How to Be a Passive-Aggressive Sushi Diner


Clearly, we're all for sustainablity here. In fact, just a few days back in this very blog, Jessica covered the new sustainable sushi movement, lead in part by the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program. Time Out New York is in on it too.

But sometimes a political movement can go too far.

Today, I received the actual Seafood Watch pocket guide, along with a similarly-sized card of another sort—a card that apparently you're meant to hand to all the ignorant sushi chefs out there, unwittingly slinging seafood listed in the chart's red "avoid" section (a rather painful/eye-opening list) including: ebi (shrimp), ikura (salmon roe), tako (octopus), unagi (freshwater eel), uni (sea urchin) and maguro (bigeye or yellowfin tuna).

The little tri-folded card is the Seafood Watch people's idea of grassroots sustainability activism, I suppose. On it, it addresses the chef for you: "As a customer, it is important to me that you sell seafood that is not caught or farmed in ways that harm the ocean."


And then gives you the choice to check one of two boxes as you see fit, which includes a form of congratulations for being a eco-conscious sushi chef—or a scolding for being a loser. The latter part reads: "I noticed that some of the seafood you sell is caught or farmed in ways that harm the ocean and the wildlife that lives there." (Ocean killer!)

Once you check the appropriate box, the suggestion on the card is to "hand the card to your chef or leave it with your guest check."

But unless you have a disability that doesn't allow you to speak, my feeling is that there's no excuse for this. I mean, aren't we supposed to be able to talk this stuff out? Not—in some passive-aggressive moment of sushi self-righteousness—swap out our after-dinner mint with this pre-packaged lecture. And then bolt?

So much for dialogue.

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