ChewsWise Blog

ChewsWise Blog

Supermarkets Fail Greenpeace Test on Fish

Greenpeace rated supermarkets for the sustainability of the fish they sell.

All failed.

As Greenpeace explains:

To date, many environmentalists have asked individual consumers toshift their seafood purchases to reduce effects on overexploited species.  These have proved complicated, bewildering and often ineffective. 

By asking supermarkets to take an active role in preserving overfished species, Greenpeace is enlisting the aid of informed seafood professionals whose decisions send strong signal back through the supply chain.

The larger point -- that supermarkets and others should raise their game when it comes to fish - is incontrovertible. If we want to eat fish in the future, we've got to be smarter about the fish we eat now.

But a couple of issues: first, half of all seafood is sold in restaurants rather than at home, and secondly, as Greenpeace points out, there is massive confusion about "red list" fish. Its own list, for example, contains fish that have been certified as sustainable (such as New Zealand hoki and Alaskan pollack) by the Marine Stewardship Council. This only leads consumers to throw up their hands in confusion.

As for the ratings, Whole Foods rated the highest, but it still got a "failing" grade from Greenpeace.

- Samuel Fromartz