Americans will see the second year in a row of larger-than-usual food price increases, with food inflation now forecast at 3.5 percent this year, following the pandemic-driven 3.4 percent increase of 2020, said USDA economists on Thursday.
Alarming new research suggests that, contrary to what scientists have long believed, tiny plastic particles consumed by fish and other seafood do not stay in the animals’ digestive tracts but rather seep into their flesh, as Liza Gross reports in FERN’s latest story, published with Mother Jones. And that means those plastic particles also seep into the diet of people who eat seafood.(No paywall)
More than three years after an investigation by the Guardian revealed that Thai fishing boats were enslaving their workers, Human Rights Watch reports that little has changed in the Thai seafood supply chain.
Around the world, low-income women are exposed to high amounts of mercury, thanks to mining and marine-based diets, says a report from IPEN, a nonprofit focused on global health and toxic chemicals, and Biodiversity Research Institute, an ecology research organization. Of the 1,0444 women …
If the world utilized every appropriate ocean habitat for aquaculture, it could outproduce the global demand for seafood by 100 times, says a study by scientists at the University of California-Santa Barbara in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.
Responding to pressure from the environmental group Greenpeace, the world’s largest tuna supplier, Thai Union, has announced a series of initiatives designed to improve its fishing practices and protect workers from abuses. Thai Union owns the popular brands Chicken of the Sea and Sealect.
Already down to 2 percent of their historic high, Pacific Bluefin tuna are struggling to rebuild their population as Japanese fishermen reach their annual quota two months early — with no plans to slow down the catch, reports The Guardian.
A study in the journal Fish and Fisheries points to a new source of seafood for human consumption: the tons and tons of food-grade fish that is ground into fishmeal each year and used in aquaculture and other places, says the NPR blog The Salt. A quarter of the world's annual fish catch, 20 million tons, is used for fishmeal and the new study says 90 percent of it is suitable for "direct human consumption."
The Commerce Department issued a final rule intended to crack down on illegal fishing and fraudulent sales of seafood imports. The result of years of work, the rule will require a paper trail from the fishing boat to the U.S. border for cargo deemed at risk of mislabeling or illegal fishing, said the Wall Street Journal.
Foodservice giants Sodexo USA, Compass Group USA, and Aramark earned top scores in the Greenpeace report, “Sea of Distress,” which graded 15 major contract-management companies and distributors on their policies around sustainable seafood.
At the grocery store or at the restaurant, Americans will see the smallest rise in food prices since 2013, a negligible 1.5 percent, says a new government forecast. USDA economists lowered their food inflation forecast for the second month in a row to reflect falling prices for beef, pork and seafood.
The Associated Press won the Pulitzer Prize for public service with its year-long investigation "of severe labor abuses tied to the supply of seafood to American supermarkets and restaurants, reporting that freed 2,000 slaves, brought perpetrators to justice and inspired reform."
A USDA analysis of FDA food inspections over a 15-year period found that seafood, vegetables and fruits are rejected more than anything else.
“A fish will often go through five to 15 sets of hands in the supply chain, from the boat to the retailer or restaurant,” reports Ensia. Many customers are willing to pay a premium to know the origins of their fish, especially if they've heard how rampant fraud is in the seafood business.
The United States imported $19 billion worth of seafood last year, more than nine times the value of the domestic catch that is consumed at home, writes Deborah Zabarenko in a story at Medium. Only 1-2 percent is inspected by FDA and the rejection rate was 0.33 percent in 2012. According to the seafood industry and government officials, the inspection net falls much wider, covering as much as 40 percent of imports.
A large Chinese fishing company declared in a draft document "that it intended to circumvent international conservation limits on tuna – by simply ignoring them" with little fear of discipline for it, says the Guardian.
Consumer Reports magazine urged pregnant women to avoid eating tuna and suggested consumers should consider 17 species of seafood that are low in mercury, which can have damage the brain and nervous system if over-consumed.
Record beef and pork prices are pulling up the prices of seafood as consumers look for lower-priced protein, says the government in an update of the food price outlook. Overall, food prices are forecast to rise by 3 percent this year, roughly in line with the annual average of 2.8 percent since 1990. The Agriculture Department says pork prices are up by 12 percent since mid-2013 and it expects an increase of 6 percent for this calendar year.
In a monthly update, the Agriculture Department stuck to its forecast of a 3 pct annual increase in food prices this year.