Friday, August 13, 2010

(a)Musings: Ponyo Ponyo, Little Fishy in the Sea

Everyone likes tuna occasionally, right? I'm totally fine with that, this isn't going to be a rant about how you shouldn't eat it because you're destroying the natural balance of the ocean. Rather, it's going to be a rant about how you should demand that your seafood is labeled properly lest you contribute to said destruction.

Just the other day, my mom went to Costco for a few essentials. She commented on how Costco has always had the best tuna, as she was opening a couple of cans to make herself some tuna salad. She tilted the can and showed me.

"Oh, wow" I said, "it looks like a perfect circle was cookie-cut right out of the tuna."

"Yep!" she replied, satisfied as always with her purchase.

She says that StarKist brand, in sharp contrast to Costco's tuna, is always a bunch of pathetic little watery dark meat pieces as opposed to solid all-white meat fillet. There's no comparison. StarKist, if anyone remembers, was involved in a scandal in the 80's that had to do with selling tainted tuna unfit for human consumption in Canada. Because it's probably the most recogniseable brand of tuna as well, environmental agencies had also been after them for ages, trying to educate the public about dolphins and nets and "Dolphin-Safe" labeling and what have you. Considering all of this, one has to assume that for at least the last ten years or so, StarKist has been operating under more stringent regulations and watchful eyes than other mass suppliers of this delicate commodity, which could explain the lesser quality of their tuna. Maybe it's not as good because they're no longer catching fish they're not supposed to, right?

"Where was it caught?" I asked automatically.

Lo and behold, Costco puts no information whatsoever about where its tuna comes from on its cans. One has to assume that a big company doesn't give consumers information because there are simply things that they don't want them to know. So, people should demand the information. Maybe it doesn't seem like a big deal, but what else aren't they telling you? Maybe you don't care now, but you will one day when you're buying products for your newborn son or young daughter. 

I don't always support Greenpeace. The way I see it, if you act like an extremist psycho who lives in a tree and subsists entirely on raw organic vegan trail mix and doesn't shower, people definitely aren't going to listen to whatever you have to say. Occasionally, though, they're right on target. I mean, I happened to go to their site and find this just days after I was thinking about this tuna business: Send a Letter to Costco's CEO

Go ahead, sign it. Orange roughy and Chilean sea bass, as I'm sure you can guess, are threatened species that should simply not be consumed. I went ahead and added a paragraph about tuna to my letter, lol.

What's that? You were expecting something about Ponyo? Well, like all of the other Hayao Miyazaki Ghibli movies, it has a strong environmental message; I'd say the strongest since Princess Mononoke. So if you like Ponyo and the ocean, send the letter to Costco's CEO. And here's a really surprised-looking tuna some guy caught. Silly cartoon fish post title correlation complete.