Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Tongue in Cheek Look at Salmon Marketing Terms

As we travel around the country or surf the web, the amusement level can get very high when reading Salmon product descriptions!

We thought it would be fun to take an “insiders peek” at certain commonly used descriptive terms and then let you know what they really mean…if in fact they actually mean anything!

Some of our favorite marketing terms:

Term #1. “Boneless & Skinless” - Usually a poorly handled, net caught fish that has been badly bruised, grade 3 or 4. The fish is split, and “deep skinned” to remove the skin and bruising marks. These fillets are significantly thinner than a grade 1 or grade 2 fish. Unfortunately, most of the Omega 3 oils concentrate between the skin and the meat! So, less fish & less oil! It sounds pretty good though! (I think the phrase was borrowed from poultry marketing)

Term #2. “Organic Salmon” – Salmon is either Wild or it is Farm Raised. There is no classification for “Organic Salmon”. In recent investigative articles in the New York Times and Consumer Reports, several retailers referred to their Salmon as “Organic”. In each and every case, it was a farm raised fish but sold at the Wild Salmon price! (See previous Blog Post for links to the articles.)

Term #3. “Salmon” – There has been no Federal requirement to identify salmon by species, thus “Salmon” or “Wild Salmon” could mean any salmon species. This is great for the grocery store, but bad for you! King (Chinook), Sockeye, and Steelhead are the premium Wild Salmon Species. Chum (Dog, Keta etc.) and Pink Salmon are “Wild Salmon”, but are significantly softer fish with much lower oil content. Since 2005, there is a Federal Requirement to identify Salmon as Wild or Farm Raised and the Country of Origin…. For some reason, this only applies to grocery stores, not fish markets…hmmmm.

Term #4. “Boneless” This is a favorite! Wild Salmon have two types of “bones”. First, there are the standard backbone and rib bones descending downward from the backbone towards the belly. These are easily removed in the filleting process. Next there are the “pin bones” which extend upwards from the backbone into the fillet at roughly a 45 degree angle. In Wild Salmon, this cartilage bone is firmly held in the meat and difficult to remove. Thus, with many suppliers, the “pin bones” are now “cartilage” not “bones”. Pin Bones in farm raised fish are much easier to remove as they are not strongly attached to the fish due to its sedentary existence. This is actually a great way to tell the difference between Wild and Farm Raised Salmon in the grocery or fish market. If the pin bones remove easily, it is either real old fish or farm raised! At Wild Ocean Seafoods, all of our Salmon Fillets are Boneless with Pin Bones Removed!

Visit our Online Store for Wild, Boneless, Pin Bones Removed Salmon & Steelhead Fillets!


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