Farmed Fish Gone Wild




In The New York Times Magazine's "The 7th Annual Year in Ideas," one story addresses what's being done to combat dwindling stocks of wild fish in the face of overfishing and environmental changes: manipulate farmed fish to taste wild.

This spring, after 10 months of testing, the aquaculture company HQ Sustainable Maritime Industries created what it calls "sea-flavored" tilapia, the first farmed fish manipulated to taste like a wild fish. "It met 10 out of our 10 taste parameters," says HQ's president and C.E.O., Norbert Sporns. The company, which is negotiating distribution deals with several fast-food chains, employs good old-fashioned food-processing technology to imitate the industry standard. It uses flavoring compounds to replicate the mild taste of Alaska pollock, a northern Pacific whitefish that holds a near-monopoly over products like fish sticks, imitation crabmeat and frozen fish fillets.

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