Ethnic foodways vs. state regulation

The sale of live seafood, common in Chinese food markets, can collide with blanket state regulation of wildlife sales. Virginia, for example, classifies as wildlife any animals not appearing on a list of domestic animals, even if they are raised on farms and have never lived in the wild. While the Virginia suburbs of D.C. have won fame as a hot spot for admirers of Asian food, the selection got somewhat narrower last year with the confiscation of eels, crayfish, bullfrogs and other critters from the Great Wall supermarket. Two store managers were hit with felony charges. [NY Times, Washington Post]

One Comment

  • I don’ t know the full story behind these charges, but I would imagine the officials’ zealotry for policing Asian markets stems from the introduction of the Northern Snakehead fish a few years back.