As scientific research becomes more widely available, many consumers are learning the dos and don'ts when it comes to purchasing a variety of products. But with ocean pollution on the rise, the stakes are especially high when it comes to salmon and other seafood. Luckily, researchers have compiled some vital tips to follow when trying to make smart purchases.
From visual cues to outsmarting deceptive marketing tactics, there are a number of tips and tricks that can help consumers while shopping. For starters, a common trap that many customers fall into is purchasing their fish pre-filleted. When the fish has already been chopped up and placed on the bed of ice, it loses a number of visual cues that identify its species and origin. Depending on the type of salmon, the flesh color ranges from orange to blush, and some supermarkets have been found guilty of mislabelling their products in order to snag a higher profit.
One of the key voices in the salmon purchasing discourse is Oceana, an international organization that prides itself in trying to protect the world's oceans. And according to their research, there are other choices that can be made in the supermarket that can make a difference for the greater good. From their study, they learned that the occurrence of salmon mislabelling reduces to 7% in the summer compared to 40% in the winter months. As a result, buying according to season can have a huge impact. In addition, looking for certified sustainable labels on the salmon packaging has also aided in smart shopping, as consumers know the origin of the product they're buying.
Another vital tip shared by leading experts in the field is to encourage speaking up when purchasing salmon. "Consumers need to ask questions because that pushes business to be more sustainable and transparent. You don't have to feel guilty about not knowing everything or always making perfect decisions. We just need consumers to care," explained Ryan Bigelow, a program manager at Seafood Watch.
Be sure to check back soon for more environmental updates from the field's leading voices.