Whole fish case
One of the more interesting things I ran across while reporting on a story about sustainable seafood, which appears in today's Sun, has to do with Whole Foods.
The supermarket does an excellent job of labeling the fish in its case. It uses color-coded stickers to indicate how the fish is rated by the Blue Ocean Institute.
Green means the fish is relatively abundant and caught in a manner that causes little environmental damage. Yellow indicates serious problems with abundance or fishing methods. Red means problems with that fish are even worse.
i was surprised to see quite a few red- and yellow-flagged fish in the case at the Harbor East Whole Foods, including wild cod (red) and wild Vietnamese yellowfin tuna (yellow).
Teddy Williams, manager of the fish department at that store, said Whole Foods wants to make it easy for customers who care about sustainability to sort out what's what in the fish case. But the store still wants to sell to those who don't give a hoot.
"Some people just want a piece of fish," he said.
Whole Foods is a business -- one that is willing to put warning stickers on some of the stuff it's trying to sell. So I give them points for disclosure.
But it is sort of surprising that the retailer, which won't let anything with artificial coloring, genetically modified ingredients or trans fats in the store, gives unsustainable fish a pass.
Compare that to a restaurant like Woodberry Kitchen. Chef Spike Gjerde employs a full-time fish sourcer to find sustainable seafood for his restaurant. Nobody seems to be leaving Woodberry hungry.
Sun photo by Jed Kirschbaum