barton seaver

Chef Barton Seaver gets Duped by Seafood Fraud

Posted Mon, Oct 22, 2012 by admin to asian jumbo lump crabmeat, barton seaver, Maryland Blue Crab, national geographic, seafood fraud

Chef Barton Seaver

Sustainability-minded chef and National Geographic fellow Barton Seaver is the latest victim of seafood fraud. He admitted as much in a recent post on National Geographic's Ocean Views blog. Shopping at one of his favorite seafood markets Seaver was taken in by what he thought to be that staple of mid-Atlantic cuisine, the Maryland blue crab. As he tells it, he didn't get what he paid for:

"Back in my kitchen, the container held beautiful giant lumps of meat, larger than I have seen in decades. I was pleased and thought to myself “hey, the crabs are doing well if we are catching them this big”. I noticed a small red ring on some joints where the muscle had met the leg of the crab, a color that I was not used to seeing. I chalked it up to “maybe I haven’t ever seen crabs this big.” On I went, adding the lemon juice, mayonnaise, and a dusting of breadcrumbs. I texted a picture of the crab to my friend who works with the State of Maryland fisheries congratulating him on the conservation efforts that had obviously worked to bring crab meat this big to my table.

His response, 'Asian! The red tip to the lump gives it away.' I had been beat. Even though I had read the sign, checked the label, and smelled the product, I had been duped."

Seaver also relays how, upon closer inspection, the container attested to the fact that the meat had been pumped with preservatives as well as a water rentention agent. A recent Boston Globe investigation revealed that such chemicals, like sodium tripolyphosphate, are routinely used to plump up seafood, boosting profits for distributors who sell by the pound. Unsurprisingly, Seaver says that the quality of the product suffered as well.

"I tasted the crab and there was a lingering chemical acidity and a muted flavor. Not what I was expecting, nor what I was led to believe I was buying."

Along with U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who earlier this week wrote a letter to the FDA demanding stricter monitoring and enforcement of seafood fraud, Seaver wants to end this deceitful and possibly dangerous practice, and asks readers to sign Oceana's petition to congress for stricter labeling and enforcement. Join the fight against seafood fraud and sign the petition!


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Angela Kinsey and Barton Seaver Head to Capitol Hill

Posted Tue, May 8, 2012 by Emily Fisher to angela kinsey, barton seaver, capitol hill, ocean activism, ocean conservation, sea turtles, seafood fraud, the hangover, the office

Next Monday, actress and ocean activist Angela Kinsey will be here in Washington, D.C. to urge Congress to pass legislation to stop seafood fraud.

Kinsey is best known for her role as the tightly-wound head of accounting on “The Office,” and she also appeared in a video for Oceana’s sea turtle campaign alongside Rachael Harris (“The Hangover.) Kinsey will be joined by sustainable chef and author Barton Seaver and Oceana campaign director Beth Lowell. Their stops will include a briefing on Capitol Hill and a reception at National Aquarium.

Oceana has found mislabeling of nearly one in five fish fillets sampled in Boston-area supermarkets, as well as the mislabeling of more than half of the seafood sampled in the Los Angeles-area. Oceana is calling on the federal government to make combating seafood fraud a priority as well as for traceability of seafood sold in the United States.


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