November 29, 2006

Wild fish are not organic

Farm-raised? Wild-caught? Or farm-raised organic?

Your natural fish is the best, particularly for nutrients (only wild fish have high levels of your absolutely-beaut-for-everything-omega 3s), but over in America the intricacies of what does or doesn’t constitute “organic” fish continues with an alarming trove of odoriferous manmade logic.

Way back in 2000, a task force ruled out the possibility that wild fish could be labeled organic.

Why, you may ask. Indeed, go ahead, you may ask!

“What it comes down to is organic is about agriculture, and catching wild animals isn’t agriculture.”

The task force recommended that farm-raised fish could be labeled organic as long as their diets were almost entirely organic plant feed."

The problem of “organic” fish has now been revisited, with expanded possibilities, but still not a wild fish in sight.

“This year, the group recommended far less stringent rules, including three options for what organic fish could eat: an entirely organic diet; nonorganic fish during a seven-year transition period while fish farms shift to organic fish meal; or nonorganic fish meal from “sustainable” fisheries. Sustainable fisheries are those that ensure that their fish stocks do not become depleted.”

This rules out your omega rich wild salmon.

“Fish that are carnivores — salmon, for instance — are a different matter because they eat other fish, which cannot now be labeled organic.”



Relating to, derived from, or characteristic of living things;

Living organisms made up of carbon-based compounds;

Occurring or developing gradually and naturally, without being forced or contrived;

Forming a basic and inherent part of something and largely responsible for its identity or makeup;

Consisting of elements that exist together in a seemingly natural relationship that makes for organized efficiency;

Agriculture relating to or employing agricultural practices that avoid the use of synthetic chemicals in favor of naturally occurring pesticides, fertilizers, and other growing aids.


Meanwhile, the new blogger is trying to beat me into submission, with ever larger pages, reminders and cheerful notes appearing, encouraging me to make the move, irrevocably, every time I go to post anything.


  1. Personally I'd rather people ate farmed salmon anyhow, as wild stock is in such massive states of depletion. We have a few types of salmon here in Seattle, and they are way overfished! They have enough to contend with like pollution and lack of habitat, without us eating them. Farmed salmon is a better ber, imho.
    Interesting post. :-)

  2. You’re right Chandira, there is a serious problem with salmon depletion, as well as depletion of ocean life in general, which is not good for the total eco-system. On that basis, eating farm raised seafood is probably better environmentally, most of the time.

    However, it is also true that the nutrients from farm raised seafood is not the same as from wild seafood, so people who think they are eating the right things for health benefits might not be getting what they had hoped for.

    Fortunately, there is no evidence to suggest that taking omega 3s in tablet form is less useful than from natural food sources, that is, it is just as good, is absorbed just as well, and isn’t excreted from the body having provided no benefit at all. With a lot of vitamins, that’s not the case, and it’s all too often a waste of time / money to take some supplements, whether in large or small doses.

    So, yes, we should not turn up our noses at farm raised seafood, but we should still take our omega 3 supplements, and hope that the wild fish stocks improve for future generations, as well as for the good of the fishing industry.

    I still think that wild fish are “organic” and in the scheme of “best” fish, wild is the top of the list. The “organic” fad is very important, particularly when you consider that anything with the “organic” tag boosts sales through the roof for that product, whether deserved or not. I think this debate over what is or isn’t “organic” fish highlights how artificial and manmade the tag has become, and that it is all about money, not about which food is best. That’s what I object to.

  3. Anonymous12:37 AM

    Hey Caz ! I think the Macklin is an endangered species!!

    Don't they hang out with verbose beached whale(s)