My dad is a tried and true Bostonian (Go RED SOX!), so growing up we spent many summer weeks on the beaches of Cape Cod… Harwich, Hyannis, Dennis, Chatham. In fact, much of my family still lives in the area, so we visit as often as possible. And, for those of you who have experienced it, there’s nothing like fresh seafood while at the beach. I still remember my first booze cruise with my aunt and uncle years ago. We topped off the evening with oysters at a local bar. A first for me and oh.so.slimey!
In the midwest we certainly don’t experience seafood so fresh, although I do prepare shrimp or scallops about once a month. Now, I know these are not the most quality fish… they are bottom feeders… but I like them. So I refuse to think about it!
There are two questions I ask when buying seafood:
I. Is it farm raised or wild caught? We choose to only buy wild caught fish. Check out this great brief read on the differences. If fish is on the menu for the week and the variety of fish we are looking for it not wild caught, we do not buy it and will make something else.
2. Where is it from? We choose to only buy fish from North America. Much investigation has been done that shows fish imported from places like China and Thailand were raised on sewage. Yep, sewage, chemicals and banned drugs. And the US really doesn’t care, because we continue to import massive amount of seafood into the country for human consumption that is never tested for contaimination.
This is why Justin and I haven’t had tilipia in MONTHS
So, while some think “fish is fish,” I disagree. As mentioned before, we only eat shrimp or scallops once – maybe twice – a month because it’s pricey when you are buying wild-caught US fish.
The frozen fish at Hy-Vee is all farmed fish or from Thailand. I haven’t bought (or even looked) at their frozen fish in a year. There is fresh US shrimp from time to time (often it’s from Thailand) and is usually $9.99/lb. The label should tell you where it originates. If it doesn’t tell you, ask. If the meat folks don’t know, pass.
While fresh, US-originated, wild caught fish (tilipia, cod) is available at Trader Joe’s, there isn’t fresh shrimp or scallops. That said, TJ’s hasn’t had frozen scallops in months. They usually have a frozen 1 pound bag that meets our criteria. The manager told me he’s had trouble getting it in and doesn’t know when it will be back. [Sigh.] They do have raw frozen shrimp for $13.99/lb.
Another reason to love Whole Foods is because of the variety and consistency of products. Fresh scallops range from $12.99-$24.99/lb depending on size. Frozen scallops range from $10.99-$19.99/lb. Raw frozen shrimp are $10.99/lb. and raw fresh shrimp are $14.99/lb.
** On a sidenote, if you are a salmon eater, please be aware of what is happening. The FDA reccently approved genetically modified salmon. And because there is no truth labelling in the United States on ANY genetically modified food, you could soon buy a piece of salmon that was actually born and raised in a science labratory. The health community is calling this “Frankenfish.” Fitting. (For more on GMO’s, please read past blogsposts AAA, BBB and CCC.) **