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Avoid Buying Wild Caught Salmon Until April 2018

 

Americans should eat more seafood, which can be a healthy, low fat source of protein, high in good Omega-3 – and delicious. The scandals, fraud and substitution at both the retail and restaurant level are extensively documented, to the point that consumers trying to buy the most desirable items rarely get the kind of fish they pay for.

 

About 40% of the salmon advertised as wild-caught is actually fraudulently labeled factory farm-raised fish. How can you tell the difference?

 

We’ve all heard the stories of factory farm raised Salmon and it still conjures up visions of crowded pens of tortured fish being fed growth hormones and antibiotics to keep them just healthy enough to make it to market. The demand for wild caught salmon has increased and so has the prevalence of labeling fraud.

 

What’s the difference between wild & farm raised? Here are four important facts:

  1. Off Season:Salmon purchased from October through March when it’s off-season for wild caught Alaskan Salmon is most likely farmed. The wild caught Alaskan Salmon season is generally April through September.
  2. Color:Wild caught salmon is actually many different colors. Often you will see it in deeper oranges and red, not the typical consistent pink dye used to color factory farm fillets.
  3. Fillet size:The size of wild caught salmon and their fillets varies wildly; however, factory farmed salmon fillets are carefully weighed and will be generally uniform in size.
  4. Price:The cost of true wild caught salmon should always be over $20 per pound. It’s actually not a bargain if it’s under $20 a lb. It’s probably a farmed fish being sold as something it is not.

Now there is hope that things will get better. There are new companies popping up that are making it easier for restaurants to buy the highest quality premium American wild caught seafood. Delivered to the restaurant.

The Washington State Legislature in 2013 adopted a new law that provides a higher standard for seafood labeling and penalties for those found guilty of mislabeling their product.
The new law states:

It is unlawful to knowingly sell or offer to sell at wholesale or retail any fresh, frozen, or processed food fish or shellfish without identifying the species of food fish or shell fish by its common name.
This new law provides the common name for salmon species, which also must be clearly labeled to indicate whether those fish are farm-raised

or commercially caught. Some common names of all other food fish and shellfish are provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The use of descriptive language or a trade name beyond the common name is not prohibited.

In addition, the Washington Department of Agriculture – in consultation with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) – may adopt rules as necessary to establish reasonable definitions and identification standards for species of food fish and shellfish that are sold for human consumption.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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