what fish should we eat?
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
eating fish seems nearly impossible if you are interested in staying healthy by avoiding mercury poisoning and PCB's, while also keeping our oceans in mind. it's a topic i've always been confused about because not only is the wealth of information often misleading, but choosing a fish that's safe for your health as well as the environment doesn't necessarily go hand in hand. i'm a bit apprehensive to cover this topic because people have very strong opinions on the matter (as you should!). but the least i can do is give you some simplified facts to make an informed decision on what fish to choose or whether you want to choose fish at all. unfortunately the answer isn't as simple as farmed vs. wild.
1. eat fish either farmed or caught with sustainable and renewable practices. we knew this right? but how do we really know how these fish were raised or caught? ask your grocer what brand or company they buy from and from there you can do some research. you can also search cleanfish (click on upstream) for a list of sustainable fishing practices. as for farming practices, it's important to avoid fish raised in open net pens and instead choose fish raised in tanks on land. if you choose to avoid farmed fish all together, that's fine too.
2. avoid toxic or endangered fish by using this wallet card at the grocery or when ordering at a restaurant. ok, maybe don't actually whip it out of your wallet in front of the waiter, but you get the idea.
3. the USDA does not currently provide organic standards for fish and shellfish. in other words, seafood labeled organic doesn't necessarily mean anything and may also still contain mercury and PCB's. it all goes back to researching the company you're buying from.
4. did you know that omega-3 fats are essential for the functioning of every cell in our body, yet roughly 90% of us do not consume enough of them? if you opt to not eat fish at all (or very rarely), consider taking a purified fish oil supplement with at least 1,000-2,000mg of EPH/DHA. omegagenics is a good brand. incorporating hemp seed into your diet is also an option. if fish is your go-to omega source, salmon is by far the best choice.
photo by jenna park.