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Fresh or Frozen Fish? The Answer Will Surprise You!

Posted On: April 13, 2017

Did you know that 85% of the seafood you eat is imported?

More than 85 percent of the seafood we eat is imported. Within that, the “vast majority”—70 percent but likely higher, according to Gavin Gibbons, spokesman for the National Fisheries Institute—has been frozen at some point.

“There really is no difference,” said Gibbons. “The clock never moves backward when it comes to freshness. If a fish is caught, handled well and frozen immediately, you literally stop the clock. You freeze in the freshness.” He adds that nutritionally, nothing is lost when fish is frozen.

These days, technology is such that fish are either frozen right at sea (most common with farmed fish, as freezers are incorporated into the farm sites) or immediately upon landing at port, said David Pilat, global seafood buyer for Whole Foods Market.

And the assumption that fattier varieties such as salmon and tuna fare better, texturally speaking, than leaner fish when frozen doesn’t hold true, either. Our experts say it comes down to proper freezing and handling on the front end, and proper thawing—in the fridge, out of the package—on the back end.

“There is no downside to buying frozen fish,” Gibbons said.

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