Fish, Fisheries and Queryomics
An investigative report by CCTV Focus, broadcast last week, revealed that restaurants in several Chinese cities, including Beijing, Guangdong, Zhejiang, and Fujian are serving artificial ‘shark fins’ made from mung bean starch, gelatine, sodium, and a witch’s brew of other chemicals that give the substance the characteristic mucilaginous texture of shark fins.
Shark fin soup is a traditional dish that typically is served on special occasions, such as weddings, or to make an impression. One restaurant in Zhejiang sells the fake shark fin soup for 150 yuan (US$9.38), at a cost of about 5 yuan to the restaurant, according to CCTV’s report.
CCTV estimates that up to 40 per cent of the shark fins consumed in mainland China could be fake. While it is bad enough that restaurants are serving sub-par ingredients at premium prices, the chemicals used to create the fake shark fins are often poisonous and could damage consumers’ lungs and other organs according to CCTV.
Perhaps the best reaction to the scandal comes from an online commentor, “It’s the corrupt officials who eat shark fins, right? Fair world after all.” Beel loves it!