by Sabine Rhyne
Tucked into the far end of the deli aisle is the new service Seafood Department at the Co-op, and if you’ve checked it out, you have met some of the helpful staff like Tyler who are happy to help you think about ways to prepare your fish purchases. Susan Lucier has joined the Co-op staff recently to usher this new department into being. She says that the seafood department is particularly focused on having quick, value-added options that you can pop into a pan and serve in literally less than ten minutes. These include crab cakes, fish cakes, salmon burgers, kabobs, and more. Furthermore, the department offers fresh fish, both fillets and steaks, as well as various shellfish.
Some fish is farm raised, in particular the tilapia and the catfish. These types of fish tend not to harbor contaminants, which are sometimes an issue in farm-raised fish. Furthermore, the farms that our suppliers purchase from use sustainable farming practices, with high-grade food and adequate space for the fish. Our tilapia farm source is certified by several organizations as free of additives, preservatives, and growth enhancers, and guarantees that the fish is not only the best quality and sustainability, but also that the communities who provide the labor are well compensated and supported. Salmon at the Co-op is generally available from both farm-raised and wild sources, and typically is relatively low in mercury from either source. The farm-raised source, for example, certifies that its readings are less than 1/50th the allowable levels published by the FDA.
The BFC Seafood Department intends to purchase seafood primarily from U.S. sources, followed by Canadian sources, and lastly, further locales when necessary. Fish is delivered to the department on a daily schedule. Customers can special order fish and even lobsters if needed, with a two-day lead time.
For more information about nutritional values of particular fish and good choices that support sustainable fishing practices, ask the folks at the seafood counter. They also have materials to educate and inform available. So, let’s go fishing!