McDonald’s fillet-o-fish is really fish

Putting aside years of conspiracy theories, the Miami Herald commissioned Nova Southeastern professor Mahmood Shivji’s to use DNA fingerprinting technology to confirm that the McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich is actually made of fish.

Alaska pollock.

McDonald’s corporate website identifies pollock as one of two fish sources for its decades-old fish sandwich (the other being hoki, a fish found off the coasts of New Zealand and Australia).

Both fish species are recognized as sustainable, well-managed fisheries — meaning Filet-O-Fish lovers can feel good that their guilty pleasure won’t harm Mother Nature’s marine ecosytems.

Food is the new fur for the celebrity with a conscience

Jay Rayner writes in the U.K. Observer today that, really bad food, is hot.

Greta Scacchi, who is pictured clutching a cod to her naked body (right, exactly as shown), will doubtless come to be seen as the seminal image for a particular moment, when the gruelling, knotty business of campaigning around food issues finally became sexy.

Where celebrities are concerned, it seems, food is the new fur. … Tomorrow, Paul McCartney and his daughters Stella and Mary are launching a campaign to convince the public to go meat-free for one day a week. Another movie, Food Inc, which looks at the excesses and foul side-effects of industrial food production has just been released in the US and will shortly arrive here. Plus there is a major investigation by environmental campaigner Tracy Worcester into the dark underbelly of the global pig-rearing business which is about to be screened on digital channel More4.

What marks out these campaigns is their sophistication. It began a couple of weeks ago with the news that Nobu, the global high-end chain of Japanese restaurants favoured by the glitterati, was still serving bluefin tuna despite it being an endangered species.

Skin and nail IDed in UK salad

DNA fingerprinting is awesome.

It takes the ambiguity out of parenthood, crime, and skin and fingernails in salad.

A customer was eating at Pizza Express in West Wickham High Street when she bit into something hard and chewy.

She removed it from her mouth and found something resembling a piece of human skin with part of a nail attached.

DNA testing linked the half-inch piece of skin to the restaurant’s chef, Nicalau Vandley, who had cut his finger while chopping red peppers two days before the salad was served on January 1 this year.

Pizza Express admitted selling food unfit for human consumption and was fined £7,500 at Bromley Magistrates’ Court December 3.

How exactly the skin ended up in the salad is not known.

Dane Cook and his pooping dog give up apartment

TMZ reports that Dane Cook has given up his fight to live in what he believes is an apartment that has a supernatural force.

“Cook was evicted from a West Hollywood apartment last August after a jury decided the "comedian" habitually violated the rules requiring him to pick up his dog’s crap.

“As reported yesterday, Cook threw a Hail Mary at the judge, arguing that hizzoner should block the eviction because the apartment building had almost paranormal qualities — John Belushi and Steve Martin both lived there, and Cook believed if he moved out his creative juices stop flowing and a bad case of writer’s block would ruin his career. Did anyone see "Employee of the Month?"

Cook has apparently abandoned the appeal.

Dog poop contains common pathogens such as tapeworms, roundworms, cryptosporidium, salmonella, E.coli, and many others.  Owners, clean up after your dogs and wash your damn hands.

It’s gotten so bad that the Israeli city of Petah Tikva, a suburb of Tel Aviv, has started a six-month trial program where it is matching the DNA of dog poop, either in special containers or found on the street, to a database of registered dogs and their owners.

“Owners who scoop up their dogs’ droppings and place them in specially marked bins on Petah Tikva’s streets will be eligible for rewards of pet food coupons and dog toys.

“But droppings found underfoot in the street and matched through the DNA database to a registered pet could earn its owner a municipal fine.”

Phony fish on some menus in New York

Two high school students have determined that 25 per cent of 60 seafood samples from New York sushi restaurants and seafood markets are fakes, often cheap fish posing as fancy – and more expensive.

The New York Times reports that,

"Kate Stoeckle and Louisa Strauss, who graduated this year from the Trinity School in Manhattan, took on a freelance science project in which they checked 60 samples of seafood using a simplified genetic fingerprinting technique to see whether the fish New Yorkers buy is what they think they are getting.

"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. …

"The results of Ms. Strauss and Ms. Stoeckle’s research are being published in Pacific Fishing magazine, a publication for commercial fishermen. The sample size is too small to serve as an indictment of all New York fishmongers and restaurateurs, but the results are unlikely to be a mere statistical fluke. …

"Ms. Stoeckle said the underlying message of the research was simple: “If you’re paying for white tuna and you’re eating tilapia, I think you’d want to know that.”