Octopus-Head Lobbyists Go Head to Head With Seoul Mayor
Posted on November 2, 2010
Restaurant owners in South Korea are fuming because government officials in the capital city of Seoul have recommended that citizens limit their octopus-head consumption to no more than two a day.
This past September, the local Seoul government discovered and subsequently announced that octopus heads contain large amounts of the carcinogen cadmium, which is known to poison the liver and kidneys. They also urged citizens to first remove the octopus’s internal organs, which isn’t a practice observed by most restaurants.
Both restaurant owners and fishermen immediately joined forces and threatened to sue the local government. They were mad because the price of good ol’ octpus head had gone down severely ever since the announcement.
According to reports, they met up with Seoul’s mayor and demanded that he offer an immediate apology in addition to some reparations. The mayor half-assedly apologized, noting that “the intent of the research was to inform people of the health risks” associated with eating octopus.
The group left unsatisfied, but were in for a big surprise. A few days later a select group of nationally recognized legislators decided to eat some live octopus at a National Assembly session to show their support for the fishermen.
The embarrassed mayor then issued an apology, but he refused to change the city’s “official stance.” However, to further ease tensions the mayor renamed October 20th as Seoul Nakji Day (Seoul Octopus Day), and then held a ‘cookout’ featuring stir-fried vegetable rice with yummy octopus.
Mind you, their internal organs were first removed.