Farm-raised shrimp have skyrocketed in recent years

Shrimp caught in the open oceans is considered superior in taste, texture and healthiness compared with farm-raised shrimp that tend to be more rubbery and without the distinct salty taste of the sea. Imports of farm-raised shrimp have skyrocketed in recent years, coinciding with shrimp's ascent as the nation's most popular seafood.

Oceana said it found about 30 percent of 143 shrimp products bought from 111 vendors were not what the label said. Bad labeling was discovered on shrimp sold at national and regional supermarkets and smaller grocery stores alike. Restaurants, from national chains to high-dollar eateries, were also selling poorly labeled shrimp, the group said.

The survey looked at shrimp sold in Washington, D.C.; Portland, Oregon; and various spots around the Gulf of Mexico as well as New York City, which it deemed the worst offender.

The group acknowledged that the survey was a small sample, but said it used a technique involving DNA to trace the shrimp's roots.

"It was a first good look at shrimp," said Kimberly Warner, a marine scientist with Oceana. She went out and obtained many of the samples.

The group did a similar survey last year for fish and made similar findings. In that report, Oceana said consumers routinely are misled into believing they're buying tuna and red snapper when in reality they're getting less expensive fish.

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