5@5 - Know your fish
January 13th, 2012
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

It's a fishy tale told all too frequently: A restaurant lists a premium fish on the menu; the customer is served a lower-quality catch; the customer pays top dollar for the type of fish they thought they were ordering; and the restaurant eventually gets netted in scandal.

Jeremy Sewall, co-owner and executive chef of Island Creek Oyster Bar in Boston, Massachusetts, wants to make sure you don't get engulfed in a case of mistaken fillet identity ever again.

Five Tips for Buying Fish: Jeremy Sewall

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Filed under: 5@5 • Environment • News • Ocean • Sustainability • Think

Giant cannibal shrimp don't scrimp on scariness
December 16th, 2011
03:45 PM ET
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Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the Gulf of Mexico, a new menace, this one striped like a big cat, is preying on aquatic life: The black tiger shrimp.

The biggest saltwater shrimp in the world, black tigers “are cannibalistic as are other shrimp but it’s larger so it can consume the others,” Tony Reisinger, country extension agent for the Texas Sea Grant Extension Service, told CNN on Friday.

Because of the threat of disease, the predatory intruder poses a problem for the native shrimp and oyster population of the Gulf, Reisinger said.

Read Giant cannibal shrimp worry Gulf Coast watchers

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Filed under: Environment • Ocean • Sustainability

No GMO Frankenfish for this award-winning author
June 2nd, 2011
07:00 AM ET
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Last September's Food and Drug Administration hearings on the introduction of genetically modified salmon into the consumer food system, and issues around labeling the fish as such gave rise to heated debates in Washington and on this very site.

Consumer protection advocates said food should be labeled as such if it derives from a genetically modified organism. AquaBounty - the creator of the "AquAdvantage® Salmon" at the center of the debate, argued that genetically modified salmon should not be required to display additional labeling as it has the same qualities as the non-GMO Atlantic salmon.

Our friends at the newly launched Gilt Taste asked Paul Greenberg, the James Beard Award-winning author of Four Fish, the Future of the Last Wild Food to weigh in on the matter.

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Filed under: Environment • FDA • Fishing • Food Politics • GMO • Ocean • Salmon • Sustainability

Lunchtime poll – radiation fallout
April 8th, 2011
01:00 PM ET
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Celebrity chef Eric Ripert is using a dosimeter to test the level of radiation in the seafood at his restaurant. Radiation ecologist Dr. Timothy Mosseau says that may be a bit of overkill. Supply chain expert Gene Tanski of Foresight Demand says there's no real way that even affected food could get into the food supply in the U.S. and World Health Organization spokesman Peter Cordingley says he believes that it's a good idea to keep paying close attention.

It's not just the experts expressing opinions about the potential for radiation ingestion following the damage to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. Our commenters have weighed in as well.

The same government that said the BP oil spill is contained and that there are no long lasting health concerns. Eat Japanese sushi at your own peril folks. Use common sense and believe the exact opposite of what the government tells you - Jonx

The reactor in Japan didn't melt down as it did in Chernobyl, and if it didn't up until now, it won't. Any real danger for the rest of the world is OVER. What we are reading in the media are the products of the anti-nuclear power crowd trying to scare the daylight out of people. Don't buy it. - Gabor47


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Filed under: Buzz • Disaster • Environment • Health News • Japan • Lunchtime Poll • Ocean • Radiation • Tainted Food

April 7th, 2011
09:30 AM ET
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Chef Eric Ripert is assuaging diners' radiation angst by mechanically testing the seafood he serves. An ecologist who's closely studied radiation's impact at Chernobyl thinks that going to those lengths in the U.S. just might be overkill.

Read more about the measures the Japanese government is taking to ensure that its seafood remains safe.

April 6th, 2011
11:15 PM ET
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In light of health concerns, celebrity chef Eric Ripert is employing radiation detection equipment to allay the fears of nervous diners, but he's not giving up on Japanese seafood.

Read more about the measures the Japanese government is taking to ensure that its seafood remains safe.

Previously – The man behind Eric Ripert's seafood empire – fish butcher Justo Thomas

Japanese fishermen rage against nuclear plant owner
April 6th, 2011
09:30 AM ET
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Japanese fishermen have taken the offensive in their fight against the owner of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi power plant, angrily calling the utility's actions insulting, incompetent and "unforgivable" over the course of the weeks-long nuclear crisis.

The National Fishery Corporative Joint Association, a trade group for Japan's fishing industry, issued a scathing statement on Wednesday just hours after meeting with officials from the Tokyo Electric Power Company, which runs the crippled plant.

In it, the group demanded that the utility and Japanese government "compensate all parties (that have) indirectly or directly suffered" as a result of the situation.

"Tokyo Electric has not been capable of understanding the damage at the plant and (contaminated) water. That led to this serious situation," the group said in the statement.

Read Fishermen: Utility's actions in Japan nuclear crisis 'unforgivable'

Previously – In light of radioactive eel catch, Japan instills seafood regulations

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Filed under: Disaster • Environment • Fishing • Health News • Ocean • Radiation • Tainted Food

Japan's gonna need some bigger regulations
April 5th, 2011
04:40 PM ET
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The eels didn’t manage to slip through.

After a haul turned up last Friday off the coast of Ibaraki Prefecture, with levels of radioactivity double the current standards set for vegetables, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano announced that the nation’s authorities would begin regulating the radiation levels in seafood.

Water samples taken Tuesday from concrete pits outside the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station showed radiation 5 million times the legal limits – down from a Saturday reading of 7.5 million, according to an official with the Tokyo Electric Power Company, which runs the plant. Groundwater outside reactor No. 6 was similarly affected. The levels dropped steeply just several dozen meters out, but still remained several hundred thousand times above legal limits.

Radioactive iodine-131 is at the center of health experts’ concerns. The element iodine, in its non-radioactive isotopic form, is an essential part of thyroid regulation in the human body. Chronic exposure to its radioactive form, such as iodine-129 or iodine-131, can, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, cause thyroid problems such as nodules or cancer. Iodine-131 loses half its radiation every eight days and is further diluted by active ocean waters. Still – it’s making its way into seafood at levels exceeding those the Japanese government have deemed safe for consumption.

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Filed under: Disaster • Environment • Fishing • Health News • Japan • Ocean • Radiation • Tainted Food

April 4th, 2011
10:30 AM ET
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