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Shrimp - Farm Raised vs Wild Caught
Old 11-01-2013, 06:02 PM   #1
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Shrimp - Farm Raised vs Wild Caught

I'm pretty finicky about food/cooking ingredients, but I was oblivious to what I was buying for shrimp. I use shrimp about 3 times/month, paying $8-12/lb for 26-30 count. About a month ago I woke up and decided I wanted to look for wild caught, but I looked at the two best grocery stores in our little berg, and they didn't sell anything but farm-raised, all from Indonesia or Thailand IIRC. This week I went to our local butcher and low and behold they had wild caught frozen shrimp from the US Gulf Coast. It was twice the cost at $39.95 for 2 lbs of 26-30 count - ouch! You folks who live in TX, LA etc. probably get a better deal on wild caught shrimp (I'm jealous).

Used it in two dishes this week, and it is definitely far better, texture and taste. More like the shrimp they serve in good restaurants. I was pretty surprised how noticeable the difference is.

So we may have much better shrimp at home, but less often from now on.

Too soon old, too late smart...

And yes I realize some of you are scratching your head wondering who cares!
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:16 PM   #2
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And yes I realize some of you are scratching your head wondering who cares!

Actually this kind of thing is a life or death situation for me. I cannot tolerate a certain class of antibiotics. These antibiotics are used heavily in the raising of food animals. If I eat an animal that's been given these drugs I could react to it and croak. No dessert.

Any animals I eat have to be either organic or certified as having been raised without the use of antibiotics. And I don't just trust he label. I have to check out the supplier.

Seafood except for tuna and sardines are pretty much off my eatin' list because I cannot trust what I'm getting
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:29 PM   #3
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Yes, we live on the TX coast and enjoy the fresh locally caught wild gulf shrimp. The extra large - 15 count - shrimp run $9 to $11 a pound at HEB. The imported farmed shrimp is much cheaper and smaller - $5-6 for 36 count or thereabouts.

Also can get medium frozen gulf shrimp for $5-6 a pound, a little bigger than the imported farm raised. This is still excellent. I love the big guys though

The local gulf shrimp is FABULOUS! HEB even has their own shrimp fleet!!!
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:43 PM   #4
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Yes, we live on the TX coast and enjoy the fresh locally caught wild gulf shrimp. The extra large - 15 count - shrimp run $9 to $11 a pound at HEB. The imported farmed shrimp is much cheaper and smaller - $5-6 for 36 count or thereabouts.

Also can get medium frozen gulf shrimp for $5-6 a pound, a little bigger than the imported farm raised. This is still excellent. I love the big guys though

The local gulf shrimp is FABULOUS! HEB even has their own shrimp fleet!!!
You're killing me!!!










jk
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:45 PM   #5
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You're killing me!!!










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Sorry about that!!!
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:53 PM   #6
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Farm raise seafood, especially shrimp is something that should only be bought if they are sourced from a developed country. I do not eat any fish that is not wild caught including salmon and only if it's sourced outside of Asia. I stay clear of any food that comes from China. I've traveled extensively and lived in the 3rd world and I know that safety standards around food in China is not enforced and is not respected. Most wealthy people in China don't feed their babies store bought milk or food made in China. China is notorious for miss-labeling and serving fake stuff for the real thing.
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:32 PM   #7
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If you have an Asian supermarket in your area, check it out.
Frozen harder than you would believe, but great seafood at very good prices.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:31 PM   #8
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Please don't forget about the environmental impacts as well -- both wild and farmed shrimp can be extremely destructive to ecosystems (e.g., bycatch issues with wild harvesting, pollution and habitat destruction issues with farming, etc.).
Several environmental groups have developed consumer guides on how and where to buy sustainably sourced seafood of all kinds. For example, you could check out the Marine Stewardship Council for specific places to buy certified seafood products (selected by your location and the species of interest). Some corporations are trying to move towards sourcing seafood sustainably, e.g., Trader Joe's, and I even noticed that some cruise lines are doing so as well. Darden foods (owner of Red Lobster) is working towards sustainable sourcing as well, although I'm not sure if shrimp is one of the products they're focusing on at this point.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:43 PM   #9
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If you have an Asian supermarket in your area, check it out.
Frozen harder than you would believe, but great seafood at very good prices.
But is it wild caught as the OP wanted?

Yes, I read about shrimp farming in the Orient. But then, I made a mistake of searching the Web again, and read that the Mississippi River is one of the most polluted in the world. Hah!

Nevertheless, in my last RV run to New Orleans, I passed by Houston, but did not have time to stop to check out the shrimp. Next time, I will remember that I can just get some at HEB. But I suppose getting it from the dock will be cheaper if I know where to go.
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Old 11-02-2013, 07:14 AM   #10
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I like Costco shrimp but it is farmed.
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Old 11-02-2013, 07:46 AM   #11
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I get head-on big fresh local shrimp for $5 a pound. I can see the boats heading out to catch lots of days. A part of our heritage and much tastier than farmed.
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:33 AM   #12
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I've been paying $15+/# for frozen wild Argentine shrimp, but lately they are not in the market. The guy at TJs told me there is some disease that is making it hard for them to get shrimp. There are little local shrimp mostly caught off the Oregon Coast that are sold fresh or frozen, depending on season. They are cooked and ready to go, and make a nice salad.

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Old 11-02-2013, 11:47 AM   #13
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So we may have much better shrimp at home, but less often from now on.

Too soon old, too late smart...

And yes I realize some of you are scratching your head wondering who cares!
We care! Definitely doing local when possible. We are fortunate to being in shrimp country now. Talking about making a fresh seafood run tomorrow.
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Old 11-02-2013, 01:48 PM   #14
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I used to travel to Corpus Christi on business and would carry along a cooler and stop by the shrimp boats when they would unload their catch and fill the cooler with shrimp and ice. I don't recall what they would charge. But, it really did not matter.
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Old 11-02-2013, 02:04 PM   #15
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I like Costco shrimp but it is farmed.
I had concerns about the origin of costco shrimp (Thailand, Indonesia), so I researched this a while ago & found this. To me, it made a difference. ymmv.

Costco Connection - March 2013

I haven't looked for wild shrimp in Denver yet.
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Old 11-02-2013, 05:06 PM   #16
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Farm raised shrimp are known as sewer shrimp for a reason. We will only buy wild caught shrimp and other seafood. One of our local stores calls them Key West Pink Shrimp and they are amazing tasty compared to sewer shrimp
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Old 11-02-2013, 08:55 PM   #17
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So, I told my wife about wild shrimp vs farmed shrimp. She was totally unimpressed.

She asked "So what have we been eating?", and proceeded to put in front of me a current flyer of a local market. Wild caught gulf shrimp, 21-25ct, $9.99/lb !
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:27 AM   #18
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I had concerns about the origin of costco shrimp (Thailand, Indonesia), so I researched this a while ago & found this. To me, it made a difference. ymmv.

Costco Connection - March 2013

I haven't looked for wild shrimp in Denver yet.
Farm raised would be more sustainable and that has merits. But healthier seems in doubt, the Costco article seems to focus more on the former. Just one example below, I can find many re: fish and shrimp specifically - haven't found any that suggest farm raised is even equal to wild caught in terms of nutrition/health. YMMV
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Old 11-03-2013, 09:37 AM   #19
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Having spent my career in water production and sewage treatment, I have read a lot about water quality around the world. Won't buy anything farm raised or caught from anywhere in Asia. Pollution is a highly variable issue. All sorts of headlines about water bodies in US polluted with nutrients (N and P) that short of causing certain algae blooms have little health impacts. The kinds of pollution you find in Asia or anywhere that has experienced breakneck growth with minimal attention to environment is where you can find metals, organics, and synthetics in waterways as well as potable water supplies. Different medium but reading about air pollution in China and India is absolutely astounding. Apply the same attitude to water quality and you can only imagine.
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:03 AM   #20
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We have fresh shrimp right off the shrimp boats always available in abundance everywhere here, so farm raised shrimp just aren't on my radar.

I love fresh Louisiana shrimp; big, juicy, and sweet. Sometimes I buy frozen shrimp, but always locally caught offshore in order to support our shrimp fishery.
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