Charading Crabs and Creationists ~ by Dr. James J. S. Johnson
Last summer, in Baltimore, I enjoyed eating “Chesapeake Bay blue crab”—but was that what I actually ate? Why am I suspicious?
Blue crab, the Chesapeake Bay’s most iconic edible species, also appears to be its most impersonated. A report released April 1  … found that 38 percent of crab cakes labeled as local on menus in the region were made of an entirely different species of crab, predominantly one imported from the Indo-Pacific region. In Annapolis and Baltimore, nearly 50 percent of “Maryland” and “Chesapeake Bay” crab cakes were mislabeled.(1)
Before getting crabby about such false advertising (a type of bait-and-switch deception), such crustacean counterfeiting should be verified. How can portunid pretenses be proven?
“I’ve put a lot of seafood in my purse over the last few years,” said Dr. Kimberly Warner, author of the report(2) … [referring to] crab cake samples that she and other testers collected [and] shipped to a lab in Florida that determined whether the cakes contained blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, and, if not, which species were used instead. Warner said the fraud rate of 38 percent is a conservative estimate. … Mislabeling “is being done because it’s easier to sell a Maryland crab cake than one from the Philippines or Vietnam” [said Steve Vilnit, of Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources].(1)
Dr. Warner lamented that bogus brachyurans are part of a treacherous trend of tricking tastebuds:
Maryland’s favorite seafood dish is not safe from a bait and switch. When diners are expecting the fresh, distinctive flavor of the Chesapeake blue crab, they may instead be served a completely different species, shipped from as far away as Indonesia. … This mislabeling rate is consistent with Oceana’s previous studies on fish and shrimp. In 2013, Oceana found that one-third of more than 1,200 fish samples were mislabeled according to [USDA] guidelines. We also found 30 percent of shrimp samples to be misrepresented to consumers in a similar study in 2014.(2)
Many restaurants, buffets, and sushi bars are swimming in similar seafood scams. Piscatorial masquerades include pollock playing cod, icefish as anchovies, tilapia as grouper, rockfish as red snapper. Customers, who eagerly eat what is falsely advertised as “albacore” (or “white tuna”), may experience a digestive insult: the look-alike meat of escolar fish (a/k/a “snake mackerel”) is wax-loaded and promptly produces a blasting vermillion diarrhea.
So, buyer, beware seafood mislabeling.
Yet there are worse bait-and-switch scams to warily watch out for, such as “creation apologetics” ministry mislabeling. Not all that is called “Biblical” origins science is genuinely true-to-Genesis.
Some unfaithful-to-Genesis organizations overtly disclose their “creation-by-evolution” doctrines. However, most do not conspicuously admit it, when compromising the Bible’s record of origins.
But you can recognize real messages, of ministries or “experts”, by their compatibility with Genesis.
Does the advertised “creation” teaching follow the uniformitarian dogma (and eons of “deep time”) of deists Charles Lyell and James Hutton? Does it incorporate Monsignor Lemaître’s “big bang” theory? Does it promote (or defend) the “natural selection” genes-in-magic sophistry of Charles Darwin and Thomas Huxley? Does it presuppose death before Adam, like Alexander Winchell (or William Dembski), within some kind of pre-Adamite “hominids-morphing-into- humans” scenario?
When scrutinizing the true ingredients—crab or shrimp or tunafish—in seafood cuisine, forensic genetics can detect the telltale DNA of the seafood actually sold. However, when scrutinizing whether an “apologetics expert” is truly a Biblical creationist, compare what those “experts” teach, specifically, with what the Scripture teaches (Acts 17:11).
(1)Whitney Pipkin, “Nearly 40% of Blue Crab Mislabeled in Chesapeake Area Eateries”, Chesapeake Bay Journal, 25(3):7 (May 2015).
(2)Kimberly Warner, Beth Lowell, et al., “Ocean Reveals Mislabeling of Iconic Chesapeake Blue Crab” (April 2015), 15 pages, posted at http://usa.oceana.org/sites/default/files/crab_testing_report_final_3.27.15.pdf .