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How to buy fresh seafood without chemicals

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Nov 3, 2021
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Seafood is one of the most heavily regulated commodities in the world. More than 11 million individuals depend on fisheries as their main source of income. The source of seafood that we consume every day is synthesized from sources: farming, catching and importing.

And like many other items still on sale, the provenance of our seafood can be hard to find and hard to trace. This makes it difficult for consumers who want to choose the right seafood that is fresh, natural and chemical-free.

Here are some of my personal tips for choosing the safest, freshest seafood.


1. Blood and smell of seafood

How can you tell if your fish is no longer fresh?

Start by looking at any blood marks on the piece of seafood. Blood should be bright red and not brown when the product is fresh. Eyes on a fish should be clear and free of fog.

Seafood never smells like anything but the sweet salty smell of the ocean. When buying shellfish, make sure they are tightly closed and odor-free. Watch out for fish fillets that seem to break apart, because when you find that out, that's because the cell wall in fish literally means "break," especially in any seafood like tuna or salmon.

2. Frozen seafood is not necessarily bad

Many fishermen use this technique, and in our opinion it is one of the best ways to catch and preserve seafood. Nothing is fresher. Fish is much easier to get to the store in a frozen state without sacrificing quality or freshness.

However, you must be wary of sodium triply phosphate, aka “tri-poly chemical treatments” on frozen fish. You can tell the difference between an all-natural frozen piece and a chemically treated piece by the color and transparency of the meat. Frozen wild fish will look almost opaque.

3. Buy local and seasonal items

Do your own research on the websites to stay informed about every species of seafood being caught in the country. Ask your local fishmonger what is being pulled out of sea nets at any time of year. As a seafood consumer, when you're well informed, you'll be closer to the best, freshest, most sustainable produce.

4. Good seafood is not cheap and cheap seafood is not good

Here's a simple concept: If you want quality, you have to pay for it.

5. Determination of freshness with certain types of seafood

- Fish: When you touch fresh fish meat, you will see that the meat has a high elasticity, bright red color and clear eyes.

- Crab: Buy fresh hard shell and soft shell crab, live and do not foam in the mouth. Selected crab meat prices are skyrocketing due to historically low labor costs and catches.

- White, brown, and pink shrimp: Most fresh shrimp have been frozen and defrosted, so buy them frozen if you're not cooking them right away. For thawed shrimp, choose ones that are firm and look plump.

Fresh shrimp should have a shiny, moist appearance with a tight shell and, as with all fish, no odor.

- Fillets: White fish fillets should be dense to the touch. Avoid any fillets that are greasy or have too many slits in the flesh, or any container in standing water.

If possible, try to eat your fish or seafood the day you bring it home. If you can't cook for a day, wrap them tightly in an airtight bag. Seafood can be frozen for several months in an airtight container.

Source: Collector
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