Fresh fish is food you can trust, say Grimsby merchants in wake of horsemeat scandal
SWITCH to fish is the message from local merchants to worried consumers in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.
The Grimsby Fish Merchants' Association has assured the public there is one food protein they can have confidence in – fresh fish.
In the past few weeks, consumer confidence has plummeted after several revelations that many beef products – on sale in supermarkets – contained horsemeat.
Independent butchers in the area have reported that customers are actively enquiring what is in the potted meat and mince they sell, with some experiencing a huge increase in trade.
And now the local fish merchants' association is reminding people that fresh fish sold in Britain is not only high quality, but low in fat, too – and delicious.
Thanks to large well managed quotas from the clear Arctic waters around Iceland and Norway, cod and haddock has rarely been more affordable.
"Fresh fish represents excellent value right now," said Steve Norton, pictured, the association's chief executive.
"We are proud that most of the seafood we sell comes from highly sustainable sources.
"In some cases, our fish can be traced right back to the trawler that caught it. In Grimsby, a number of local processors are attracting Marine Stewardship Council boats to the port. Fresh fish is also an excellent source of protein, vitamin B, vitamin D, trace minerals, and essential Omega 3 fatty acids, which are lacking in most diets.
"Also, it is quick and easy to cook, and your local fishmonger will bone, fillet or skin whatever you choose, if that is what you want.
"We believe that, for too long, fish has taken a back seat when it ought to be on everyone's shopping list at least twice a week.
"In the UK, we supply an unparalleled variety of seafood – tasty white fish in the form of cod, haddock, plaice, halibut and turbot, to list but a few.
"People who eat fish on a regular basis will need no persuading from me. But if you haven't been to your local fishmonger or the fresh fish counter in the supermarket for a while then go along; we guarantee you will be hooked. And you will be buying a healthy, delicious food you can trust."
Riby Street Fishmongers has noticed a marginal increase in fish sales.
Director Mark Eaton said: "It's difficult to judge if our sales are up due to the horsemeat scandal – but we have had an increase on all fish sales – and we are very happy about it.
"We sell the main species which are popular such as haddock, plaice and sole.
"With the weather not been icy, customers are venturing out more to visit us too, rather than going to the supermarket."
IF there is one good thing to come out of the current horse meat scandal surely it is a growing awareness among the public as to what they are consuming on a daily basis.
The pace of modern life and the increase in convenience food have made it all too easy for us to forget what is actually in some of the things we eat.
No one is actually saying that we should or could even go back to baking every hour of every day.
But maybe, just maybe, this whole issue will make people stop for a second, think about their daily eating habits and diets and look at how small changes can make a big difference.
Locally, butchers and fish mongers are urging residents to give their produce a try and just think about how such goods can be used to feed families more effectively and efficiently than they have in the past.
*Has this whole scandal seen you change your eating habits. Let us know by commenting below. Follow the editor on Twitter @michellelalor