HOW TO TELL IF YOUR TUNA IS REAL OR FAKE
A few years ago Oceana, a nonprofit ocean conservation group, published a staggering report that brought to light the insanely rampant practice of mislabeling fish. Oceana reported that after red snapper, one of the most mislabeled fish on the market is fresh tuna, and the practice is still going strong today.
The Oceana report focused on fresh tuna, the kind you can order at sushi places, seafood restaurants and grocery stores. Pre-cooked canned or packaged tuna was not a part of this Oceana report, though it comes with its own host of sustainability and transparency issues.
On a recent family vacation in upstate New York, my family bought fresh "tuna" at the seafood section of the grocery store, and in our vacation-euphoric state we simply marveled at the good price. We trusted the label to be honest, only to quickly realize our mistake. The fish we actually got was most like escolar, which isn't even closely related to tuna.
During Oceana's research, they found 84 percent of the "white tuna" samples they tested in the U.S. were actually escolar. First of all, the name "white tuna" is cause for alarm, since "white tuna" isn't actually a type of fish -- Albacore is the name used to describe the lightest color of tuna. (Bluefin and Yellowfin, or Ahi, are the names of the darker tunas we typically eat.)
The mislabeling of fish happened most often at sushi restaurants, at a staggering 74 percent of the sushi venues they sampled. But it also occurred at the grocery store 18 percent of the time.
The real problem with fake tuna and how to make sure fake tuna doesn't happen to you.
WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR USED OYSTER SHELLS?
As you sit in your favorite coastal Texas seafood restaurant, enjoying a dozen Gulf of Mexico oysters on the half-shell, have you ever pondered what becomes of those empty shells when you’re done eating? Sadly, more often than not, your oyster shells end up in a landfill somewhere. The good news is that an organization in Galveston is hard at work to implement a program wherein used oyster shells are recycled and returned to Galveston Bay to provide habitats and sustain existing oyster populations.
The program, launched in 2011 by the Galveston Bay Foundation, (GBF) currently partners with ten Texas restaurants to recycle oyster shells that would otherwise go to waste. Restaurants in the Galveston area have been eager to participate in this program because it benefits the environment and promotes a sustainable oyster population. This, in turn, is good for business and even better for Galveston Bay.
How does it work?
After the recycled shells are collected from participating restaurants, they’re taken to a “curing” site. Here, the shells must be “sun bleached” for a minimum of six months to ensure that all bacteria and non-native species have been eradicated. Periodically, the shells are stirred and turned with the help of tractors to be sure that all shells are thoroughly exposed to the sun.
After the shells are cured, they’re placed in mesh bags and returned to Galveston Bay. Galveston Bay Foundation works with construction companies and partners to transport the oyster shells to various restoration sites around the bay via dump trucks and trailers. There, the bags of oyster shells are placed in the bay to form man-made oyster reefs.
YOUR KIDS SAY THEY WANT 'I DON'T CARE' FOR DINNER? THEY CAN ORDER THAT.
You take your child out to a restaurant, but they groan, “I’m not hungry.”
Well, now at least one restaurant lets them order that.
Fager’s Island, a seafood joint located in Ocean City, Maryland, offers a kids menu filled with quirky options aimed to appeal to young picky eaters, according to NBC’s “Today.”
Ask your kid what they want, and they say “I don’t know”? That will get them a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for $2.50.
A simple question — “What?” — will land your child a cheese quesadilla for the price of $4.50.
They grumpily respond with “I’m not hungry”? One order of chicken tenders for $7.00 coming up.
Some people have remarked on the irony of that last option.
“The ‘I'm not hungry’ is the most expensive one…” wrote a Reddit user.
Other restaurants have offered similar kids menus as well. At the Deli Mansion Park — located in Altoona, Pennsylvania — an order of grilled cheese and french fries is listed under “I’m not hungry” and breaded chicken fingers with fries are also referred to as “I don’t care,” according to NBC’s “Today.”
If these menus aren’t proof enough, research suggests such mealtime angst is fairly common in young children.
THIS HUSBAND-AND-WIFE-RUN RESTAURANT SERVES UP CLASSIC FOOD WITH A TWIST
Acacia has artfully honed the definition of casual fine dining, with food that delights in its originality but isn't pretentious. The setting is gracious yet not too formal, making it appropriate for a relaxing meal as well as for a special occasion.
Part of Acacia's distinctive character is its location in Lawrenceville, where charming Main Street has the welcoming feel of a calmer era. The restaurant is across from The Lawrenceville School, and much of its produce comes from the school's Big Red Farm.
In good weather, patrons can take advantage of the setting at tables under green umbrellas. Inside, noise isn't an issue in the spacious dining room, with tables set well apart and low-key decor in flattering lighting that suits the establishment's mellow mood. The clientele is a mature crowd who can appreciate an appealing menu that changes seasonally.
It waltzes gracefully between such culinary solid citizens as crispy calamari ($12) and more unusual fare, like a melon gazpacho ($9) sparkling with pickled watermelon rind and cilantro, but every dish has unique touches that give it a special identity.
In the case of the sweet and sour-glazed calamari, that's a fermented pepper aioli and pickled chili. Panko-crusted croquettes ($11) are wonderfully crunchy on the outside becoming a study in contrast as the melted goat cheese inside is revealed, getting just a slight edge from a balsamic reduction on the mini-salad that comes with it.
Chef/co-owner Chris Voigtsberger got involved with cooking when he found that an office job didn't work for him and he decided to take a shot at something different. After attending the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan, he did an externship at Eleven Madison Park in the city.
"It was like a first impression at one of the best kitchens in the world," he said, and it stuck with him, reflected in what he produces at his own restaurant.
SENATORS ADD SHRIMP TO SEAFOOD IMPORT MONITORING PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION PLAN
Efforts to include shrimp in the Seafood Import Monitoring Program when it takes effect Jan. 1 of next year advanced in Congress on Thursday, the American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA) said in a release.
Senate appropriations committee chairman Thad Cochran and commerce, justice and science appropriations subcommittee chairman Richard Shelby added language to the FY2018 commerce, justice and science subcommittee bill to ensure that shrimp is fully integrated into the program on the same timeline as other species, the association said.
Previously, shrimp was expected to be phased in at a later date than majority of other priority species, which have a mandatory compliance date of Jan. 1.
David Veal, ASPA executive director, commended the decision. He said Cochran and Shelby showed they care about the survival of the US shrimp industry and continued economic opportunity and job growth of coastal communities.
Edward Hayes, counsel for the ASPA, said the program will make sure American consumers' health and safety is protected.
The program establishes reporting and recordkeeping requirements for certain seafood species in an effort to prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated-caught and misrepresented seafood from entering US commerce, providing additional protections for our national economy, global food security and the sustainability of our shared ocean resources.