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5) Black Market Caviar

Caviar from beluga sturgeon in the Caspian Sea is some of the most expensive fish roe in the world, fetching up to $200 an ounce. And because of this high price, many fishermen — some legal, some not — are taking more than their allotted share of this sought-after fish, causing their numbers to plummet in recent years. The U.S. has gone as far as putting a ban on the import of Caspian Sea caviar, but that doesn’t mean that caviar snobs can’t find it in America on the black market. So, you may want to reconsider buying caviar out of someone’s trunk, especially if his name is Vladimir.

Beluga Sturgeon Caviar

6) I’ll Have The Mushy Salmon, Please

Farm-raised salmon has been in the news a lot recently, yet it hasn’t been good news. There are all kinds of problems associated with farm-raised salmon, not just that it’s mushy and pale compared to wild salmon, which actually have to fight a current. Aqua-farmed salmon, usually the large Atlantic species, are kept in floating pens that are situated in calm inlets–in places like British Columbia and Nova Scotia. That’s not the problem, though. The most disturbing fact about farm-raised salmon is that they are polluted with dioxins and other harmful chemicals, due to unhealthy farming practices. And the flesh is dyed red with chemicals in an effort to make it look like the wild stuff.

Grilled Salmon

7) Soup Made From Shark Fins?

Shark fin soup isn’t as popular in the U.S. as it is in southern China, where it’s considered a delicacy, not to mention a medicinal wonder. But you can still find this expensive soup in the Chinatowns of Seattle, San Francisco, and New York–if you look close enough, and ask the right questions. The controversy behind shark fin soup is that fishermen often just take the dorsal fin from the shark, cruelly throwing the maimed fish back into the ocean. Plus, from a human consumption viewpoint, shark fins are extremely high in mercury.

Shark Fin Soup

8) Strange Soup Indeed

Bird’s nest soup is another highly revered soup in China. This expensive delicacy is made from the gelatinous saliva (of a sparrow-like bird) that’s intertwined within the natural fibers of the nest. (The nests are cooked with broth to make soup.) These nests are usually perched in small caves along sea cliffs, where foragers collect them before the birds can lay their eggs, forcing the birds to make new nests elsewhere. But since bird’s nest soup supposedly strengthens the libido, don’t expect men to quit crawling up and down these cliffs any time soon.

Bird’s Nest Soup

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