In a blind taste-test conducted by Ecotrust, consumers rated flash-frozen fish equal to or higher than fresh fish across the board. This tells us that the “fresh over frozen” myth is just that: a myth.
Fresh-never-frozen fish does not taste better than flash-frozen fish. In many cases, the opposite is true! The implications of this fresh vs frozen discovery are huge—for you and for your local fishermen. Why? Because of the way the seafood industry works today.
You see, today’s seafood industry is dominated by global supply chains. In this system, “fresh” fish is often much less fresh than advertised. Seafood is shipped long distances before making it to market. It often sits for weeks on ice aboard fishing vessels, and then in auctions, distribution centres, loading docks, trucks, and warehouses before it gets to your plate. At that point, it’s not exactly fresh anymore.
So, in all likelihood, the seafood you find at grocery stores or in restaurants has travelled a long way. What’s more, seafood changes hands many, many times before arriving at its destination; a system that leads to all sorts of transparency issues like mislabelling and fraud. Not only that, but it also means fishermen are paid unbearably low prices to make room for the profit margins of all those middle-men!
Flash-frozen fish presents an elegant solution to these problems. By using flash-freezing technology, small-scale fishermen can preserve their high-quality catch instead of being forced to part with it for pennies on the dollar before it spoils. This also enables Canadians better access Canadian seafood since fishermen can take their time finding ideal local markets for their preserved catch instead of being forced to sell to the usual fresh-fish, export-oriented buyers.
This is where Skipper Otto comes in. We’ve pioneered the boat-to-fork model where fishermen are paid fairly for their catch and home-cooks have access to high-quality, sustainable Canadian seafood. And whether they live near the coast in BC or across the country, flash-freezing means our members enjoy the same reliably high-quality seafood. In this model, everyone wins. Fishermen get to keep their traditional way of life and seafood fans can enjoy the best, delicious, BC seafood.
All this to say that a fish being “fresh” doesn’t mean that it’s good quality. Far from. Flash-freezing, on the other hand, is a proven way of preserving a fish’s quality. Ecotrust tells us that, “Consumer testing results indicate that flash-frozen fish can be a fresher, higher quality product than never-frozen fish purchased at retail.”
So next time you’re thinking of purchasing “fresh” seafood in a store, think again. Consider what you know about how the seafood supply chain works now. Do you really want to put such a questionable product on your family’s dinner table?
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Sonia - April 23, 2019
Fresh vs Frozen: Why Frozen Wins
Sonia - April 23, 2019