Food and Nutrition Sciences

Volume 12, Issue 3 (March 2021)

ISSN Print: 2157-944X   ISSN Online: 2157-9458

Google-based Impact Factor: 1.03  Citations  h5-index & Ranking

Retail Seafood Waste Prevention: Reducing Retail and Consumer Fresh-Fish Waste by Cooking Directly from Frozen

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DOI: 10.4236/fns.2021.123023    272 Downloads   664 Views  


More than 30% of fish caught from the world’s oceans are never eaten by consumers adding a significant but unnecessary strain to the sustainability of global fisheries. Although a lot of this loss occurs at sea, in developed countries, a significant amount happens at retail stores and in households. People can help with this problem if they find and use new ways to interact with their retailers and with the way they store and cook seafood at home. Consumers can primarily purchase seafood that has never been frozen, was previously frozen, or is still frozen. Nearly all retail waste occurs when consumers do not buy seafood within a few days after it is in the unfrozen, display cases, forcing the stores to dispose of the fish in landfills or sewage plants. An estimated 220 million 4-ounce meal portions of the most popular seafood in the United States including shrimp, salmon, and cod meet this fate. This number can be reduced to the direct extent consumers can be persuaded to buy and cook from frozen. Retailers are motivated to sell more frozen seafood because profit margins are reported to be higher and labor and disposal costs are lower. Many stores also benefit from their brand’s sustainability image, and contributions to corporate, national, and international waste reduction goals. Their challenge has been to educate and encourage consumers to choose frozen before fresh. Taste-testing evidence gathered in this study demonstrated that consumers could adopt easy, new culinary skills to cook seafood from frozen that tastes just as good as what they are used to. Our studies also highlighted other consumer benefits, including: less fish handling required, simple preparation, easier meal planning, water savings, and higher levels of food safety. Based on these results it will be beneficial for stores to commit resources to consumer education and promote more frozen seafood sales in other ways that satisfy their management goals. Increasing consumer adoption can drive changes at the store level that will provide measurable contributions to seafood waste reduction.

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O’Donnell, T. , Katz, S. , Romey, A. , Fulton, B. , Croskey, L. , Pearson, P. and Deutsch, J. (2021) Retail Seafood Waste Prevention: Reducing Retail and Consumer Fresh-Fish Waste by Cooking Directly from Frozen. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 12, 290-307. doi: 10.4236/fns.2021.123023.

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