Environmentally Sound Product, Why We Are Not Certified Organic
At Dairyland Shrimp we strive to produce a quality and environmentally sound product. Our shrimp have many benefits beyond their superior taste. They are locally grown and distributed and instead of having constant water flow like raceway systems (left photo) commonly utilized in the shrimp industry, we raise our shrimp in pools (right photo) that constantly recirculate the same water.
This reuse of water in our pools has two main benefits:
- Conservation of water. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
- A symbiotic bacterial flora has the opportunity to form. These good bacteria feed on waste products to clear and filter the water. These bacteria are also an excellent source of protein and our shrimp readily eat them (like the good bacteria you eat in your yogurt). In shrimping terms we call this circle of life our “biofloc”.
We want to make our product as environmentally conscious and wholesome as possible for you, the customer. So we have looked into getting our shrimp certified organic. We have decided against getting our shrimp certified organic for the following reasons:
The U.S. has no organic standards for aquaculture.
We feel that since there are no specific guidelines for organic shrimp it would be false advertising to label our shrimp organic. In fact, the state of California has banned labeling any seafood as “organic” due to lack of USDA standard. However, there are 2 shrimp farms in the U.S. that are certified organic under the USDA general organic livestock rules, which don’t entirely apply to the aquaculture industry. These are briefly summarized below.
“The USDA organic seal verifies that producers met animal health and welfare standards, did not use antibiotics or growth hormones, used 100% organic feed, and provided animals with access to the outdoors.”
Becoming organic requires the use of soy protein based shrimp feed.
We currently use fishmeal as our main protein source because this is what shrimp eat in their wild habitat. If we switched to soy protein many health problems would arise due to a disruption in gut health. Our shrimp have a better quality of life with fishmeal as their main protein source.
The organic seal requires our shrimp have access to the outdoors. Simply put: It is not feasible to grow shrimp in Wisconsin outdoors.
The ideal temperature for growing shrimp is 86’ F. Even in the summer we must heat our water to keep the shrimp comfortable.
Ultimately, we are honest people and would like to maintain the integrity of the “organic” label. So it is not in our interest to stamp the organic label on our shrimp. We raise our shrimp responsibly by animal welfare, environmental, and our own standards.