Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Seafood Labels

When I read this in a Better Homes and Garden magazine, I was really surprised.  I've always assumed that organic was just that.  I never stopped to think that if it's wild-caught, there is no way it can be organic.  That can only happen if it's farm raised.  Duh!  The wild-caught took me a bit by surprise too.  I usually believe whatever I read on the labels.  I do know that my doctor told me years ago to never buy Fish Oil unless it said caught in "deep, cold water."  Otherwise it just might be farm raised and not worth the money I spend.  I think I'll start looking for Fish Oils made in Alaska.  As for the Dayboat term, that's a new one for me.

Organic:  Not backed by the USDA for use on seafood.  With other products, "organic" partly means the animal was raised on organic feed.  That's tough to verify with wild fish, which have uncontrolled diets and with predatory species such as tuna, which consume other fish.  Seafood that is certified organic in other countries can be sold in most U.S. states, but there's no guarantee of what you're getting.

Dayboat:  This term is used to communicate freshness and cleanliness.  It means the seafood was caught and ferried to shore within one day.  But...unless you live right near the water, it can tak up to two weeks for that fish to reach your local market.

Wild-caught:  This indicates the fish was not raised in an aqua farm, an important distinction for salmon.  Farm-raised varieties often contain synthetic dyes and are lower in omega-3s than wild-caught.  This label is sometimes abused.  Several years ago, a small Consumer Reports investigation revealed that nearly 57% of "wild" salmon samples purchased in supermarkets actually were farm-raised.  To ensure your selection is really wild, choose salmon from Alaska, where salmon farming is banned.

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