A few days ago I came across this post by Doctor Mark Hyman touting the medicinal properties of food. During his recent trip to China, the doctor was “treated” to the “delicacy” of shark fin soup, which he claims can help ease arthritis and possibly fight cancer.
Oceana responded to his post, pointing out that shark fin soup can actually be detrimental to health, but I thought many of you would appreciate hearing the full story, as shark finning has been popping up in the news lately.
- ABC News: Decimating shark populations for some soup
- The Guardian: Teeth bared in battle over world shark stocks
- Underwater Times: Chefs Divided Over Shark Fin Use Amid Reports of Species Decline
As for the nutritional argument, there is scant scientific evidence, if any, that shark fin soup has any nutritional benefits whatsoever (however, there is ample evidence that finning millions of sharks is not good for sharks …). The drying, bleaching, and lengthy cooking process the fins go through before ending up in a soup bowl remove any nutritional benefits that would have existed in the first place.
These cooking methods also reduce the water content of the fin, concentrating numerous heavy metals, including mercury. The FDA has a mercury warning for shark meat — and shark fins are high in mercury too.
In short, just say No to shark fin soup. Yao did.