Scinema: Organic Seafood
Does organic seafood live up to its label? Lindsey Bewley and Rachele Cooper find out.
Lindsey Bewley and Rachele Cooper • August 8, 2007
With the organic industry booming, food manufacturers are increasingly marketing their goods as natural and environmentally friendly. Hoping to catch the wave, the seafood industry is beginning to label fish as organic. But without any government oversight, what does organic seafood really mean? Rachele Cooper and Lindsey Bewley explore the issue for Scienceline.
That was very enlightening Rachele. I’m always skeptical about the veracity of the “organic” title.
What a fantastic new addition to scienceline! I’m really impressed. Way to go Lindsey and Rachele! The organic seafood issue is both interesting and alarming–especially when those selling it are quick to admit that they don’t even know where their fish comes from, as your segment illustrates so well. We did an article in Audubon last year about the nation’s first USDA-certified organic shrimp. Raised in Florida in inland ponds filled with rainwater, the shrimp is fed strictly organic foods and nurtured with methods that avoid the stunning environmental impacts of coastal farm-raised shrimp (mangrove destruction) and shrimp trawling. We also learned that many of the chefs who pride themselves in cooking “green cuisine,” such as the legendary Alice Waters, are only putting prawns that are locally caught with traps, instead of trawls, on their menus. I don’t know any small-scale shrimpers, but if I did I’d surely be up to my gills in ceviche! (The hazard of covering this stuff is it can add a side of guilt to any good seafood dish. Sigh…)
Excellent story, Rachele and Lindsey. Congratulations to you, Meredith, and everyone else at Scienceline!