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Which is better? Farmed or wild fish...


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#16 Lippy

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 01:24 AM

I saw someone land a big striped bass out of the East River the other day.  That was a nice fresh fish that I can't imagine anyone wanting to eat.



#17 Sneakeater

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 04:45 AM

Does Blue Moon freeze? I suppose they must.
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#18 Orik

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 08:17 AM

Does Blue Moon freeze? I suppose they must.

 

Nope. They may freeze some items occasionally, but as a rule they don't (and in some cases they'll correctly advise against freezing red fish you buy from them). 

 

Of course not all commercially fish in the US has been frozen, although much of it has, and freezing, chilling, ice shocking, etc. at various points in the process is not all the same. 

 

The salmon story is nice, but the salting and freezing is more of a texture and flavor thing - the same parasites you find in salmon can also live in various other fish and squid (even in sardines and anchovies, amazingly), and you don't hear your sushi chef telling you they freeze and salt them). 

 

The farmed stuff from SEA isn't just problematic because of feed, drugs, environmental issues, etc. but also because it's often loaded with various additives to increase bulk. Not to mention it mostly tastes like either mud or nothing at all (there are some exceptions, like very high end tiger prawns from Thailand).

 

The good news is that the Japanese have finally managed to spawn blue fin in a tank. The bad news is that Hong Kong seems to be buying about as much blue fin as all of Japan, so the attempt to save the species by reducing the number of Japanese may be derailed.


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#19 joethefoodie

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 12:11 PM

Esther Davidowitz of the Bergen Record takes on this issue by speaking with restaurant owners and fish dealers.  She concludes by saying "it depends", but her sources aren't anywhere near as reticent.

 

--avoid anything from China, India, Thailand, etc

--avoid anything with unnatural sheds of red such as salmon

--understand that farmed salmon may have higher Omega-3 levels than lean, wild caught salmon

--assume that any catfish, tilapia etc you eat will have been farmed

--organic + farmed can be a good combination

 

FWIW, I'll treat Irish, Icelandic, and Norwegian organic salmon as equivalent to wild caught.  I'll have US caught swordfish every few weeks (Dee won't eat it). Shrimp and scallops have to be US, wild caught.  Right now, I'll only buy fish at Fairway and my local Shop-Rite. I know the fish mongers, and they'll direct me to fish they think I'll find interesting.  (Caldwell Seafood, my former regular dealer, is currently off my list.  They do have excellent fish, though.)

 

 

On its website, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) assures that there are "strict regulations" of and "rigorous standards" for fish farms in the U.S., and that "the use of antibiotics and other drugs has been reduced dramatically." However, nearly 90 percent of the seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported, often from countries that don't have strict standards, the National Aquaculture Association notes on its website.

Thus, many don't trust fish farms.

"I'm not comfortable with farm-raised," said Peter Panteleakis, executive chef at Oceanos restaurant in Fair Lawn and Taverna Mykonos restaurant in Elmwood Park. "There are thousands and thousands of fish farms. Maybe you can count on one hand the number of good ones. I'm much better with wild fish. The water is cleaner, the fish are out in the ocean, and they're down at the bottom, eating the good stuff," he said. Popular wild items, he said, include black sea bass, halibut, grouper, red snapper, scallops, and shrimp. "We also sell a lot of swordfish – 200 pounds of it a week," he said.

While the manufactured environment of fish farms may not be Panteleakis' preference, the ocean doesn't exactly let all seafood lovers off the hook, either.

- See more at: http://www.northjers...h.tZHLElpi.dpuf

 

Old news, no?  The Monterey Bay Aquarium has long published its list of what its scientists believe are good and bad fish, for purchase and consumption.

 

Years ago I stopped buying any fish in Chinatown, as I believe most of it is from China, Southeast Asia or some other place where the farming tactics are, shall we say, questionable.  Shrimp - same thing; shrimp farming being perhaps one of the environmentally worst.  When I worked at the North Festival last year, the Norwegian salmon industry was a sponsor - their farming seems environmentally sound, but who knows?  And once a few fish escape the pens in the fjords, they basically are poisoning the well of wild fish.

 

As for Copper River salmon, it may be fresh in mid-May through June, otherwise, it's frozen/defrosted, and once fish is defrosted, you better use it quickly.

 

Nowadays, I only buy fish at farmer's market; Blue Moon, Pura Vida, Seatuck and PE & DD Seafood - all good Long Island fisher people.  To my taste, scallops and clams from Long Island are some of the best tasting stuff there is.

 

The Whole Foods I do some shopping at (Houston) can be a decent source for certain fish - but it's totally buyer beware.  However, the Whole Foods that I go to occasionally in DC has a beautiful fish department, with much locally caught finfish, cared for properly, always iced properly, etc.  Whole Foods does carry wild shrimp (frozen) from the gulf and/or Keys, but I think the gulf side is in serious disarray since BP screwed the pooch.

 

I saw someone land a big striped bass out of the East River the other day.  That was a nice fresh fish that I can't imagine anyone wanting to eat.

 

They probably aren't taking them home to eat.  More likely, selling them on Grand St... ;)

 

Walk through the neighborhood’s gritty southeast corner at the end of the workday and you’ll see them: tanned, strong-armed men — for they are mostly men — selling striped bass or bluefish right on the street, their gleaming catches laid out on flattened cardboard boxes like so many pirated DVDs.

 



#20 Rail Paul

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 12:36 PM

Several NJ based fishing co-operatives allow you to see the fish come off their day boats and overnight boats, if you wish. They'll clean it or sell you whole fish.

 

Belford Co-operative in Middletown, and Viking on Long Beach Island both come to mind.  Viking has been a regular presence in the Montclair and Summit (and Morristown?) farmers markets.


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#21 StephanieL

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 01:43 PM

And if you live in NYC, Village Fishmonger is a really good CSF option.  We've had nothing but excellent fish from them, and most everything is from LI or the Jersey Shore.


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#22 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 01:46 PM

Im personally not so confident the local stuff is sustainably fished. Those dudes are just as rapacious as anyone else given the chance. Look at their historic behavior vis a vis the DEC and the striped bass fishery.

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#23 joethefoodie

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 02:39 PM

Im personally not so confident the local stuff is sustainably fished. Those dudes are just as rapacious as anyone else given the chance. Look at their historic behavior vis a vis the DEC and the striped bass fishery.

True.  But they're only catching (theoretically) what they can legally catch, so I put the blame elsewhere.



#24 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 04:29 PM

true - but they are a really powerful counter lobby to what the fisheries people want and would implement if they lived in a vacuum.  Not to mention its pretty tough for some biologist to not consider putting people out of work when they make their recommendations.

 

 

In a weird way the greenmarket guys would probably be the biggest beneficiaries of stricter rules, as I suspect their clientele is less price elastic.

 

I write this knowing I'm planning on buy some wild salmon today, and only wondering if I can feel like a horrible person for just buying the organic farmed for my kid. Who BTW plowed through a plate of Gaspe from R&D this AM. Not that I'm bragging or anything.


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#25 Really Nice!

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 10:02 PM

farmed striped bass is a hybrid - its not actually striped bass.

Thank you. I knew that. But maybe others don't.
Yes but the pellet feed has stripes on it so the hybrids can grow their stripes. Not everyone knows that.

#26 Orik

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 10:32 PM

It's like feeding ttx to farmed fugu. 


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#27 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 08:14 PM

So about those wild prawns

 

Thai 'ghost ships' that enslave, brutalise and even kill workers are linked to global shrimp supply chain,


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#28 joethefoodie

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 02:02 PM

As stated above, I stay away from any and all seafood from SE Asia.  Wild US shrimp when you can get them. 

 

Yesterday, Whole Foods Houston St. had fresh Copper River sockeye @ $31/lb, and fresh wild king for about $37 (though I don't remember the provenance).



#29 Rail Paul

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 02:09 PM

As stated above, I stay away from any and all seafood from SE Asia.  Wild US shrimp when you can get them. 

 

Yesterday, Whole Foods Houston St. had fresh Copper River sockeye @ $31/lb, and fresh wild king for about $37 (though I don't remember the provenance).

 

The Fairway in Woodland Park had the Copper River sockeye for $19 a pound over the weekend.  I was a little suspicious since it had been $25 a few days earlier, but it looked fine.  I'm going over there again in a few minutes, and I'll update the price.


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#30 joethefoodie

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 02:21 PM

 

As stated above, I stay away from any and all seafood from SE Asia.  Wild US shrimp when you can get them. 

 

Yesterday, Whole Foods Houston St. had fresh Copper River sockeye @ $31/lb, and fresh wild king for about $37 (though I don't remember the provenance).

 

The Fairway in Woodland Park had the Copper River sockeye for $19 a pound over the weekend.  I was a little suspicious since it had been $25 a few days earlier, but it looked fine.  I'm going over there again in a few minutes, and I'll update the price.

 

That's a steal.