Skip to content

Genus Envy: Choosing Fish Over Other Proteins

January 5, 2010

Although there has been a bit of a hiatus in the creative process, trust that I have tried and deleted several thought trains that I felt just did not live up to the company kept in this virtual place.

Genus Envy: The challenge of choosing fish over other proteins
Eric Ackerson AKA @cfoodjunky(Twitter)

Tonight I pose a question and would love to get a discussion going here. The question is: “are consumers confused by the vast array of seafood options, and if so, does it make them less or more likely to buy beef or chicken or some other protein instead of fish or shellfish?”

This is a revolving thought in my head. I keep coming back to it and would like to explore it further with the help of yourselves.

Let’s face it, although there are many choices of beef cuts and chicken does not come only in skinless boneless breast form, the commercial species of seafood available are not only vast, but are often a far more intimidating choice for the at home cook. Even chefs will tell you that cooking a great steak is not that challenging if you understand the item you are working with; but fish on the other hand can be a headache. 30 seconds too long on Beef, you have a slightly warmer or crispier steak. 30 seconds too long on fish, and you may need to hurry up and cook the beef anyhow after you toss the dried out and thoroughly unsatisfying fish fillet. Pair that with literally hundreds of different species and different cooking styles and you can quickly be in over your head, no matter your level of culinary experience.

So how can producers and the seafood industry make choosing seafood a no-brainer? Answer: Communication and education.

Here is a link to the NOAA fishwatch list. This page has oodles of info on various species and health, sustainability etc. This and many other good resources exist to help debunk the mysteries and myths of seafood. has a wide selection of recipes to make the cooking process less confusing. Consumers can answer the questions they face in the grocery, and through the news media. In other words, is seafood a good choice and which fish is the right choice for you?

I believe that most consumers understand the value of seafood in a healthy balanced diet. Facts about Omega 3 consumption and it’s health benefits are being touted by media and seafood producers daily. At least we are getting the obvious part of our marketing right. But how about a little hand holding. How can we help answer the questions of the end consumer?

It still remains that beef is beef and chicken is chicken. Pork is pork and tofu is tofu. Seafood can be confusing. Even for professionals.

We could certainly use some feedback on this and other consumer concerns. Seafood producers are regularly looking at how to do things better, safer, cleaner and more accessibly.

The only way to get this information is to ask. How can the seafood industry make your decision easier? Speak your minds.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: