Why You Should Never Buy Seafood From Aldi

We know that Aldi is an amazing, budget-friendly option for so many fresh groceries and pantry staples — it offers great coffee, baking ingredients, booze, and organic foods. But there's one category that you may want to steer clear of — Aldi's seafood.

You may have heard that Aldi's seafood has a scandalous past. An Associated Press report in 2017 found that Aldi's Sea Queen brand of seafood may have indirectly subsidized North Korea's nuclear weapons programs. Obviously, Aldi wasn't trying to finance a nuclear apocalypse. But it had dealings with China, which has been known to employ North Korean workers to cut costs and subject them to conditions described as "modern-day slavery." In short, North Korean workers housed in stark compounds without access to outside communication supplied over 2,000 tons of seafood to the U.S. and Canada. As much as 70 percent of their salaries went straight to the North Korean government. 

Other reasons to avoid Aldi seafood

Aside from the grim association, some of Aldi's seafood options aren't very earth-friendly. Greenpeace found issues with Aldi's fish sourcing when it comes to protecting our oceans. Aldi actually performed very well compared to similar stores, but Greenpeace said Aldi still needs to improve its standards for how albacore is fished. There are also issues with how Aldi sources salmon and shrimp, so if you want to be diligent, you may want to skip those for now.

Aldi's frozen sushi might seem like a good way to enjoy the great taste of sushi without it costing an arm and a leg, but you're better off skipping it. The Aldi Nerd called the rice cold and mushy, and as for the fillings? "The avocado wasn't bad, just really tiny so I wasn't getting a whole lot of flavor from that. I mostly tasted rice with the shrimp salad-like filling." The verdict was that unless you live somewhere with no other sushi options, these rolls really weren't worth it. 

Why Aldi seafood isn't your best bet

Redditors agree that the Aldi sushi isn't all that great. One user said, "Neither my husband nor I could finish the ones we tried (tuna? salmon? I've blocked it from my memory)." Another said, "The rice is undercooked and dry. The fillings... Meh." One disappointed shopper said, "My wife got a roll from the freezer section...maybe a California Roll? She absolutely hated it, and couldn't make it through more than 3 pieces. I finished the rest and must say that by the end even I, who will eat pretty much anything, was having trouble getting through it." 

Basically, Aldi's seafood track record is spotty. So if you're going to buy fish there, you might want to steer clear of the frozen sushi, the albacore tuna, and anything by Sea Queen.