Italy Struggles With Expensive Seafood

I’ve been to Italy enough to understand how important seafood is to their diet. You don’t have to be on the coast to get good seafood dishes, even in Central Italy, the sea is only a couple of hours away. It is common to eat fish or shellfish several times a week for Italians as part of the vaunted Mediterranean diet. Seafood consumption had been growing steadily in Italy up until 2015, with many species like tuna, hake and octopus readily available at the local markets. Italian fish markets are always a sight to behold and during this time frame, prices were affordable for families. However the days of cheap seafood in Italy seem to be over.

market_with_fish_palermo

Fish Market in Palermo, Sicily

Not only have prices risen along with demand, but lifestyle changes are also taking an effect on what Italians are bringing home for dinner. The old tradition of picking up dinner ingredients on the way home, is giving way to more convenient methods as Italian lifestyles get more busy. So as demand for seafood increases prices beyond the reach of some, Italians have recently been gravitating toward more frozen or processed seafood.

The rise in prices is due to the worldwide phenomena of increased seafood consumption, much of this influenced by the well-known nutritional benefits of fish and shellfish. Italy loves their seafood, and they import most of what they eat from other European nations. There has been a dip in seafood consumption, but it’s more stagnation as it does not seem Italy is eating less fish, they are just not eating more. Speculators predict fresh seafood consumption will rebound in Italy as prices settle, but frozen and processed seafood have proved competitive and convenient for a populace that can’t always live la dolce vita.

Source: IntraFish Media

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