Anyone know of a way to find out where my local seafood store gets it's salmon?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by riffwraith, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. riffwraith

    riffwraith

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    The local seafood store in my neighborhood has a small selection of fish; one of the things they sell is fresh salmon. It looks absolutely fine; I asked if it was wild caught or farm raised, and was told the former. I am very finicky about what I put in my body, and absolutely will not eat farm raised salmon. I have no reason whatsoever to doubt what I was told, but would like to make sure. Most businesses are honest, but occasionally there is one here and one there that is not.

    Is there a resource to find out where the store gets it's fish from? Or maybe the other way around - find some distributors, and see where they sell to?

    Any ideas will be appreciated - thanks!
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
  2. grande

    grande

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    You could ask.them.... but it's more complicated than that. Suppliers buy fish where it comes in from and distribute it, so the "where" could change any time. Also, there are people who advertise 'wild caught' when it's not - I wouldn't say it if it wasn't true. BUT! Their supplier can tell them where it's from, so they should be able to tell you. Out of curiosity, where are you located?
     
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  3. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    IDK...if I could not place 100% trust in my fish monger I would take my business elsewhere.

    Maybe locate a source online and cut out the middleman ... farm to table if you will.

    mimi
     
  4. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    First a question. If you have absolutely no reason to doubt them, then why are you? Do you doubt their honesty? Why? 

         As for resources, as Grande stated, you could simply ask them where they get it from. 

    Otherwise, depending on your location, there are a limited number of fresh seafood distributors in a given area so it's not like you have to investigate a large number of possibilities. Unless you are in a coastal area, they are most likely getting it from one or two possibilities. 

         A quick google search will provide a great deal of information on the many issues of sustainability facing our seafood supply.

    A result of all this is that reputable suppliers are very aware of concerns like yours. They share them. So while there are a number of factors involved in sourcing salmon, tracking sources has become a big part of the entire industry. Not only have laws been passed to insure proper labeling and identification, the suppliers are keenly interested in promoting themselves as purveyors of sustainable fishing practices.

         Looking at the broader picture, there have been many studies and investigations into what the fish you buy and eat is called versus what it actually is. When fish are found not to be what they are sold as, identifying where the mislabeling occurred is much harder the more middlemen are involved. This is much more common with fish of similar appearance and texture, where one white fleshed fish looks much like another. So while the seafood and food service industries in general continue to have issues about proper identification of many fish, salmon, because of it's distinctive appearance and taste is much more easily identifiable to begin with and more easily tracked as a result. 

         In a nutshell, salmon fishermen these days want people to know how special their wild salmon is. Salmon suppliers want the consumers to know they are supplying that special salmon. So while the possibility exists that the store you frequent may be selling farm raised salmon, if they tell you it's wild, it is because they have every reason to believe it is. And if you ask them where they get it from, they will most likely be very happy to tell you. 
     
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  5. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    I would just ask them where they buy the salmon from and then you can verify yourself. They should have the tags it should be pretty straightforward to find out.
     
  6. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Farmed salmon looks distinctly different from the little I've seen. Different color and texture of the flesh. What do your eyes tell you?
     
  7. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Each tray in the case should have a wild caught or farmed label on it.
     
  8. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    Country of origin labeling (COOL) laws were repealed on beef and lamb.  Fish and chicken and others are still labeled.
     
  9. gigi7

    gigi7

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    http://www.seafoodwatch.org/  http://www.nrdc.org/oceans/seafoodguide/   You may start here at these websites.

    (I have a friend who worked at a local food chain for years in the produce department....he said when they ran out of "organic" fruits & veggies they just substituted anything else they had.  He also mentioned all kinds of other abuses...he left to work for an organic market where he knew they didn't cheat...)

     I check here then research the background on farmed fish. Not all farmed fish is the same. When I was living next to Thailand we went to visit the Thai "fish farms" which are near farmed fields that are sprayed extensively--runoff, animals nearby...who knows what is fed to these fish.  I wouldn't touch any of their seafood at all. I would put Vietnam & China high on the list to avoid because unlike Thailand there are no guidelines & no testing procedures....remember Chinese manufacturers using "melamine" in baby formula to boost the protein content?  Even if the food is clean ( having been there many times in many places,  I don't believe it, even if it's "organic") If you look for fish that actually "can be caught in the wild" like salmon or cod, halibut, tuna that would be a starting point. Steer clear of Tilapia, Basa  Catfish which is a bottom feeder.  

    Don't bother ordering fish from Alaska it's horrible...expensive  - many of us have tried this unsuccessfully after spending quite a lot of money.  

    If you can't buy wild fish that can be verified by the tag....country of origin plus other information ask to see the box packing & tags. I believe by law they must show it to you.  As was stated wild salmon is extremely dark...other wild salmons may be light lighter than what you find under the farmed variety   because they usually add coloring to the feed to beef up the color of the flesh 

    http://www.chefs-resources.com/seaf...ion-recipes/is-vietnamese-swai-and-basa-safe/

    http://draxe.com/eating-tilapia-is-worse-than-eating-bacon/

    http://www.farmedanddangerous.org/salmon-farming-problems/environmental-impacts/

    http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/health/Dangers-of-Aquafarmed-Fish--117659888.html
     
  10. riffwraith

    riffwraith

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    A good idea - but sometimes, I like to say at lunchtime, "ok, what do I want for dinner? I know - salmon!" The mail order idea requires me to always plan ahead - especially if the salmon is frozen. I am no the 'plan ahead' type. :)
    Because of stuff like this:
    There are no tags - at least none that I saw (tho admittedly I wasn't looking for any), and my eyes tell me it is wild caught. It is correct, that the farm raised salmon does have a different look to it; I am just looking to make 100% certain, if that is at all possible.

    http://www.seafoodwatch.org/  http://www.nrdc.org/oceans/seafoodguide/   

    Will look at those links. Thank you!
     
  11. grande

    grande

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    It should be labelled, if it isn't they shold be able to tell you. I would guess wild caught salmon in your area would be signifigantly more expensive; to the best of my knowledge there is little or no commercially available wild caught atlantic salmon. Pacific salmon from alaska or the west coast is almost always wild caught.
    Wild salmon varies wildly in appearance, color is not a consistant way to determine if fish is farmed or not.
     
  12. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Stay away from the really large peach color fish.    That's the farm raised salmon fed with dye in the feed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2016
  13. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Speaking of farm raised seafood......almost 100% of the tiger shrimp and tilapia (AKA carp) are farm raised under iffy circumstances.

    I took a cruise with someone who would order like 6 servings of the shrimp cocktail (tiger) at every dinner service.

    Watching her tear into them with great relish almost made me gag.

    Kept my opinions to myself and switched seats at the dinner table for the rest of the week.

    mimi

    @riffwraith  We seldom eat anything we have not caught and cleaned ourselves (or bartered for at the cleaning tables and/or docks).

    Take up fishing and make a trip to Alaska (not sure about import laws from Scotland).

    Your guide will be more than happy to clean and package your catch for shipping (did not get lucky that trip? He will catch a limit for you just to keep you happy and coming back every year ;-)

    Have him package in portions for one or two servings....

    m.
     
  14. riffwraith

    riffwraith

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    Heh, I like the Alaska idea, but I am not traveling that far to get some salmon! lol

    Curious what  import laws from Scotland has to do with anything?

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
  15. grande

    grande

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    Frozen Alaskan salmin is widely used in the industry and should be available to any wholesaler, I would think.
     
  16. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Personal import laws.

    Prolly not a problem but not my job to investigate.

    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

    mimi
     
  17. riffwraith

    riffwraith

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    Yes - I see some in my supermarket. Problem is, they are not in portions - only in logs of 2-3 pounds, and I have no way of cutting through them when frozen. If I thaw, I cant refreeze.
    Still don't know how Scotland came into play here, but thanks anyway!

    Cheers.
     
  18. just jim

    just jim

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    A Deba should go through frozen salmon fairly easily.
     
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  19. ordo

    ordo

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    I don't think that's a good idea.
     
  20. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    If you Google "Salmon Scotland Fishing" you will get hundreds of hits leading you to information on fishing trips there. It's a huge part of the Scottish tourism industry. What laws there may be on bringing your catch back is probably what Mimi was referring to.