Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

What Sets Our Shrimp Apart?

By David Pilat, November 4, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by David Pilat
You may be asking “why are these folks talking shrimp when everyone else is talking turkey?” Well, because seafood was served at the first Thanksgiving feast AND sometime in the week or so (they won’t let me say exactly when) we’re going to offer an incredible value on farm-raised shrimp exclusively from your local Whole Foods Market fishmonger. When the time comes, we want you to already know the back story about what sets our shrimp apart from the rest. That way you can really appreciate the value you are getting! With that in mind, here’s the story on farmed shrimp. We source from only three producers and have traceability back to their farms. And these are not your typical farms; our producers meet our standards for protecting the environment by avoiding mangrove areas to protect sensitive ecosystems and maintain good water quality. You’ll never find added phosphates or sulfates in our shrimp— we don’t want anything to take away from the sweet, delicate flavor of shrimp raised right. In fact, our shrimp are harvested to order and flash frozen within hours of harvest and you can taste the difference. We’ve travelled to shrimp farms around the world, and there is reason to be careful in the shrimp you choose. Our producer in Thailand (who will be supplying the shrimp for the upcoming special) owns their hatchery, feed mill, ponds and production facility. We have full traceability back to the pond itself, and our shrimp is harvested to order — a rarity in the industry. One of our buyers, Wesley Rose, headed there last year and came back exclaiming, “Not only one of the hottest places on earth, but one of the best run shrimp operations I’ve ever seen.” That means a lot from the man who’s been everywhere from Alabama and Texas to Honduras and Vietnam looking for the right product that can meet Whole Foods Market’s rigorous aquaculture standards. Of course, the shrimp from this Thailand producer meets or exceeds all of our standards and it wears our Responsibly Farmed logo with honor. What set’s this shrimp apart, aside from perfect flavor? Being fully integrated is only a piece of the puzzle. The farms from this producer operate in an area where mangrove destruction is not necessary. Regardless, they go the extra step and replant mangroves at many of their sites. They’ve also set up a foundation where they fund yearly scholarships for local children, assist local farmers in need and donate to local disaster relief organizations — not something you always find overseas. They don’t use parasiticides, and our shrimp arrive free of added phosphates and sulfates. That means the only thing you taste is mild, sweet shrimp. This variety is Vannamei, a white shrimp that has taken the world by storm. Vannamei’s are often served in fine restaurants and are prized for their mellow flavor and ability to adapt to a variety of recipes. Here are a few to try them in: Our shrimp are harvested and individually frozen within hours. They thaw quickly and retain all the full flavor and texture that make crustaceans a holiday favorite. Why not mix it up this year and serve cooked shrimp to your hungry guests while they wait for their turkey to finish in the oven. Once they try our shrimp with your favorite cocktail sauce, don’t be surprised if they secretly hope the bird takes a little longer.
Category: Holidays 2010, Seafood




Tonya pizzuro says ...
I had the pleasure of visiting the original Whole Foods last spring and have to say that had it not been for that wonderful experience, I might doubt what I have read with regard to the Thailand shrimp. I am typically nervous about such items from outside the USA. After reading your blog, I may actually try the items. So thank you! Tonya
11/04/2010 10:49:39 AM CDT
Lex says ...
What about the fact that Thailand is over 9000 miles away? How "responsible" is wasting all that fuel for your sale?
11/11/2010 6:02:02 AM CST
Gary Zera says ...
I was fortunate enough to buy and serve some of this shrimp when a one day sale had this product available. Everyone raved saying it was the best shrimp they ever had! You can taste the quality!
11/21/2010 4:41:39 PM CST
anon says ...
Hello, do any of your shrimp come from the Gulf of Mexico? I'm reading over on the floridaoilspilllaw.com blog that they might be unsafe because of PAH's. Thank you for all the healthy choices!
12/01/2010 12:43:45 AM CST
mark stevens says ...
I am sure it is a good product, but i am curious why no one is interested in wild Alaskan shrimp. i have been to thailand. I've seen these farms, I bet wild alaskan sidestripes are a thousand times better than anything out of a shallow pond.
12/29/2010 4:10:43 PM CST
Jaime says ...
I COULD NOT buy the shrimp from Thailand. There HAS to be a US supplier meeting your standards! All the fuel to get the shrimp here to the US leaves a huge carbon footprint. I do not understand. As I looked at the fish today in Hadley MA-- all were from the Gulf- which I wont eat or another Country. What about New England?
03/10/2011 8:15:33 PM CST
Amy says ...
It might well be tasty, but what about the fact that it's from so far away? Won't buy.
10/06/2011 2:51:15 PM CDT
Wendy says ...
I've tried shrimp everywhere. Whole Foods is by far the best tasting and I'm confident in it's history. Well done. Best recipe from your deli: ginger shrimp... wow.
10/08/2011 12:45:45 PM CDT
Ray Myers says ...
Shocked you sell farmed shrimp from Thailand!!! My wife almost bought some today. Very dissapointed in Whole Foods. Will be paying closer attention to all from now on. Disgusting. Ray and Lolly Myers
11/01/2014 7:23:30 PM CDT
James Fegan says ...
Shrimp from Thailand? Do you know of Natural Shrimp, a shrimp farm here in Texas, southwest of San Antonio? Google "Natural Shrimp" I think Whiskey Cake, the Dallas restaurant, uses them.
11/17/2014 4:39:45 PM CST
Beth says ...
Eat Gulf shrimp -- I do! -- & support U.S. communities which have been devastated by cheap, questionably produced imported shrimp from the other side of the world!
12/14/2015 1:27:51 AM CST