Overview:
From both a nutritional and environmental impact perspective, farmed fish are far inferior to their wild counterparts:

  • Despite being much fattier, farmed fish provide less usable beneficial omega 3 fats than wild fish.
  • Due to the feedlot conditions of aquafarming, farm-raised fish are doused with antibiotics and exposed to more concentrated pesticides than their wild kin. Farmed salmon, in addition, are given a salmon-colored dye in their feed, without which, their flesh would be an unappetizing grey color.
  • Aquafarming also raises a number of environmental concerns, the most important of which may be its negative impact on wild salmon. It has now been established that sea lice from farms kill up to 95% of juvenile wild salmon that migrate past them. Read the rest of this entry »

There is no organic standard set by the USDA’s National Organics Program for seafood, and the green USDA certified organic label is not allowed on seafood products.

Also worth noting is the fact that because there is no USDA standard, it is also impossible for the USDA to prosecute manufacturers in other countries for mislabeling.

Though fish can’t be certified organic, it’s not too difficult to go to the market and find fish labeled as organic. This fish is generally farmed and fed organic feed pellets and possibly raised in roomier and cleaner swimming pens. None of these claims can be substantiated, however, so be wary of spending extra money on organic fish and thinking it’s better.

If you want salmon, look for Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified wild salmon from Alaska. Consider it a special treat — it is one.

To see which products are available with the MSC label in the US, go to: http://eng.msc.org/ and click on ‘Where To Buy Sustainable Seafood.’

The recall is for Gorton’s 6 Crispy Battered Fish Fillets, 11.4 ounces. The UPC Code is No. 44400157770, with a date code of 7289G1 and a best-if-used-by date of April 2009.

Gorton’s Inc. recalled about 1,000 cases of frozen fish in 10 states on Friday after confirming that items a Pennsylvania customer reported finding in her food were pills.

Gorton’s said it ordered the recall as a precaution while a laboratory works to determine the nature of the pills. Results are expected early next week.

“Obviously product alteration is a very serious matter,” said Jud Reis, vice president of marketing for the company, based in Gloucester, Mass. “We are conducting a full investigation into the source of the problem.”

Tracy Rowan of New Freedom called police to report that she bit into one of the pills Sunday after her 9-year-old daughter realized one was in her fish, too. On Friday, Reis said the material was some sort of pill, not compressed batter or bread crumbs.

Rowan described the pills as beige and aspirin-size. Read the rest of this entry »

Organic? salmon and omega-3

December 6, 2007

Do organic and non-organic salmon have similar omega fatty acid profiles?

The labeling of fish as “organic” is controversial since the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has not yet allowed for its organic seal to be used on fish. As of early 2007, it has not even come up with a standard that could be used as a basis for certification of fish as organic. Precisely because there is no USDA organics standard for fish, it is also impossible for the USDA to regulate organic labeling claims on fish imported into the U.S. from other countries. Read the rest of this entry »