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Information about consuming seafood

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Old 07-31-2006, 11:21 AM   #1
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Default Information about consuming seafood

I know there is a lot of confusion about mercury in fish as well as the difference between farmed salmon and wild salmon.

For information about mercury, the EPA has a website with good information:
http://www.epa.gov/mercury/advisories.htm

If you want to make seafood choices that are environmentally responsible as well as know potential health dangers, I would recommend looking over Seafood watch provided by the Monterey Bay Aquarium:
http://www.mbayaq.org/cr/seafoodwatch.asp

If you want to know about Salmon specifically, I recommend reading over the Salmon page provided by Seafood Watch:
http://www.mbayaq.org/cr/SeafoodWatc...et.aspx?gid=17
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Old 07-31-2006, 12:37 PM   #2
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Those are great resources!

Regarding salmon, I recently read something disturbing on Consumer Reports. We're trying to eat strictly wild salmon and not farmed. But according to CR, we may be tricked. "Of 23 supposedly “wild” salmon fillets we bought last November, December, and March, during the off-season for wild-caught salmon, our analysis found only 10 that were definitely caught in the wild. The rest came from salmon farms."

Another concern is seafood treated with carbon monoxide. This is done to make fish look fresh, even when it's not. The practice has been banned in most countries because it can mask spoiled fish. It's still legal in the US. When you buy frozen fish, look for the fine print somewhere on the back of the package to learn if it has been treated or not.

Actually, I just found out that this is done to other types of meat, not just seafood. Beef can appear red and fresh, yet be spoiled.
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Old 07-31-2006, 04:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzanne 3FC
Regarding salmon, I recently read something disturbing on Consumer Reports. We're trying to eat strictly wild salmon and not farmed. But according to CR, we may be tricked. "Of 23 supposedly “wild” salmon fillets we bought last November, December, and March, during the off-season for wild-caught salmon, our analysis found only 10 that were definitely caught in the wild. The rest came from salmon farms."
10 out of 23??!! Wow... so I wonder.. is there a type of salmon that isn't farmed so you can assure yourself that it is wild? I mean, I always just assumed the red sockey was always wild.


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Originally Posted by Suzanne 3FC
Another concern is seafood treated with carbon monoxide.
I had heard of this practice being done in the States still but didn't realize I could check the back of a package. What would it say if it were treated?
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Old 07-31-2006, 05:22 PM   #4
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Jayde, CR said that canned Alaska salmon is always wild salmon, so you can't go wrong there (assuming you like the flavor of canned salmon). They also had good luck with their tests during salmon season, as all 27 samples were wild. The problem occurred during the off season. Their suggestions were to buy canned salmon, or buy salmon in the summer. The article is from the August '06 issue.

Regarding the notice of carbon monoxide, I've seen it on the back of the packages, usually down toward the bottom, in fine print. I don't have a package with me, but it seems like it was listed like an ingredient.

I first became aware of carbon monoxide and fish a few months ago, when my son and I were at Kroger shopping for seafood. I wanted to buy tilapia, but noticed that half of the packages contained a very white fish, while the other half contained light pink fish. A couple of days later, I saw someone on the CBS morning news discussing carbon monoxide and fish, then ran straight to the net to learn more. When I went back to Kroger, I read the packages and learned that they were treated with carbon monoxide. Odd thing -- the Consumer Reports article said that Krogers claims they will not sell meat treated with carbon monoxide due to safety concerns. But that's the only shop I visit, and they do sell it.
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Old 07-31-2006, 05:45 PM   #5
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Suzanne, ok.. so its good to know that the canned is wild. I better do a little more research on the seasons for fresh wild... summer months of??? July and August only? I'll look for the article.

The next time I'm in the supermarket I am going to look at the ingredients for frozen fish products.. It is amazing what we eat and are totally unaware of. I'm glad you were able to put all those things together and saw the article.

Still shaking my head at our food industry.....
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Old 07-31-2006, 05:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayde
Still shaking my head at our food industry.....
Shaking my fist, too.

It bothers me when many countries outlaw things like preserving in harmful substances, and I think to myself, "well, USA *must* be one of those banning this stuff" only to find out later that we're not. There is no reason for this, but as long as people blindly choose cost over health, we're stuck regulating this at the consumer level.
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Old 07-31-2006, 06:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by phantastica
It bothers me when many countries outlaw things like preserving in harmful substances, and I think to myself, "well, USA *must* be one of those banning this stuff" only to find out later that we're not.
Yes.. makes you realize that we are in such denial on about our own food safety and health.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phantastica
There is no reason for this, but as long as people blindly choose cost over health, we're stuck regulating this at the consumer level.
Actually it is usuall the consumer level that gets it regulated in other countries. Staying informed and educated.. asking questions about food and being picky about it makes a statement in the pockets of the market owners ... constantly keeping the dialog open and the demand serious makes changes at the government level.
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Old 07-31-2006, 06:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jayde fresh wild... summer months of??? July and August only? I'll
Salmon fishing starts mid to late May and continues through August. Depends on variety and location, but should be able to find some kind of fresh during those months.

And not to plug a family business, but my stepsister owns a company in Bozeman, MT that sells smoked Alaska red salmon (not cheap!) that is excellent. No she doesn't get it from us, but rather from comercial fishermen. www.chaletmarket.com
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Old 07-31-2006, 07:13 PM   #9
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Pat, I'm assuming you have experience eating fresh wild Alaskan salmon Would you know if Copper River salmon is really better than other types? There seems to be a lot of hype surrounding it, and it's expensive. I don't mind paying more for special foods, as long as it's worth it. Have you tried it?
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Old 07-31-2006, 10:11 PM   #10
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Suzanne, it's mostly what I eat as my DH fishes subsistence there. It is very good, and better than red (sockeye) salmon from say, the Kenai area. Can't compare it to sockeye from other than that though as I haven't had it. I know that west coast restaurants/stores buy it up and hype it. I suspect that you pay for the shipping to have it fresh. I don't know what kind of salmon you ordinarily get (wild, I hope! ) but I'd try it. It's nice and firm with a strong salmon flavor. If it's "fishy" it's not as fresh as it should be.
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Old 08-01-2006, 02:38 AM   #11
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So, when DH got back from yoga, I asked him why Copper River Red Salmon is so pricey. He says it's the earliest salmon available in the spring, and it's big, sort of the beaujolais of salmon.
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