The World Health Organization encourages people to eat more fish because it lowers your risk of getting cancer. But you have to know how to choose a healthy and high-quality product.
There are many myths and lot of speculation when it comes to buying fish. These beliefs often stand in the way of making the right buying choice. In order to get to the bottom of this, We collected the most common questions and the right answers which will help you choose healthy and tasty fish.
1. Chilled or frozen?
Chilled fish (the kind that lies on ice in stores) is just fresh fish that is cooled down to a certain temperature right after it’s caught. You should know three things about chilled fish:
- Almost all chilled fish is from aquaculture (which means that it is grown artificially on fish farms).
- The storage time for these fish is no more than 12 days.
- It happens often that previously frozen fish is thawed out and sold as chilled fish.
This is why, before you buy the fish, you should ask the salespeople where it was caught. The further the place, the higher that chance that this fish is previously frozen. For example, a lot of salmon is imported from Chile, and of course, it has to be transported frozen when being shipped to other countries. So, if you are offered fresh salmon from Chile, unfortunately, this is a scam.
Another important factor that you should keep in mind is the size of the fish. A fish that is grown artificially is full of growth hormones and antibiotics. So, the bigger the fish, the higher the risk. Whenever possible, buy the smaller fish.
2. What is the difference in taste and composition between frozen and fresh fish?
A Norweigan research group conducted a series of experiments and came to the conclusion that frozen fish is just as rich in vitamins and other nutrients as fresh fish. Frozen fish may taste drier than fresh, but it definitely doesn’t contain any parasites, whereas the fresh kind might. Of course, this only works for the fish that has been frozen and stored in the proper way.
If the fish is strangely shaped (like in the photo, for example) this doesn’t mean that the quality is bad. Sometimes it’s frozen right on the ship, so it’s gets deformed. A bad sign is when frozen fish is stuck together, this might mean that it was thawed out and then re-frozen again. In order to check how fresh a piece of fish is, stick a hot knife into it and smell it. If the smell is bad, this is proof that the fish was frozen after it had already gone bad.
By the way, if you want to keep the fish vitamin and nutrient rich, you should defrost it in the fridge and cook it right after.