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Whole Foods color coded seafood labels

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#1 Rail Paul

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 07:30 PM

Whole Foods Market has introduced logos with color coding in their fish department. The intent is to make shopping for fish easier.

The system is based on colors in logos which appear on the fish bins. Farm raised seafood is marked with a blue circle, and the words "responsibly farmed" inside the circle. A third party verifier, which may be Blue Ocean Institute, certifies the responsible part. There have already been complaints that farmed fish pens in ocean water may contain unacceptably high levels of fish lice, which infect salmon, etc flowing through the areas of the massive pens on their way to spawning. Although the pen itself may be administered in a responsible manner, its presence may affect wild fish.

Maine caught wild seafood is certified by the Maine Stewardship Council, and is marked with a dark blue square with the words "Certified Sustainable" in large typeface. I didn't notice this logo on any of the fish cases in the West Orange NJ WFM.

For wild caught seafood not from MSC- certified fisheries, there are four more symbols are used:
--Green label means relatively abundant, and the fishing method doesn't cause much damage
--Yellow label means some problem exists with the abundance or the fishing method. The 9/12 size giant Gulf shrimp are an example of this. These $8 shrimp are selling slowly the fish monger mentioned. Whether this is due to the oil spill, or to the highly observant Orthodox area in which the market is located was unclear to me. The separate kosher fish department didn't have any of these logos, based on my quick visit.
--Red label means low abundance of the fish, or the method seriously damages the habitat, other wildlife, or strains the low abundance.
--Grey label means it is not yet rated.

There's been some criticism that the "red label" products shouldn't be sold by WFM. The store hopes to replace much of its red label product with more acceptable fish in the future. Others believe that fish which have been transported long distances should be marked to indicate their negative impact on the atmosphere. In WFM's defense, I'm not aware that any other major chain has introduced this level of information in its fish departments.
“It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones. ”
Niccolò Machiavelli

#2 Orik


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Posted 16 September 2010 - 08:02 PM

Others believe that fish which have been transported long distances should be marked to indicate their negative impact on the atmosphere.

What about fish that swam over long distances? surely they too have had a detrimental effect on the environment. Posted Image

sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns