For sushi lovers, identifying and eating sustainable fish species or knowing when "sushi fraud" is being committed can be complex enough, but what about contending with sushi made from genetically-modified, glow-in-the-dark fish?
Thankfully, this strange sushi phenomenon is being confined to a do-it-yourself-at-home scope via Internet videos developed by the Center for Genomic Gastronomy -- an organization devoted to exploring biotechnology, innovation and food -- and at GlowingSushi.com, rather than at restaurants. Check out the trailer:
As we've noted before, the whole glow-in-the-dark sushi offshoot springs from zebrafish which were genetically modified into so-called "GloFish," which would glow according to levels of pollution:
These fish absorb light and then re-emit it, which makes them look like they're glowing, especially under a black light. The GloFish was developed by scientists who were trying to create a fluorescent fish that would respond to polluted water, according to glofish.com.
"Not In California" RollsAvailable only in the US (but banned in California due to fears of it contaminating wild fish stocks) the GloFish comes in colours like Starfire Red, Electric Green, and Sunburst Orange and Galactic Purple.
Now, the Center's dedicated website at GlowingSushi.com offers videos demonstrating how you can make some transgenic sushi yourself, "[using] everyday ingredients and some simple kitchen chemistry to explore cutting edge biotechnology." In the least, it's definitely guaranteed to stir up conversation at a dinner party.
Coming with names like Kryptonite rolls, Stop and Glow nigirizushi and ‘Not in California’ rolls (due to the ban), these strange concoctions will light up under aquarium-type actinic lights or UV blacklights. In order to stay aglow, the fish must be raw, rather than cooked.
Is Glow-in-the-Dark Sushi Safe to Eat?
The studies quoted by GlowingSushi.com seem to say yes, but the Advanced Aquarist cautions that the fish should be frozen properly for 48 hours prior to consumption to kill any parasites or bacteria, like all sushi-grade fish. People should also check into the living conditions of any GloFish purchased from a pet store, as antibiotics or malachite green might have been used during cultivation.
Though the glowing factor distinguishes this sushi from the rest, it seems that this bizarre sushi would be best kept as an experimental project rather than a widespread culinary trend. More over at Glowing Sushi.