Supermarkets may be convenient, but they just aren’t the best place to shop for meat. And they may not be the best place to purchase seafood, either. Buy it from a reputable fishmonger if possible. If you don’t live near a fishmonger, however, the supermarket seafood is probably safe.
We simply want to raise your awareness of a few factors that might influence your buying choices. We understand if you have no other option than to buy your fish at the supermarket; not everyone lives a short distance from a full-on fish market with knowledgeable fishmongers at the ready. The best consumer is an educated one, and when it comes to seafood, it pays to be educated. Do some research into the fish you’re buying, and make your decisions based on what’s sustainable, how it’s caught or farmed, where it’s from, and how fresh it is.
If these more sustainable, selective seafood options are outside of your price range, however, don’t let this article scare you off from buying supermarket fish! Seafood such as fish and shellfish offer protein, micronutrients, and other health benefits. The real risks of buying supermarket seafood are minimal at best.
We’re not talking about supermarkets like Whole Foods or independent retailers with full seafood counters; those are usually just as reputable as a fish market. We’re talking about supermarkets where all the meat and seafood are on Styrofoam trays wrapped in cellophane, labeled with as few details as legally required. At some supermarkets, you’re left completely to your own devices as to which fish to purchase, and even though the fish may look fresh, there’s a lot more going on below the surface.
Dan Myers contributed to this story.