Maltese Banter on anything Environmentally or Culturally interesting!
Global Environment

Sustainable and smartphone scannable sushi!

I love a good food concept, something that makes you enjoy eating delicious foods in a fun environment. London certainly measures up to this, hosting a wide range of restaurants that provide the diner with a unique culinary experience. Personally, I was quite enthralled with the sushi conveyor belt concept, as it gives a new spin to the meaning ‘food-on-the-go’.

Conveyor-belt themed sushi restaurants have become increasingly popular in most world cities (Photo credit: swanksalot)

Given the increasing popularity of sushi in western communities, it is yet unknown what impact this will have on selected fisheries – especially tuna, which is a key component of sushi recipes. However, I am delighted to share with everyone a piece of news that will hopefully set an example for many sushi retailers.

Moshi Moshi is Britain’s first conveyor-belt operated sushi bar, which opened its doors to the public in 1994 at the heart of Liverpool Street in London. They have recently added a rather unusual ingredient to their sushi dishes – edible QR codes.

A typical platter at Moshi Moshi, complete with wasabi, soy sauce and the edible QR code! (Photo credit: Fashion Foie Gras)

This restaurant has been long been partnered with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), a leading watchdog organisation on matters concerning the provision of sustainable seafood (also instrumental for the sustainable McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish burgers which I recently wrote about). Moshi Moshi has recently (Feb 2013) celebrated the serving of their 10000th MSC certified sushi dish, so to commemorate this milestone they took the rather odd challenge to create sushi with a built-in QR code.

Diners can then use their smartphones to scan this code, which then sends them to a webpage that indicates which sustainable fish the customer is eating and where it came from. However, one must appreciate the logistics of creating a QR code which is both incorporated into the sushi in edible form, and is clear enough to be scanned and recognized by the device.

Please watch the following video, which brilliantly chronicles the sushi chefs’ ingenious attempts at successfully creating this code. You will see anything from green tea powder, to charred-on QR codes, to squid ink. The team finally manages to come up with these codes by printing squid ink on rice paper, and binding them to the sushi with laser cut nori (seaweed).

We need more incentives like this, to allow people to enjoy their food in an informed and responsible way!

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