Holy Shifting Tastebuds! For a story right up there with deer meat sushi comes this little article about fake shark fins made from pork. The artificial fins were developed due to the high price of real fins (the rising price being a market response to scarcity--i.e., overfishing). The price of the pig gelatin fins are one-tenth that of the real deal.
For more than 400 million years, sharks have survived the world's seas. But over the last couple decades, the wasteful practice of shark finning has become a global concern, particularly as shark populations show declines and the demand for shark fins grows. Due to naturally slow population growth rates, many sharks are particularly vulnerable to overfishing, which prompted the American Fisheries Society to recommend that sharks become high management priorities for fishing nations. Furthermore, a number of sharks were recently listed on the IUCN Redlist.
Ultimately, pork fins seem to me a little like fake fur. Doesn't it just perpetuate demand for a product we should not be consuming in the first place?
p.s. Take a look at this excellent short video by Discovery tracing our fear of sharks back to New Jersey shores in 1916.
"Ultimately, pork fins seem to me a little like fake fur. Doesn't it just perpetuate demand for a product we should not be consuming in the first place?"
Well said - this piece of news just serves to highlight the completely farcical nature of China's obsession with shark's fin soup. It doesn't taste of anything! It's there for texture, which is why you can get away with substituting pork for it.
Now, pardon me if I'm being culturally insensitive, but a bit of extra bite in a spoonful of soup seems to be poor justification for the extinction of several key apex predators. What's wrong with croutons?
I think people differ greatly on this issue. For example, if it were completely unidentifiable as my own, I would have no problem with a picture of my naked ass being posted on the Internet. Others would be absolutely horrified by the prospect.