Updated: Jun 22, 2019
Once considered a strictly Southern food fare, catfish served today has grown to be one of the most popular fish consumed in America. It's no wonder with farm-raised catfish having a mild taste and firm texture and great versatility in the kitchen. Here are some nuggets about this delectable fish:
• Farm-raised catfish became such a staple of the diet of the United States that President Ronald Reagan established June 25th as National Catfish Day to recognize "the value of farm-raised catfish." Later, Congress named August as "National Catfish Month".
• The history of farm-raised catfish is truly an American story about American quality. 96% of all farm-raised catfish are grown in Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas. About 60% of U.S. farm-raised catfish are grown within a 65-mile radius of Belzoni, Mississippi.
• Even though it's one of Mississippi's most successful industries, catfish farming is only about 60 years old and began in Yazoo County, Mississippi, where Simmons is located. By 2001, there were over 130,000 acres dedicated to farm-raised catfish in Mississippi alone. Simmons Farm-Raised Catfish comprises about 2,000 water acres today.
• Catfish are named for their catfish like whiskers on the ends of their snouts. A full grown farm-raised catfish is between 1 to 2 pounds. It takes about 18 months to two years to grow a 1-pound fish. A quality product takes time and care!
• Simmons farm-raised catfish tend to be more consistent than wild caught catfish because of their scientifically formulated diets and constant care. Farm-raised catfish are taught to eat feed pellets that float on top of the water, while wild catfish are bottom feeders.
• Simmons’ absolute quality standards mean that fish from every pond are flavor tested once a day for three days before they are harvested. Simmons farm-raised catfish are transported in live-haul trucks from the pond and within 30 minutes from the time live fish arrive at the Simmons plant, they're processed, packed, and stored or shipped out. You can't get any fresher than that!
• U.S. farm-raised Catfish is a sustainable and environmentally friendly seafood product. The National Audubon Society, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Environmental Defense all recommend U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish as a safe environmental choice.
• Catfish is an ideal fish and healthy alternative to red meat. Catfish are a delicious source of lean protein that is low in saturated fat and packed with omega-3 fatty acids. Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids known to reduce your risk of heart problems.