Everyone loves a bargain, but when it comes to certain cheap fish it’s just not worth getting sick over. While you may choose to not buy it yourself, a number of sushi restaurants are saving a buck by doing the old “switch-a-roo” with inexpensive fish.
Inside Edition decided to investigate this issue by testing sushi from restaurants to see what they were really being served. Their discovery may just leave you feeling ill.
Let’s face it, a lot of us enjoy our sushi. It can get a little spendy, however, depending on your favorite types. According to Inside Edition, it can cost up to $200 a person in high-end restaurants (yikes!).
When you place an order, you would think you’d get what you asked for, right? As it turns out it doesn’t happen all the time.
The I-Squad decided to do a little investigating at sushi restaurants in Los Angeles and New York. They purchased sushi at 25 different places (from upscale to local eateries), then sent it off for testing at a DNA lab.
Here’s what the team discovered… 68% of the sushi wasn’t the correct fish they had ordered. Another troubling factor is that many of the samples were actually a cheaper kind.
One common occurrence was whenever the I-Squad asked for white tuna in New York City, they received the wrong fish. Instead, they were usually given escolar.
Escolar has another name it goes by, the “Ex-Lax Fish.” That’s because it can lead to digestive issues that make you sick.
On the Mother Jones site they say:
“…the buttery fish is actually a kind of snake mackerel, a deep-sea bottom-feeder full of a wax ester that accounts for its dreamy velvety texture. Unfortunately, that oil is not digestible by humans and causes severe gastrointestinal distress in some people.”
Here’s an alarming fact. Escolar fish is actually banned in Italy and Japan, but not here in the United States.
Curious about the side-effects in detail? Registered Dietitian, Tamara Feuman, told Inside Edition:
“There’s diarrhea, there’s cramping, some patients will have some nausea and vomiting and it can last a day, a day-and-a-half, sometimes two days.”
In the video below, the investigative team confronts some of the restaurant owners about switching their orders for cheap fish. Let’s just say, not everyone was happy about it or willing to be forthright.
When it comes to all the red snapper sushi they ordered, 60% of the samples weren’t correct either. Mostly what they received was tilapia instead.
Tilapia is a farmed-fish on the inexpensive side. According to Dr. Axe, farmed-raised tilapia isn’t good for your health in many ways. He even calls it “worse than eating bacon.”
Fortunately, not all of the restaurants were dishonest about what fish they were serving. One owner that had been caught red-handed was even apologetic about the situation.
So, if you’re someone that enjoys eating sushi out on the town, how should you go about things? Feuman provided the following tip:
“Don’t avoid sushi. Just make sure you order things that are a little clearer in what they are. Salmon, shrimp, things that are a little harder to fudge.”
Watch the video below to see the restaurant owners’ reactions to being caught. It’s a very eye-opening story, especially to all of us sushi lovers.
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