Whole Foods Finds ‘Fantastic’ Fake Fish Product, Pushes It in Sushi Bars

Whole Foods Ahimi

by | Sep 28, 2017

Whole Foods picked up a new product in its quest for a plant-based sushi option. “Ahimi,” a tomato-based fish substitute made only of non-GMO ingredients, joins Whole Foods sushi bars in the NYC and Los Angeles markets next month.

Produced by NYC-based Ocean Hugger Foods, Ahimi also graces cafeterias in universities across North America. Google and Twitter cafeterias will offer the product later this fall, according to Supermarket News.

Andy Sasser, Whole Foods senior category leader for prepared foods and bakery, says the product is “fairly mild” and “not tomato-y,” but that regular sushi customers will be able to tell the difference between actual tuna and the Ahimi substitute. “And really, the look is fantastic,” he adds.




‘Sustainable Tuna’

Ocean Hugger Foods founder and master chef James Corwell invented Ahimi after visiting a Tokyo fish market and seeing over 4 million pounds of tuna sold in a single day. Doubting that such high volume could come from sustainable practices, he experimented with tomatoes over a period of several years.

Use of the phrase “sustainable tuna” has become increasingly common. The rising demand for tuna has put some tuna species on the verge of extinction, making sustainable fishing practices more important than ever. One recent move toward sustainable tuna sourcing comes from Thai Union, the company that owns the Chicken of the Sea tuna brand. The company announced it will chase “full digital traceability,” allowing people to track their tuna back to the very vessel it was caught on and to identify the fishing method used.

Thai Union agreed to pursue measures like this to tackle illegal fishing and overfishing throughout its supply chains. The commitments “build upon its sustainability strategy SeaChange, including efforts to support best practice fisheries, improve other fisheries, reduce illegal and unethical practices in its global supply chains, and bring more responsibly-caught tuna to key markets,” the company said.


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