordinary to the untrained eyes of the non-expert. We justly feel our own comprehension of the art of sushi increasing by the minute, providing us with invaluable ammunition to employ in future dinners and outings on the town.

At the same time, the Japanese food critic makes sure to frame the meal in terms that are accessible to educated Westerners: He compares it to a concerto, aptly describing its various phases with expression such as cadenza and other musical terms. I suspect that he wanted to show his knowledge of the subtleties of our own culture too. The documentary neither throws us in a completely unknown world, nor challenges our sense of culinary competence, but rather soothes us by providing a better understanding of an already familiar aspect of Japanese cuisine. The enclosed environment, briefly abandoned for a cursory visit to the dazzling Tsukiji fish market, allows us to approach this fascinating world on our own terms. No need to deal with the complexities of Japanese culinary culture lurking outside the restaurant. Unless you have to use the restrooms, that is…