"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Moonie Fish

You have to give the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder and head of the Unification Church, commonly known as the Moonies, great credit for entrepreneurship, both in religion and in business.

Most reasonably informed people know of his publication efforts led by the Washington Times newspaper, but few know that every time they eat sushi they may be supporting Moon's controversial religion, the Chicago Tribune reports:

In a remarkable story that has gone largely untold, Moon and his followers created an enterprise that reaped millions of dollars by dominating one of America's trendiest indulgences: sushi.

. . . Takeshi Yashiro serves as a top executive of a sprawling conglomerate that supplies much of the raw fish Americans eat.

Adhering to a plan Moon spelled out more than three decades ago in a series of sermons, members of his movement managed to integrate virtually every facet of the highly competitive seafood industry. The Moon followers' seafood operation is driven by a commercial powerhouse, known as True World Group. It builds fleets of boats, runs dozens of distribution centers and, each day, supplies most of the nation's estimated 9,000 sushi restaurants.

Talk about fishers of people. . . .

20 comments:

James Elliott said...

Aw, crap. Why you gotta take my sushi away? Just don't tell me they supply Whole Foods and Lunardi's as well. Otherwise my learning to cook sushi rice and make my own nigiri is utterly wasted.

Or, more likely, I will resign myself to contributing a few pennies to the madman's coffers. Because I cannot deny myself that sweet, tasty maguro. Mmm... maguro. ::chomp!::

Matt Huisman said...

James, how do you feel about the In-N-Out franchise? They're not Moonies, but how close does one need to get to ruin your appetite?

James Elliott said...

What are you saying about my delicious double-double? I already stopped patronizing Carl's Jr (Hardee's to non-West Coasties). Don't take my sweet, sweet cheeseburgers from me too. Leave me to my ignorance.

In fact, I'm going to forget that the Moonies have anything to do with my sushi, now that I've finally found an acceptable sushi restaurant south of Palo Alto.

Tlaloc said...

I still hear the siren call of the double bacon western cheeseburger from Carl's Juniors. I eat very little beef and almost no fast food but from time to time that mistress calls me to heel. Damn her!

As for the Moonies owning sushi. Eh. Who cares? Yeah they are crackpots but it's not like your average corporate food company is a tower of integrity.

James Elliott said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
James Elliott said...

I, too, feel the siren call of the Double Bacon Western Cheeseburger at Carls Jr.'s.

I agree. I will accept that a small portion of my money will go to crackpots. It is a small price to pay for my delectable raw fish bits.

I think I finally figured out what Matt was getting at: Sorry, dude, but I'm not about to deny myself delectable cheeseburgers just because the In-N-Out family happens to put "John 3:16" in tiny letters on the bottom of their cups. I like debating religion, partly for the fights, but non-pushy proselytizing doesn't bother me. So, they're vocal Christians. So what? Good for them. If I can ignore the angry screaming preacher at the fountain every Monday who tells me I'm going to Hell and Need To Be Saved, I'm really not going to bat an eyelash at anyone preaching respectfully, like the In-N-Out crew. They put it out there for you to respect, inquire, or ignore, with no expectations. That's cool.

James Elliott said...

Through the dumbness of blogger, myself, or Mozilla, my previous comment was posted twice, and hence deleted. Please return to your regular programming.

Matt Huisman said...

I wasn't expecting it to be a problem, James - just a little needling. (Though I have heard rumors that there's a soylent green quality to the Animal-style.) Glad to see we rate a half-notch above the Moonies.

As far as I'm concerned, the jalapeno-pagan burger from Carl's Jr. gets the job done quite nicely - risque commercials or not. I must say that I have a new (un)healthy respect for you left-coasters...we just got back from San Diego and your fast-food is simply out of this world. I won't be able to eat a cheeseburger around here for at least 6 months.

Hunter Baker said...

"I think I finally figured out what Matt was getting at: Sorry, dude, but I'm not about to deny myself delectable cheeseburgers just because the In-N-Out family happens to put "John 3:16" in tiny letters on the bottom of their cups. I like debating religion, partly for the fights, but non-pushy proselytizing doesn't bother me. So, they're vocal Christians. So what? Good for them. If I can ignore the angry screaming preacher at the fountain every Monday who tells me I'm going to Hell and Need To Be Saved, I'm really not going to bat an eyelash at anyone preaching respectfully, like the In-N-Out crew. They put it out there for you to respect, inquire, or ignore, with no expectations. That's cool."

James, this is mondo appreciated from you. It may show that I've come to expect very little, but this seems to me to be unprecedented generosity.

It's unfortunate that this wonderful gesture didn't come in time to stop the virgin growth forest I had puree'd to manufacture and ship a few million apocalyptic Bible tracts to your home.

Tom Van Dyke said...

I have about 650 bibles stacked up in my garage that I snarfed from some dude named Gideon.

I'm gonna put 'em on Ebay and make a mint. Worship me, pigs.

mjwatson said...

I left my native California eight years ago for Texas for two years and the East Coast for the last six.

Besides missing genuine mountains, not having In-n-out and Carls has been hard. The fast food here is a travesty. No wonder fast food gets a bad name. I'm now depressed.

Hunter Baker said...

I've made a couple of trips out west, but never experienced this epiphany about fast food. The usual suspects in Fla, Ga, Ala, and TX always struck me as exemplars of the standardized excellence of American fast food.

mjwatson said...

Usual suspects? Name names please Gabriel Byrne.

And if you say Whataburger we're going to have issues.

Hunter Baker said...

Hey, don't denigrate the Whataburger. There are times when nothing else will satisfy. I have similar feelings about Krystal.

More typical visits are too McDonald's, because, duh, I have small children. And BK, because the bizarre commercials about the king have convinced me to change my religious affiliation to Burger King.

James Elliott said...

"It's unfortunate that this wonderful gesture didn't come in time to stop the virgin growth forest I had puree'd to manufacture and ship a few million apocalyptic Bible tracts to your home."

That's okay, Hunter. With all the rain here, I need more kindling for my fireplace. =]

Seriously, while I may be a bit of a dick sometimes, I do respect the quality of thought that is often apparent behind yours and Tom's writing, even when its at its preachiest. You clearly think a lot about what you believe and why, and that's all anyone can ask of anyone else.

James Elliott said...

"I've made a couple of trips out west, but never experienced this epiphany about fast food. The usual suspects in Fla, Ga, Ala, and TX always struck me as exemplars of the standardized excellence of American fast food."

You have not lived until you have eaten a cheeseburger at In-N-Out. You will then refuse to eat all fast food in any other state than California, for it will all be as ashes in your mouth and drive you to the precipice of eternal despair. All my friends who moved to Texas or the East Coast lament the lack of Jack n' the Box. Plus, you miss out on the awesome "Jack" commercials.
McDonald's and Burger King have nothing on Carl's Jr. or the other West Coast franchises.

Of course, there's nothing better than home-barbequed burgers. Damn this rain, I haven't used my grill in MONTHS.

Matt Huisman said...

You will then refuse to eat all fast food in any other state than California, for it will all be as ashes in your mouth and drive you to the precipice of eternal despair.

Amen, brother. Without the promise of eternal double-doubles in heaven, my young illegal immigrant lover and I would surely have already lept off of the tallest McDonald's in NW Indiana.

mjwatson said...

Oh Hunter, am I to understand you have not had a double double from In-n-out?

(as an aside the double-double needs to be ordered with grilled onions).

Whataburger is a travesty. It is beneath us to continue to speak of it. Burger King is OKAY, and that's about it. They can occasionally do a good job. McDonald's is almost OKAY sometimes. But even then it's mainly because of the familiarity and the playgrounds.

Carl's Jr., In-n-out, even Jack-in-the-Box, are far superior. In fact, I am heading to SoCal for a conference next week. If you think I haven't chosen my hotels based on In-n-out proximity you're insane.

And I think that Mr. Elliot should consider the apologetic value of an In-n-out burger. ;)

Hunter Baker said...

I do like Jack-n-the Box. Good stuff, that.

Matt Huisman said...

If you think I haven't chosen my hotels based on In-n-out proximity you're insane.

So true, mjwatson. For my own safety, I have a rule that says I'm never to set foot in any town or neighborhood that goes by the name of Inglewood.

HOWEVER, I make the exception in Los Angeles. Inglewood is always my first stop when traveling through LAX. (Note: I have almost no familiarity with the LA area, so I'm sure there is a better option.) Seeing that big beautiful arrow from the expressway still gives me goosebumps, and I would take the off-ramp to Baghdad if I saw one there.