3097934425 b9d3d0617c m A Pescatarians dilemma: Trader Joes fishy practicesTrader Joe’s got a failing score on  Greenpeace’s seafood sustainability scorecard last year — and unfortunately, held tight to its F in 2009 — despite the fact that more than half the other supermarkets improved their fishy scores. It’s sad but true: The organic-friendly, budget-friendly supermarket’s still scoring lower than Target and Wal-Mart when it comes to sustainable seafood!

Greenpeace scored supermarkets on their fish purchasing policies, checking to see if any endangered “red list” fish— like orange roughy, swordfish and Chilean sea bass — were still being sold, and whether or not sustainable seafood policies or initiatives were implemented. No supermarkets got a “Good” score, but seven stores — with Wegman’s, Ahold USA and Whole Foods topping the list — earned a “Pass” score. The remaining 13 — including Trader Joe’s — were labeled “Fail.”

This means that if you do your seafood shopping at a major supermarket or grocery store, you’d be well advised to carry along a Monterey Bay Aquarium Sustainable Seafood Guide to avoid buying any enviro-questionable seafood.

If you’re lucky enough to have co-ops or other health food markets near you, check to see if Greenpeace has given it a score — because some smaller and indie stores actually get passing grades! At those places, your seafood shopping will be less stressful, since you won’t have to constantly consult your Seafood Watch guide.

Of course, if you’re concerned about your mercury consumption as well as species preservation, you’ll still need a separate guide. Thanks to reader Mel, I’ve found a new seafood guide that combines all this info! Neil Banas made an eco-nerdy seafood guide (PDF) merging together eco and toxins info.  Print it out and enjoy sustainable, healthy seafood.

Photo courtesy of Greenpeace

MNN homepage photo: Marsevis/iStockphoto

Sustainable seafood in supermarkets
Greenpeace graded grocery stores on their commitment to sustainable seafood. Sadly, Trader Joe's got an F.