These two teenagers, Kate Stoeckle and Louisa Strauss, just found out many New York sushi restaurants and seafood markets are playing a game of bait and switch with their sushi.
“They found that one-fourth of the fish samples with identifiable DNA were mislabeled. A piece of sushi sold as the luxury treat white tuna turned out to be Mozambique tilapia, a much cheaper fish that is often raised by farming. Roe supposedly from flying fish was actually from smelt. Seven of nine samples that were called red snapper were mislabeled, and they turned out to be anything from Atlantic cod to Acadian redfish, an endangered species.”
Perhaps the most exciting part of the story is that DNA investigative tools once restricted to academia and crime labs are now moving into the hands of curious diners and amateur scientists. Like GPS – once a high-tech wonder now turned into a everyday gadget – simple DNA sequencing may soon be available to almost everyone. Who was I to think my mobile already had all the features: On my next phone I need a DNA sequencer.