Angela Kinsey Joins the Fight Against Seafood Fraud

Taking a break from “The Office,” the actress headed to the Hill to speak out about the issue of mislabeled fish.

Actress Angela Kinsey. Photograph by Anna Spiegel.

Angela Kinsey may not be a seafood fan on
The Office–her stern character, Angela Martin, once
instructed Andy against taking her anywhere with patios, vegetables, and
in real life, the ocean-loving star wants to know all about the
fin-fare she’s consuming. We caught up with Kinsey this morning
on the Hill, where she’s taking a short break from life in Los
Angeles to join Oceana and local

Barton Seaver in a campaign against seafood fraud.

We’re no strangers to edible artifice in Washington: When a
restaurant serves “Maryland crabcakes” at a premium while using
cheaper Venezuelan meat, that’s seafood fraud (and a pretty
widespread heist). At best, you and the local fishermen are getting
ripped off. Worse, certain impostor products can make you sick.
Ever felt queasy after downing a few orders of “white tuna”
sushi? You may have eaten escolar, a less-expensive fish that
certain restaurants swap out for tuna, knowingly and not. It’s
tasty in small doses, but in larger quantities you’ll
understand the nickname “Ex-Lax fish.”

Kinsey and Seaver are speaking out on the issue as the Senate is reviewing three bills to improve traceability and end seafood
fraud. In the meantime, what can you do?

“I ask a lot of questions about the fish and where
it’s from,” says Kinsey of dining in restaurants and shopping at
“If they don’t know how to answer you, that’s a red flag for
me. Also, if a typically expensive fish is being sold at a cheap

Seaver chimes in that it’s also on the diner to make a change: “When you walk into a restaurant or market with a preordained notion of what you want–‘I’m going to have salmon tonight’–then
you’re forcing the system to create that salmon. . . . Instead, ask for what’s freshest.”

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.