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Whole Foods will offer vegan 'sushi' with the first-ever raw tuna substitute

Signal of change / Whole Foods will offer vegan 'sushi' with the first-ever raw tuna substitute

By Anna Simpson / 27 Oct 2017

Update on 27 Oct 2017 from Carol Brighton:

Whole Foods will offer vegan 'sushi' with the first-ever raw tuna substitute. We tried it

On a 2004 trip to Japan, chef James Corwell visited Tsukiji fish market, the largest fish market in the world. While strolling the market in the early morning, he came across two football field-sized warehouses full of tuna. By mid-morning, the rooms were empty, the tuna sold and on its way to sushi restaurants all over the country.

Carol Brighton on Twitter

SustainableSeafood / #FauxFish from @OHFinc at LA @WholeFoods - #signalofchange

This signal was originally written on 23 Jan 2015:

The future of sushi may be far from Tsukiji – the famous Tokyo market where tuna auctions draw hordes at the crack of dawn.

James Corwell – one of only 60 Certified Master Chefs in the world, and the co-founder of Tomato Sushi, San Francisco – has developed a way of using Roma tomatoes to produce an alternative to the fleshy bite of Bluefish tuna. He removes the skin and seeds from the tomato before vacuum sealing it in a sturdy bag, then cooks the tomato in hot water for about an hour, which firms it up and creates a texture similar to tuna.

Corwell has also developed an aubergine-based rendition of unagi, and a granular seasoning blend meant to taste like bonito flakes. Corwell believes these vegetarian alternatives could help save imperilled species of fish such as the Bluefin tuna.      

A growing number of manufacturers and chefs are exploring alternatives to fish and meat. Sophie’s Kitchen makes vegan calamari, scallops and fish fillets, and even cans of VeganToona, made from pea protein, potato starch, seaweed powder and olive oil. Beyond Meat, based in Los Angeles, manipulates amino acids, fats, carbohydrates and minerals from soy and pea proteins to recreate meat proteins, specialising in ‘vegan’ ground beef and chicken, with tuna on the horizon.

Image credit: Tomato Sushi

So what?

As appetite for fish continues to grow, fishing stocks have been depleted at an alarming rate. One species of Bluefin tuna has had stocks depleted by as much as 80% in America and 70% in the Mediterranean. If fish alternatives penetrate mainstream markets, they could help to reduce demand for these species. This could be crucial, not only for their survival, but for the ecosystems they support.


Grist ( 2015, January 26) Tomato bluefin? Eggplant eel? Sushi joins the faux meat trend

Npr (2015, January 23) Will Environmentalists Fall For Faux Fish Made From Plants?

Sophies Kitchen (2015) A revolution in vegan, vegetarian products

Gardein (2015) Fishless

The vegetarian resource group blog (2014, June 27) Soyfood Sales

What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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