Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Whole Foods Sells colored Farm-Raised Salmon
Imagine my surprise recently when walking through a Whole Foods Market in western Massachusetts, looking at the fish, and noticing that the tags mentioned the presence of dye. Sure, it's nice to be told ahead of time, particularly when the dye can make you think you're getting the superior-tasting wild variety rather than farm breed, as some have pointed out.
The irony in this case are the Whole Foods product quality standards. Specifically they state, "We carry natural and organic products because we believe that food in its purest state — unadulterated by artificial additives, sweeteners, colorings, and preservatives — is the best tasting and most nutritious food available." They also add, "We feature foods that are free of artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners, and hydrogenated fats." Go to the company's page about its seafood and you see this: "On any given day, you will find a stunning selection of both familiar and specialty fish and shellfish. From Alaska to Iceland, we offer the season's best, ranging from wild striped bass to soft shell crabs and wild Alaskan salmon."
Or less wild varieties. Maybe they think that dye from natural sources makes it ok. I had a brief email exchange with one of the company's PR people this morning, but haven't received a reply on my question about this since around 10 this morning. Ah, well, guess they're busy with other things.
There are several species of wild salmon from Alaska, caught at different times of the season, caught by different types of boats and some redder than others. I'll accept a little bit of dye rather than farm-raised salmon. Salmon farming has had a poor track record, infecting wild fish that swim by the ocean "farms."
Interestingly, the Boulder, CO, Whole Foods is now selling Chilean sea bass. What a shocker. I asked the fish guy, who said that Whole foods had found some sustainable fisheries. I wasn't sure about that and checked it out on Seafood Watch, and they still list it on their "Avoid" list -- so I did. Seeing that at Whole Foods shocked nme as much as the dyued salmon did you.
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