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The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

What’s So Great about Our Tilapia? We’ll Tell You!

Is there that one thing you reach for when you need a quick-fix dinner? Of course there’s the basic boneless, skinless chicken breast and the ever-present pasta. And while these are fine choices, have you ever tried tilapia?  It’s mild, delicate flavor and cooking versatility makes it a family favorite in my house. Take a look at my previous post for some tasty tilapia recipes.

Tilapia tastes great and is simple to prepare but there is also something especially great about tilapia from Whole Foods Market®.

Navigating the Seafood Counter
Whole Foods Market sources tilapia only from farms that meet our unique, industry-leading Quality Standards for Aquaculture. This means we know exactly where our farmed seafood comes from and who is doing the farming. We know where it swam and we know what it was fed...and more importantly, what it wasn't fed.

Here are more details about what makes our tilapia great:

  • They are raised without the use of antibiotics and added growth hormones.

  • Their feed contains fish-processing trimmings instead of wild fish caught just for food; and poultry and mammalian by-products are prohibited.

  • Genetically modified and cloned seafood are not allowed and the industry-standard use of hormones for sex reversal is prohibited.

  • Our producers are required to minimize impacts of fish farming on the environment by protecting sensitive habitats, monitoring water quality to prevent pollution and sourcing feed ingredients responsibly.

  • Not treated with preservatives such as sodium bisulfite, sodium tri-polyphosphate (STP) and sodium metabisulfite

No other national grocery store or fish market has standards like these. We’re not fishing for compliments, just doing the right thing to prevent water pollution and other negative impacts on the environment — as well as the overuse of chemicals and antibiotics. So look for the Responsibly Farmed label which indicates the fish has been farmed according to our strict Aquaculture Standards and has been audited by a third party to ensure that the standards are being met.

Looking for organic seafood in our stores? Actually, there are no organic standards for seafood in the US. That’s why you won’t find an organic label on any of our fish, but you will see the Responsibly Farmed label mentioned above. That means the fish was raised and processed to our strict aquaculture standards

The Same School of Thought
Of course, we’re not alone in our efforts to support responsibly farmed tilapia. Our trusted farmer partners are committed too. Check out this video on YouTube about ArtisanFish, one of our likeminded partners. Their farm, located deep in the heart of northern Peru, uses the best practices to farm their signature Peruvian Blue tilapia for a thicker, more flavorful fillet.

What standards are important to you when you’re shopping for seafood?