Extreme Makeover: Seafood Edition

Marketers gave these former trash fish new names—and transformed them from gross to gourmet.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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NEW NAME

OLD NAME

STORY

Orange roughy

Slimehead

Originally named for its mucus-covered head

Torbay sole

Witch

Renamed by UK grocer Marks & Spencer after a picturesque English bay

Rock salmon/hass

Spiny dogfish

The result of an $8.5 million ’70s campaign to rebrand “underutilized species”

Silverbrite salmon

Chum salmon/dog salmon

One of the cheapest kinds of salmon, it has canine-like fangs.

Peekytoe crab

Rock crab

Considered essentially worthless till the mid-’90s; now the darling of trendy restaurants

Scarlet snapper

South African hake, Malabar blood snapper

“Anything that is red is going to be sold as red snapper, no matter what it is,” says one restaurant supplier.

Blue cod

Oilfish

Like escolar, oilfish is known for its laxative effect.

Source: Marine Policy

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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