The July 4 Food article “Hung up about frozen fish? Let it go.” included some very well-researched facts, but, in presenting frozen fish as a “major win for sustainability,” it neglected to address two huge issues in this debate: Who is catching or growing the fish, and where are the fish from?
The article referenced “micro-misting” and “rapid deep-freeze technologies,” which are certainly not likely to be used by local harvesters. In fact, they’re far more likely to be applied in factory-scale processing that may take place far from the point of sale, quite likely on the other side of the planet. That means vast amounts of energy were used not only in the packaging of this fish but also in long-distance transportation, adding to the cost to the environment and thus sustainability.
In short, it’s the antithesis of the “grow local” movement. In the long run, do the benefits of factory-scale fish freezing and shipping outweigh the environmental costs? I don’t know. But from reading the article, I might never realize that this is an important question to ask.
Lenny Rudow, Edgewater
The author is editor of FishTalk magazine.