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Deep Dives

Malia Politzer
Editor of International Investigative Journalist
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piqer: Malia Politzer
Monday, 18 February 2019

Poached Eggs: An Investigation Into Counterfeit Caviar

Longreads is an online news site that curates the best long form journalism from around the world. More recently, it's also begun commissioning original long form reporting, and launched a podcast that gives a "behind the scenes" peek into the reporting process for some of their top articles.

"Poached Eggs" is an episode that dives into one of their most popular articles from this month, "The Caviar Con", an article about a two-year long federal investigation into the poaching of the eggs of a rare species of fish in Missouri called the American Paddlefish. The eggs are then sold as counterfeit caviar.

Journalist David Gauvrey Herbert, the author of the article, walks us through his reporting process—drawing on the original recordings of interviews with sources—and tells us the story. Through the episode, we learn how shortages in the global caviar market led Missouri to become ground zero for egg poaching. The episode also gives us some context into how caviar became the luxury good that it is today, prompting the emergence of a caviar black market, and an international caviar cartel. Finally, we learn how the FBI uncovered and prosecuted the perpetrators of the poaching crime. 

A great episode for anyone who enjoys a good whodunnit.

Poached Eggs: An Investigation Into Counterfeit Caviar
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