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Lumpy the turtle (or terrapin) has come a long way from absolute obscurity to incredible popularity, from practical inaccessibility and almost to extinction. Since the mid-nineteenth century until the 70-ies of the last century, it was listed on the menu as seafood.
At all times, the seafood was perfectly demonstrated fashion trends of the restaurants. So, 150 years ago lobster was considered "trash fish", it was preparing cheap meals for prisoners and children in shelters. Today it is one of the most expensive items.
according to the publication, Marine and Coastal Fisheries, the researchers found that the price of Northern knobby turtle grew by almost 1000 %. With the growing popularity incredibly quickly she came to an almost complete commercial extinction.
"the same thing happened with the abalone on the West coast, explains Glenn A. Jones, Professor at Texas A&M University in Galveston. — Originally a dish, which nobody cared it gradually became one of the most expensive on the menu. But lumpy turtle is a special case. Her story lasted for 125 years and at its peak it has become a mandatory item in the menu Oriental restaurants: dish of "terrapin Maryland", similar to roast. She and cost three times more expensive lobster or swordfish today adjusted for inflation".
Jones and the student of doctorate Raven Walker say that the popularity of the Northern lumpy turtle is a perfect example of "visible consumption" (a term fixed by the economist Thorstein Goblinom in 1899). In short: the theory is that the more expensive the item, the more popular it becomes, the price can very quickly grow to incredible sizes.
"for some time the fish markets by the dozen sold North lumpy turtle, the only brackish water turtle that live along the East coast. In the early 1900s it was sold retail and order terrapin Maryland would cost about 100 dollars today, says Jones. — Prices have fallen circa 1916-1917's, by 1940, the demand has almost disappeared, and by 1970 the tortoise and disappeared altogether from the menu. Today that this turtle is eating or that she was one of the most expensive seafood in the last 150 years, few people know. We didn't see it on the menu already at least 40 years."
"Literature mostly associates the decline terraenovae market with the dry law, as in that time you can no longer get the sherry, which was a necessary ingredient to roast. However our research has shown that the decline began before the approval of prohibition in 1920, so the initial decline in the market occurred for other reasons, says Walker. — We found out that it has more to do with the Law on control over products and fuel of 1917, which urged to change eating habits and redirect food supplies to the front during the Second world war. It could have a greater impact on turtle in the menu of restaurants and its presence in the market, as it has since "visible consumption" condemned".
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