Why did Miya’s take tuna off of the menu?
Tuna is the America’s favorite fish and is the bedrock of the cuisine of sushi. But, the consumption of tuna presents many problems:
Six out of eight of the most popular types of tuna are overfished; and, the bluefin tuna, the most expensive seafood in the world, is an endangered species that is not effectively protected.
Tuna is the principal source of dietary methylmercury for humans. Methylmercury is a powerful neurotoxin that effects human, fish and wildlife health.
Tuna fishing is responsible for the killing of millions of top predators such as shark and marlin each year. Scientists are just beginning to assess the ecological impact of this problem. Tuna from sustainable fisheries are meant to be a treat; not something that people should be eating often because of the mercury load. I would never feed my children tuna nor yours.
Farmed tuna, which are rounded up from the wild in purse seine nets, have enormous feed conversion ratios of 10-20:1. In a world there are over a billion people starving it’s unfair to be feeding ten or twenty pounds of sardines and anchovies to make one pound of tuna for wealthy people. Farming carnivorous top predators is a highly inefficient way of producing food; we don’t eat lions for same reasons.
The cuisine of sushi is addicted to, dependent on and defines itself by tuna. Most of the tuna that it uses is not sustainably fished so this menu has re-imagined the cuisine of sushi without tuna. When sushi was first created (along the Mekong River in China where rice was first cultivated) only freshwater fish were used. In order to move the cuisine of sushi into the future so that it is not a destructive way of eating, we need to look back into history to a time when tuna was never eaten and when all the fish that you ate came from a body of water near your home.
Why does Miya’s not use shrimp?
Shrimp is America’s most favorite seafood and the most destructive seafood in the world. Shrimp farming is the principal cause of the destruction of some of the richest ecosystems in the world: the mangrove forests. Though shrimp is only two percent of all seafood consumed in the world, it is responsible for one third of all bycatch (sea life – such as fish and turtles – caught by mistake while intending to catch other seafood). Today, eighty percent of our seafood is imported (ninety percent of shrimp) and the FDA inspects less than one percent of it. Shrimp is one of the dirtiest of seafoods because the heavy use of pesticides, antibiotics and fungicides in foreign shrimp farms. Many of the chemicals found in imported shrimp are banned in the U.S.
Equador imports over ninety five percent of their shrimp to the United States. Presently sixty percent of Equador’s mangrove forests have been destroyed by shrimp farming. Food is a race, civil rights and human justice issue too; so that wealthy nations can eat cheap food, poor people with dark skin destroy their ecosystems so that their children will not have the freedom to choose to make a living from their country’s natural resources.