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YankeesPwnMets

Your opinion on shark fin soup

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Last month, I went to China to visit my relatives that I haven't seen in years. While I was there, I was treated to dim sum, my father's friends showed my what fine dining was about in China and I also went to places where your average middle class person would go eat. While I was there, my relatives (many whom never been to America) asked me about the differences between American and Chinese customs. I talked about things such as smoking (no smoking signs were commonly ignored in China), price differences of different items and things like child abuse in America.

 

Another thing I also discussed with many of my relatives was about shark fin soup. My uncle wanted to treat me to it, but I refused. I simply could not bring myself to eat shark fin, simply because I knew that many of the sharks used in the soup were endangered species, which have had their fins cut off and thrown back in the ocean. I explained my reasoning to refusing to eat, and also explained the science behind shark finning and its dangers. Most of my relatives didn't exactly believe me, stating that shark fins regrew and a whole lot of other nonsense. However, I was determined to get through to them about shark finning, and how without fins, they couldn't swim and would eventually starve to death. I ended by stating that I would be complete support of outlawing shark finning for a decade and let the population regrow. They couldn't believe what I just said, but I stood firm on my standpoint and in my opinion, not eating shark fin soup is the right thing to do.

 

For those of you who know the science behind shark finning, would you support banning the soup? As an Asian American myself, I'm appalled by how these sharks are inhumanely killed just for its fins, especially when many species are close to extinction. If you guys never had shark fin, its basically completely tasteless. The broth has all the flavor, but the fins are only for texture. I rather have some imitation shark fin made of fish rather than have more and more sharks extinct

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Well I like all sorts of seafood that most folks don't like (i.e. mussels, calamari (squid) (grilled and fried), seabass, halibut, baby octupus, sardines, caviar (to a degree), etc.) but I have to put my foot down somewhere. I would not eat shark PERIOD. <_< I guess it's a cultural thing. Being half Italian the things listed above are things that are normally eaten in Italy, as we're heavy seafood consumers being a peninsula and such, so I don't find these things exoctic at all.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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I've actually seem shark steaks in regular supermarkets.

 

In any case, I would treat it the same as other fishes: If it's endangered, then give the population time to regrow, but if the waters are teeming with a certain species of shark, then bon appetit.

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I tried shark once, never liked it. Hopefully I don't eat it ever again.

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Wow, in fact I am returning from the same country in about 42 hours, just a day in Shanghai tomorrow and the Airport after lunch on Tuesday! Indeed there are many cultural differences everywhere! As for shark fin soup, I can't recall if I have tried it or not, but from the sound of it, I might still give it a go. Still, I hope they really slow down the killings of shark for their fins, maybe cook less of the fin and divide a fin to more dishes, that would work, unless if the species being killed are endangered, then I would promote a temporary ban on shark finning in the entire globe.

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I am curious though... If shark fin wasn't considered to be in short supply, I wonder if it would have more popularity say here in the U.S.? I mean it is considered to be a delicacy in parts of Asia. I don't think it is as popular in Europe or here in the U.S. though.

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Like you said Via, it's more of a cultural thing. I've only seen in offered once here in NY around Flushing and of course many times back in the mainland/Hong Kong. I can't say that I love shark fin soup but I can't say I hate it with the price tag.

 

It's wrong but to eat something that is strolling along endangered species but hey we're a food chain. The more dominant species eats the less dominant species, it's the way of life. I mean I can't put it any other way.

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There is a term that applies to a lot of Chinese people from China: 盲塞, ignorance. The nuance of the term is best characterized by the individual words that make up the term: 盲, blind; and 塞, obstruct, plug as used in the expression plugging one's ears. It's amazing how much this one term describes so many people.

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If you are going to kill the shark, why not eat the rest of it instead of just leaving it to die a painful death with no fins? And these people must be mentally retarded to really think that fins grow back.

Edited by Warduke
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China's media is state controlled. The govt can easily feed lies through the media. Also, I googled various items such as "shark finning" and "internet censorship" while in China and I got censored off of Google and Wikipedia for half an hour. Its pretty hard to get accurate information that goes against the Chinese Government..

 

Warduke, the reason why fisherman never keep shark meat is because shark meat is basically worthless and not worth bringing back. I tried a bit of shark fin off one of my relatives' plate (cut a tiny piece off) and it literally tasted like nothing. Gordon Ramsay has a video on fins and he said it tasted like nothing. If the fin tastes like nothing, I wouldn't be surprised if the rest tasted like nothing....

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Warduke, the reason why fisherman never keep shark meat is because shark meat is basically worthless and not worth bringing back. I tried a bit of shark fin off one of my relatives' plate (cut a tiny piece off) and it literally tasted like nothing. Gordon Ramsay has a video on fins and he said it tasted like nothing. If the fin tastes like nothing, I wouldn't be surprised if the rest tasted like nothing....

I thought I was eating those rice noodles.

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Never had a real taste for seafood in general even though I really need to eat more fish. Tried Shark once and only once. Didn't really like it. So I guess I'm doing the right thing if the issue is to protect animal species from being brutally butchered. At least I'm doing something right.

 

On that note I stopped eating veal for similar reasons. I don't agree with improper treatment of farm animals or ocean animals such as shark and dolphins which they sell as whale meat which is just plain wrong. Even though I'm a meat eater and understand obviously that animals will have to be slaughtered, fine but the way they do it is a disrespect for life.

 

My twp cents.

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Indeed many Chinese people are unintentionally ignorant, mainly because of the censorship thanks to the "Great Firewall" of China. I even got censored by them cutting off my connection for a few simply because I was reading articles on CNN.com, CBS.com and such that doesn't relate to China, surprisingly the news organizations covering the Olympics globally get less censored, but really many people are blinded out. I can't really get a clear taste of the people not knowing stuff mainly because my family is strongly in the political system in a local city in China, however I am pretty sure many are blinded out simply because Beijing want's the economic engine running smoothly. Though I agree that smooth economics is awesome, however being anti-mother nature hurts, that's what I disagree with Beijing and such.

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When all of these actions end up hurting their beloved pandas, then they take notice of the environment.

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Indeed many Chinese people are unintentionally ignorant, mainly because of the censorship thanks to the "Great Firewall" of China.

 

 

Yeah well you are just making excuses for these low life people who eat such things. They know damn well that fins dont grow back. Just because their media is censored doesnt mean they are not teaching biology in schools. Ive seen first hand some of the things alot of the people who still live in China eat and it is really disgusting. They eat rats, bee larvae, insects, etc..

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Warduke, the reason why fisherman never keep shark meat is because shark meat is basically worthless and not worth bringing back. I tried a bit of shark fin off one of my relatives' plate (cut a tiny piece off) and it literally tasted like nothing..

 

 

Nah I dont belive that, thats just a B.S. excuse. It probably tasted like nothing because they didnt use anything to season it or didnt cook it right. TOFU tastes like nothing at all but people eat plenty of that. Foods that tast like "nothing" usually absorb the taste of ****es and herbs. So you can make anything taste like something. Those low lifes throw back the sharks without fins and waste it because they purposly make this whole fake perception that the fins are the valuable delicasy when it is not. These fishermen should have their limbs chopped off and dump their torso in the garbage can and let them bleed to death.

 

and why is the word S P I C E S censored? Because it looks like S P I C S?

Edited by Warduke

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You seem a bit ignorant, so let me give you a little history lesson on China. Many Chinese kids didn't go to school 30-40 years ago. Instead, many of them lived as poor kids who didn't get much to eat and worked on the farms as a way to help support their parents. Many Chinese immigrants don't have much education and some simply don't know the process of finning, because they never went to school in the first place. Some kids TODAY in China STILL don't get education. I remember going to a farm last month and seeing these kids having never been out to school and not knowing how to read and write. As rich as China looks, it is nowhere NEAR a first-world country and unfortunately, there are still many, many uneducated people. It isn't America. Not every kid gets a chance to be educated. Why do you think Chinese parents push their kids to the limit? They don't want them to go through the type of things they went through, and for this I am forever grateful that my mom and pop sacrificed everything to move to America before I was born. For them to leave family, save up years worth of money and go to a country where they don't know anyone or the native language there, is something that you and I will most likely never have to experience.

 

Back to shark fins, when Gordon Ramsay found a roof full of shark fins, he was kicked out and actually said "Let's get out of here before we got shot." Not many people get to see the process of finning and even for kids who go to school, what can they do? Bring it up and you may as well be asking for a spank. There aren't strict abuse laws there you know. You and I both know very well that kids have no power over anything. Most of the adults I met had no clue about anything related to science. Like I said, only part sof the current generation in China are being educated and your typical adult there had a few years of education at most. NOTHING compared to what kids here get... from Daycare to College to Grad School for some. IMHO, the only way to fix this enormous problem is to get more people educated. Whether the Chinese govt is willing to get rid of the culture's most beloved soups is anyones guess.. but banning it from Govt. Dinners is a start.

 

Shark meat isn't tasteless. My mistake. It tastes like s@#$. Literally. Sharks store their urine in their tissues, and urine has a waste product of urea, which gives it a unpleasant taste. Sharks have to store urea inside of them in order to maintain an osmotic balance with seawater, and a failure to do so will result in water loss for the shark. Because of this, shark gives off an ammonia like smell which may turn off a lot of people. Since sharks are also on the top of the food chain, they contain high levels of mercury as well. It has to be prepared a few hours before hand and for most people, which most likely includes you, that isn't a feasible option for dinner. Can't prepare it? Don't buy it. Don't buy it? Fisherman don't get money.

 

Finally, poor Chinese and Costa Rican fisherman landed on a gold mine when they discovered that there territory was full of sharks. Many people flocked California in hopes to strike rich from gold, many fisherman in Asia and Costa Rica hoped to strike $$$ from finning. Unfortunately, it has gotten way too out of hand and something has to be done before many species of shark go extinct.

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Shark meat isn't tasteless. My mistake. It tastes like s@#$. Literally. Sharks store their urine in their tissues, and urine has a waste product of urea, which gives it a unpleasant taste. Sharks have to store urea inside of them in order to maintain an osmotic balance with seawater, and a failure to do so will result in water loss for the shark. Because of this, shark gives off an ammonia like smell which may turn off a lot of people. Since sharks are also on the top of the food chain, they contain high levels of mercury as well. It has to be prepared a few hours before hand and for most people, which most likely includes you, that isn't a feasible option for dinner. Can't prepare it? Don't buy it. Don't buy it? Fisherman don't get money.

 

 

 

 

First you say its tasteless, that it "literally taste like nothing". Now you are back tracking and saying it tastes like sh..t, yet many people say it tastes and resembles tuna. Doing a quick search on google confirmed this. Not sure what you are talking about urea and etc showing up in the smell and taste but I havnt found anyone talking about the taste or smell that you just described. As for the mercury, yes Im sure there are certain parts of the sea that the mercury levels in sharks, and other large predatory fish are high but not in all.

 

All I know is for someone to eat shark fins and then say they believe that fins grow back is just pure bull s... Next thing you will tell me is that they believe fingers and limbs grow back too.

 

Im sorry but even in third world countries people know better than that. The problem is more likey that the people eating the soup are either in denial or just want to seem naive so they dont feel guilty about eating a product that results in animal abuse.

 

The real reason these fishermen throw the body back and just keep the fins is because they are so dumb, they only focus on the fins because it brings them more money and the more fins they can hold in their storage the more money they can make. If someone had a bucket and had to choose to fill it with valuable coins and had to break the gold pieces off from the silver, theyd throw the silver away to hold as much gold as they can. Thats the real reason why they are dumping the poor sharks finless bodies in the ocean.

 

As for your excuse of people not having an education to know that fins dont grow back, I call it more rubbish excuses. If these people have enough money to spend on "fine dining" and this expensive delicasy, im sure they are educated as well. Poor people dont have money to spend on fine dining, they cook almost all of their meals.

Edited by Warduke
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..

You seem a bit ignorant, so let me give you a little history lesson on China. Many Chinese kids didn't go to school 30-40 years ago. Instead, many of them lived as poor kids who didn't get much to eat and worked on the farms as a way to help support their parents. Many Chinese immigrants don't have much education and some simply don't know the process of finning, because they never went to school in the first place. Some kids TODAY in China STILL don't get education. I remember going to a farm last month and seeing these kids having never been out to school and not knowing how to read and write. As rich as China looks, it is nowhere NEAR a first-world country and unfortunately, there are still many, many uneducated people. It isn't America. Not every kid gets a chance to be educated. Why do you think Chinese parents push their kids to the limit? They don't want them to go through the type of things they went through, and for this I am forever grateful that my mom and pop sacrificed everything to move to America before I was born. For them to leave family, save up years worth of money and go to a country where they don't know anyone or the native language there, is something that you and I will most likely never have to experience.

 

Back to shark fins, when Gordon Ramsay found a roof full of shark fins, he was kicked out and actually said "Let's get out of here before we got shot." Not many people get to see the process of finning and even for kids who go to school, what can they do? Bring it up and you may as well be asking for a spank. There aren't strict abuse laws there you know. You and I both know very well that kids have no power over anything. Most of the adults I met had no clue about anything related to science. Like I said, only part sof the current generation in China are being educated and your typical adult there had a few years of education at most. NOTHING compared to what kids here get... from Daycare to College to Grad School for some. IMHO, the only way to fix this enormous problem is to get more people educated. Whether the Chinese govt is willing to get rid of the culture's most beloved soups is anyones guess.. but banning it from Govt. Dinners is a start.

 

Shark meat isn't tasteless. My mistake. It tastes like s@#$. Literally. Sharks store their urine in their tissues, and urine has a waste product of urea, which gives it a unpleasant taste. Sharks have to store urea inside of them in order to maintain an osmotic balance with seawater, and a failure to do so will result in water loss for the shark. Because of this, shark gives off an ammonia like smell which may turn off a lot of people. Since sharks are also on the top of the food chain, they contain high levels of mercury as well. It has to be prepared a few hours before hand and for most people, which most likely includes you, that isn't a feasible option for dinner. Can't prepare it? Don't buy it. Don't buy it? Fisherman don't get money.

 

Finally, poor Chinese and Costa Rican fisherman landed on a gold mine when they discovered that there territory was full of sharks. Many people flocked California in hopes to strike rich from gold, many fisherman in Asia and Costa Rica hoped to strike $$$ from finning. Unfortunately, it has gotten way too out of hand and something has to be done before many species of shark go extinct.

 

 

I learned alot from reading this. Great post.

Edited by realizm
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Yeah well you are just making excuses for these low life people who eat such things. They know damn well that fins dont grow back. Just because their media is censored doesnt mean they are not teaching biology in schools. Ive seen first hand some of the things alot of the people who still live in China eat and it is really disgusting. They eat rats, bee larvae, insects, etc..

 

 

The way you comment you come off sounding like an angry expat who just came back from a bad vacation.

Edited by realizm
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My mistake. It tastes like s@#$. Literally.

 

 

Really dude? It literally tastes like crap? I really truly apologize if you truly know how crap tastes like.

 

Unlike you the shark fin soup offered to me did not taste like crap. Likewise though, it didn't taste amazing, but it was average upon my taste. Even with the outstanding market price, I better be getting something at least seasoned properly and made right. Probably the last time I'll ever get shark fin soup again, unless I do go back to the mainland/Hong Kong as well.

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Warning: If you have a fear of blood, don't watch it.

 

The broth itself is supposedly just Chicken Stock... I guess that isn't harmful to anybody. Better off to just start selling it without the fins. Guess I'm just one of those people who don't care much about texture :/

 

Costa Rican law actually says that the corpse must be brought back along with fins. Seems like shark smuggling is also a big issue even with laws intact

Edited by YankeesPwnMets
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Yeah well you are just making excuses for these low life people who eat such things. They know damn well that fins dont grow back. Just because their media is censored doesnt mean they are not teaching biology in schools. Ive seen first hand some of the things alot of the people who still live in China eat and it is really disgusting. They eat rats, bee larvae, insects, etc..

 

 

The education system is also state-run, so you think they're teaching stuff, well think again! Many of my family members who went to study in China have trouble catching up and updating themselves, because of China's education system that is state-controlled and have you even studied in the Chinese education system? But, really food is food, people in South America eat Rabbits and Guinea Pigs, perhaps even Hamsters. In China, Rats aren't too common, just toad and snake, insects are edible, we Americans even eat insects, and drink them too, since some ingredients are parts of insects. As for Bee Larvae, they could be nutritional, just like Bee Wax and Bee Pollen according to sources.

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