Let's compare, shall we? Here's a picture of a lobster:
|Lobster Homarus americanus credit: Wikipedia|
|A squat lobster or langostino Munidopsis serricornis photo credit: Wikipedia|
|Langostine Nephrops norvegicus credit: Wikipedia|
Now, I'm not saying it's bad to eat the squat lobster (anyone else got the B-52s running through their head?). But the FDA has ruled that it's okay to sell it as lobster, under the name lobster, at the same price as lobster, even when it isn't lobster.
This is not unusual; the FDA lists 519 acceptable names under which to sell seafood, but over 1700 varieties of seafood are being sold, so clearly we're not always getting what we want. The New York Times reports:
And not just seafood. Organic is a federally controlled term in the US, but there's still no guarantee that the "organic" chicken you just ate is anything other than factory-farmed. heck, that pice of "Kobe beed"? There's no controls in North America over labelling any piece of beef "Kobe" and jacking up the price.During the Florida grouper scandal of 2006, the state attorney general’s economic crimes division prosecuted 17 restaurants in the Tampa area and a large food-service company for selling Cambodian ponga instead of the more expensive Florida grouper.The investigation came after The St. Petersburg Times tested fish and found, for example, that a $23 order of grouper was actually a much cheaper piece of Asian catfish.The Boston Globe conducted a similar investigation last year and discovered that Massachusetts consumers routinely paid for more expensive fish and got cheaper substitutes.In some cases, as many as three-quarters of the samples tested were different fish than what the stores or restaurants said they were. Although state and federal lawmakers said they would improve oversight, a follow-up investigation published this month found that the problem was still widespread.