Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

Do you think it is odd to list fish under the heading fish, and shelfish under seafood?

Asked by JLeslie (61647points) October 7th, 2013

I know several people who for some reason don’t think fish is seafood. I don’t get it.

A few days ago I was at a restaurant and under the entree section one heading was Specialty Fish, and had a bunch of fish dishes listed, and the next heading was Seafood, and a bunch of shellfish dishes were listed. It reminded me of people using seafood to exclusively mean shellfish. I pointed out the menu headings to friends sitting near me at the table, and someone said maybe the fish are not from the sea. But, indeed they were, none seemed to be lake fish.

How do you classify these things. I actually use the term seafood to mean anything from the water, even lakes, maybe that is an inaccurate use of the word? I had not thought about it before. I only differentiate between shellfish and other fish.

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31 Answers

Katniss's avatar

Hmmmmmm.. I guess now that you’ve mentioned it, I’ve never given it much thought either. I consider fish seafood as well, so if you’re wrong then so am I.

whitenoise's avatar

All fish we eat are seafood. Not all seafoodis fish, though.

Shellfish aren’t fishes.

Fish is further refinement from seafood.

To me it seems logical, so I must clearly miss something. :-)

I guess seafood at least leaves the option open to offer dolphins and whales on the menu, not being fishes. P

Judi's avatar

Shellfish has a higher incidence of allergies and some people just choose for one reason or another to not eat ocean insects. Could it be out of respect sort of like not putting something that some people find repulsive on the same plate as the rest of the food? I don’t know.

JLeslie's avatar

@Judi It is really just a question of definitions. The first time I realized people use the words differently it was a kosher woman I knew (she was willing to eat in non-kosher restaurants, but not certain foods) who said she won’t eat seafood in a restaurant, but will eat fish. Made no sense to me, because to me fish is seafood. After asking her what she meant I realized she meant she doesn’t eat shellfish.

Now I saw this menu, and I am thinking maybe a lot of people use the terms differently than I do.

My MIL calls salmon, salmon, and doesn’t call it fish. All other fish she calls fish. I don’t know if that is a Mexican thing, a Spanish language thing, or just her thing. That is confusing to me also.

jca's avatar

In Spanish restaurants, they have “Pescados y Mariscos” which is fish and shellfish. Sometimes they list them separate.

Who knows why people think the way they do? If it comes from the ocean or other body of water, it’s seafood.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But fish can be lake food and river food too….I think of “seafood,” as salt-water fish, including shell fish.

DWW25921's avatar

Shellfish more than likely comes from the sea which is saltwater. Fish can come from farms, salt or fresh water. There is a difference albeit technical.

JLeslie's avatar

@DWW25921 @Dutchess_III But, what if there is fish from the sea on the menu? Then isn’t it seafood also?

DWW25921's avatar

@JLeslie Well there you go… Being all logical… (sigh) Next you’ll be wanting to change the name of “grapefruits” which doesn’t really make sense either…

El_Cadejo's avatar

Fish are friends, not food. :P

JLeslie's avatar

@DWW25921 I though maybe it has to do with being Jewish that I think fish vs shellfish, but it seems a lot of people think like me, but a lot of people think of the words like you. I guess what I learned is maybe there is not one correct answer. To me it is kind of like when Catholics say they don’t eat meat, but they still eat fish. That makes no sense to me, except that I understand Catholics don’t count meat as fish. LOL. Not all Catholics, but you know what I mean.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes, fish from the sea would be seafood JLeslie. Yummy Salmon is seafood. However, I wouldn’t consider nasty, icky catfish from a Kansas pond to be “seafood.” But that’s just me.

janbb's avatar

Maybe they’re all really Native Americans?

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^^^ RACISM!! RACISM!!!

ucme's avatar

Mark Spitz, seafood? Surely not!

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have never known anyone to spitz seafood. Just chew and swallow.

DWW25921's avatar

@JLeslie I know vegans that don’t have a problem with fish… Strange to me but whatever!

jca's avatar

If catfish is not “seafood,” then is it “lakefood?”

JLeslie's avatar

@DWW25921 I have never heard such a thing. Although, I do say I try to be veganish at home. But, I eat everything (almost). Still, I can’t imagine someone identifying as a vegan who eats any animal.

DWW25921's avatar

@jca Sounds good to me!

@JLeslie I know right? I guess it’s their life they can pick and choose.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think of “sea” as saltwater @jca. Here in Kansas we just call it “fish,” but certainly not “sea food.’ Or “lake food,” even though technically that’s what it is. I guess cows could be “pasture food,” too.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III So, do you pretty much not use the term seafood and just use fish and shellfish? Those are the terms I mostly use, unless I am talking about what type of restaurant. Like if we are deciding where to eat I would say, “Italian, Seafood, Chinese…”

jca's avatar

I guess I never gave this much thought. Too much thought process being taken up by determining what to call “fish” or “seafood.”

JLeslie's avatar

@jca I needed a trivial distraction to procrastinate from what I should be doing.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No, generally we never use the term “seafood” ‘round these parts ‘cuz we got no sea. Just fish. However, if it’s seafood we want, we’ll say, “Let’s go to Red Lobster,” or “Joe’s Crab Shack!” But I don’t think we use the term “seafood.” Guess I better keep my ears open.

jca's avatar

@Dutchess_III: Thanks to modern transportation, seafood travels far and wide, even to such places as Kansas!

It’s for this reason that I usually don’t eat salmon. People think salmon is wonderful and healthy for you, but if you ever watch a documentary about killer whales, when they study the wild salmon (because it’s easier to study salmon than it is to study the stomach contents of an orca), they find that even wild salmon is tainted by antibiotics for such appetizing ailments such as sea lice, because the farmed salmon escape and mate with the wild salmon. Also, the drugs thrown to farmed salmon seep out and are eaten by wild salmon.

Also, farmed fish is often from East Asian countries such as Thailand, where it’s farmed in sewage (look it up on You Tube). Not that cows or pigs or chickens in the US are farmed in any wonderful conditions either, but I think customers are deluded into thinking that fish is good for you, and oftentimes, it’s not.

gailcalled's avatar

“Veganish” is also a mysterious term.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca I forgot to respond to pescados and mariscos. My MIL uses those terms, although usually for shellfish she names the specific thing, like shrimp, muscles, etc, but Salmon she always calls salmon. Once I asked her if she likes fish, she said yes, and then I served salmon and found out she doesn’t eat salmon, she never thinks of salmon when someone says fish. I think it is probably just some quirk of her family, not a Soanish or Mexican thing. I don’t really know though.

@gailcalled Yeah, basically I think vegan is the best way to be, and at home I try to be close to vegan, but I taste food I cook for my husband and once in a while cheat all on my own. I actually have skim milk in my cereal once or twice a week, so that definitely isn’t vegan. I never would say I am vegan, because obviously I am not, and I don’t want to show any disrespect to the vegans who do it for humane reasons, who take it very seriously as an ethical issue.

gailcalled's avatar

You are vegan much of the time.

JLeslie's avatar

I say that too more or less. I say I am 80–90% vegan at home.

jca's avatar

@JLeslie: Veganish! :)

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