Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Culture

Catching Gefilte Fish in the Wild

Q: For years, I’ve served nothing but wild-caught gefilte fish at my Seder. But it’s gotten so expensive! This year I’m considering serving farm-raised gefilte fish, even though I know it’s not as healthy as wild-caught. Is it safe for me to do so?

A.: Generally speaking, yes. Farming practices have improved greatly since the early 1990s, when many farm-raised fish were crowded into small enclosures and fed sugary, fat-laden diets.

“We’ve learned a lot in the past 20 years,” said Amanda Wein of Gefilte Farms in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. “We feed them fewer antibiotics and more matzo. The fish are both dense and delicate, which is part of their appeal. They’re slow-moving and surprisingly affectionate — I have a pet one, Anton, in a bowl at home — but they’re also easily stressed. And when they’re stressed, they tend to fall apart.”

To counter the stressors — and to bolster the fishes’ nutritional value — Wein provides them with an enriched environment. The fish are kept in large tanks lined with classic books. “It turns out a well-read gefilte just tastes better,” says Wein. Her story pans out, according to Dr. Elliot Lister of Brigham Hospital in Boston. Farmed gefilte fish is a nutritionally good choice, with negligible differences in health benefits when compared to wild fish.

“Look,” said Lister, “It’s hard enough to get people to eat gefilte fish. So I tell my patients to just try it. Wild, farmed, doesn’t matter — just try it. At the end of the day, it’s your health. It wouldn’t kill you to try it.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.