Food & Drink

The Seafood Deception

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 15th, 2019 12:39 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 10, 2018
1151 posts
960 upvotes

The Seafood Deception

I would like to bring up a topic that not many folks are aware of, but it is something that is very important to know, I think. This was not a very clear topic to me until I did extensive research and I'd like to share.

Most of us stick to wild seafood where possible, and as we all know, seafood is expensive. One day while I was shopping at Costco, I was very surprised to see how expensive wild salmon fillets were. Once I did the math ($/piece), I was shocked to see that it was double what it was at Superstore (wild vs wild). So thus, I avoided that purchase. One thing led to another, and I ended up learning that wild seafood may in fact be wild as claimed, but a lot of wild seafood these days are processed in China. Highliner is one such organization that does this. You'll see things like "wild seafood, caught X"....and buried, deep within the packaging you will then see "processed in China".

So what happens is the fish gets caught, then is frozen on the boat, then makes its way to China where it's slightly unfrozen. Then, it's processed, frozen again, and then makes its way to the superstore where it's labelled as "wild", but it's already gone all over the world.

I have serious concerns with fish that has been thawed slightly, frozen again, and processed in China where standards are lax. I have since gone back to Costco frozen Salmon, processed in North America, as an example.

I certainly am not here to say what type of fish is better or to start a farmed versus wild debate. The purpose of this quick post is to help people make an educated decision, nothing more. I was not aware that "wild fish" could ever make its way to China for processing. That was news to me, and so thought I'd share.

Over the last several months, I have learned that the vast majority of fresh seafood at grocery stores are farmed, and the vast majority of wild frozen seafood is processed in China. It's very hard to avoid the former two things, but it's still do-able. One or two products at the local stores today are truly wild and processed in NA, and Costco does have a larger selection of the latter too. Hope this info helps folks make a more educated decision!
For legal topics and discussions, the opinion, guidance, and thoughts provided are my own and are not considered to be legal advice, in any manner.
23 replies
Deal Addict
Feb 22, 2016
2426 posts
1450 upvotes
The worst deception is by Chinese owned cheap sushi places. Yeah, "white tuna"...

white-tuna-aka-butter-fish-real-name-es ... t-2189483/
https://www.theatlantic.com/business/ar ... na/273410/
https://www.insideedition.com/investiga ... e-sickness
https://www.foodrepublic.com/2016/08/02 ... fe-to-eat/

Go to an authentic Japanese owned and operated place to avoid this.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
19334 posts
5547 upvotes
angryaudifanatic wrote:
Feb 10th, 2019 2:47 pm
Highliner
Don't forget sodium phosphate!
It's surprising the amount of seafood that has it.
This is also why I never buy any sort of frozen seafood at Superstore as most of it has it (well Shrimp anyway, I haven't checked the rest of the case)
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
31772 posts
6348 upvotes
Ottawa
Seafood is almost always farmed. False advertising in seafood sales is not new and certainly not unusual.
There have been many reports, exposes, news stories that let you know that even at a fishmonger, when you buy a certain species you in fact are getting something else.
Almost all salmon is farmed. China produces the most farmed seafood of all countries. Almost all shrimp is farmed, as are shellfish (oysters etc).
Bottom line, this may be a surprise to you btu it is a fact of seafood sales. Aquaculture is the primary means of seafood production.

Your post of pineapples and comments of orange juice indicates you are surprised about our food production and becoming aware that to feed the world, things are done.
Life is short......Make sure you spend as much time as possible on the internet arguing with strangers about politics :). Anonymous
Deal Addict
Mar 11, 2004
2681 posts
544 upvotes
Mississauga
death_hawk wrote:
Feb 10th, 2019 4:20 pm
Don't forget sodium phosphate!
It's surprising the amount of seafood that has it.
This is also why I never buy any sort of frozen seafood at Superstore as most of it has it (well Shrimp anyway, I haven't checked the rest of the case)
As a side note, why would you avoid it?
I never bought the PC shrimp because of that.... but not because good or bad, never gave it a thought, but if I want shrimp I want shrimp to be on the ingredients and nothing else.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 10, 2018
1151 posts
960 upvotes
cRaZyRaVr wrote:
Feb 11th, 2019 12:40 pm
As a side note, why would you avoid it?
I never bought the PC shrimp because of that.... but not because good or bad, never gave it a thought, but if I want shrimp I want shrimp to be on the ingredients and nothing else.
https://www.healthline.com/health/sodiu ... is-it-safe
For legal topics and discussions, the opinion, guidance, and thoughts provided are my own and are not considered to be legal advice, in any manner.
Deal Addict
Aug 28, 2014
1866 posts
407 upvotes
Toronto, ON
I don't understand peoples obsession with avoiding generally harmless things that are consumed en masse because there is some slight possibility that it may affect you a little bit negatively many years down the road. Are you going to go out as a 80 year old supermodel in a glass casket? You are literally dying as I type this, your body is objectively worse now than it was 10 seconds ago. After all that time obsessing you're just going to end up old with arthritic joints, failing organs and some kind of cancer regardless of how careful you are. Really you shouldn't be eating fish period since you're accumulating small amounts of heavy metals and toxins that pollute the worlds waters... if you care about that sort of thing.
Deal Addict
Mar 11, 2004
2681 posts
544 upvotes
Mississauga
From the link.............
"Sodium phosphate is naturally occurring in many foods. It’s also added to foods to maintain freshness, alter texture, and achieve a variety of other effects. Sodium phosphate is considered safe by the FDA but should be avoided by certain people, including those with kidney disease. "
So why all the scare????
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
19334 posts
5547 upvotes
cRaZyRaVr wrote:
Feb 11th, 2019 12:40 pm
As a side note, why would you avoid it?
It's not a "OOOHHH SCARY CHEMICALS! Let's avoid Dihydrogen Monoxide!" at least to me. Some might have that reaction due to the name.

My biggest thing is that it's screwing with whatever it's added to.
In this case, it artificially retains water.
That means that the very expensive protein you're buying is only actually 70% there because the other 30% is artificially retained water.

If you're trying to hard sear something, it won't work because of all the moisture. Usually retained moisture is squeezed out by heat and the maillard reaction can happen.
This is how you develop a nice browned crust on a seared scallop for example.

But if you try it with a phosphate scallop, you're going to get poached sadness because water is chemically bound to the scallop so your temps can never rise high enough for maillard to occur.

It's also "great" (I use that lightly) for shrimp because it's literally impossible to overcook.
In fact... there's quite a few products now that basically say as such because it's true.
Example: https://cantmessitup.ca/products/
"You can leave it in water for 20 minutes without overcooking!"
You normally poach a filet that size for a few minutes. 20 minutes would murder it.

You'll see these proteins at quick serve restaurants. Tim Horton's Chicken is famous for being pumped full of sodium phosphate.
It's actually one of the worst examples I've seen. If you try the chicken itself, it has a weird texture. If I fed it to you blind, you wouldn't identify it it as even meat, let alone chicken.
My only equivalency would be a texture of a soggy diaper.
This is on par with the "$20 box" that has 10lbs of chicken in it.
It's inedible and frankly gag inducing.

Taste in general for phosphate plumped products is just... awful.
Some claim they can't taste the phosphate (example @playnicee1 claims Tim's chicken is just fine in some of the earlier threads). I certainly can.

You're basically paying for lies and bullplop.
Member
Oct 24, 2009
255 posts
50 upvotes
nabiul wrote:
Feb 11th, 2019 1:59 pm
I don't understand peoples obsession with avoiding generally harmless things that are consumed en masse because there is some slight possibility that it may affect you a little bit negatively many years down the road. Are you going to go out as a 80 year old supermodel in a glass casket? You are literally dying as I type this, your body is objectively worse now than it was 10 seconds ago. After all that time obsessing you're just going to end up old with arthritic joints, failing organs and some kind of cancer regardless of how careful you are. Really you shouldn't be eating fish period since you're accumulating small amounts of heavy metals and toxins that pollute the worlds waters... if you care about that sort of thing.
Lol this made me chuckle, I am certainly not afraid of dying early but I think the point raised in the OP is the deceptive tactics used to charge higher amounts. If this "wild" salmon is no more wild than the farm raised why should I be paying more for it?

Btw, question to OP - what sort of processing is done in China? Preservation?
Deal Addict
May 19, 2003
2396 posts
384 upvotes
So what if it's processed in China? It's because labor is cheap there. Processing means skinning, cutting, deboning, filleting the fish. At least Highliner is a corporation with a reputation to protect. I'd be more worried about the generic brands at Asian stores.
Deal Addict
Jun 21, 2016
2607 posts
779 upvotes
Lots of food is deceptive, lobster used to be for poor people and now it’s marketed towards being a deliciously.

The place where it’s “processed” has less to do with the quality of fish. Rather how it’s farmed or wild caught should be the main concern.

I question the legitimacy of farmers going through the hassle of catching wild fish only to ship it to China, have it processed and then have sent back. It doesn’t make logical sense. Do you have any proof other than an article on a blog website that says this is the case?

Are you sure the fish isn’t just being caught wild in China and then being processed in China before being brought to Canada?
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2012
13691 posts
2341 upvotes
Toronto
death_hawk wrote:
Feb 11th, 2019 4:41 pm

Taste in general for phosphate plumped products is just... awful.
Some claim they can't taste the phosphate (example @playnicee1 claims Tim's chicken is just fine in some of the earlier threads). I certainly can.

You're basically paying for lies and bullplop.
Tim's chicken strips are a very serious joke. Other chicken they have may be the exception.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 9, 2007
10215 posts
4838 upvotes
Toronto
Saaaay whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? I've been eating fake crabs all along? Those crab thingy on sushi's?

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!

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