Its early and I am in tsukiji to film and everywhere I look I see tuna of some kind or another. Tuna at tuskiji is by far the most sought after taste, and since Chinese are discovering the taste the market continues to boom.
But I can tell you that seeing what goes on at tsukji can be too much. Tuna in frozen blocks laying around, being dragged around and under careful eye of workers drinking coffee, or smoking a cigarette. Many of these are caught by large clippers trawling, netting fish by the tons, shipping it under the deep freeze.
I know supply and demand are crucial for any business to sustain itself – yet we are just taking it too far. One day the craft will be gone, replaced by machine that cut fish and do it in a way where workers will just watch as robots take over.
Freezing tuna in the conventional manner is just not appropriate to halt microbiological activity. In fact, tuna will continue to turn brown during the conventional freezing process, and the rate at which it turns brown will rapidly increase upon defrosting.
To counter this, many tuna and beef suppliers use a smoke treatment process that prevents oxidation and brightens the color of the meat. Smoke treatment, which is also called tasteless smoke, carbon monoxide (CO) treatment or gas treatment, causes the tuna, or any red meat to take and retain a bright watermelon red color. For consumer protection, Canada, and countries of Europe, Japan, and China have banned this process outright but it’s still legal in the US.