What Fish Can I Eat?
The Hot Moms Dish on Fish
By: Kate Geagan
It’s summer time and for most folks that’s a cue to head outdoors and fire up the grill. While seafood is a natural choice for health, with increasing concerns about mercury, fishing stock declines, and global warming, here’s an easy go to guide to be sure you’re getting lean, green and sustainable seafood this summer.
1. Focus on the Food chain. Where does your fish sit on the food chain? Salmon, Tuna, Swordfish…these prized fish are at the top of the food chain in the ocean-which means they are some of the most energy-intense fish to bring to your plate. One study ranked Tuna right up there with beef in terms of fossil fuel requirements. This also means greater concerns about mercury/pcb contaminants-so be sure you’re not always choosing fish “at the top”-diversify that shopping cart a bit!
2. Buy Barramundi. And catfish. And tilapia. Instead of salmon, tuna and swordfish, which are at the top of the food chain and have more concerns with mercury, PCBs, and are very energy intensive to go get, try grilling up one of these fish to slash calories and environmental impact. (for example, barramundi is 3x as energy efficient to produce as salmon or tuna and has literally half the calories- and green AND lean overlap).
3. Fresh Flown a Splurge. If you can, look for filets that are frozen at sea and then shipped to you. Fresh flown sushi guzzles 10x the fossil fuel resources of shipping by land. Try to enjoy local fish too, depending where you live.
4. Savor the small frys. Herring, anchovies, mackerel and sardines are lean and green superfoods-they not only make for eco-friendly eating (some of the greenest fish to catch), but they are loaded with heart healthy Omega 3s…and have none of the mercury/PCB concerns. Try a lusty Mediterranean olive tapenade or a spicy southern Italian sauce for inspiration of how to include these tasty fish in your diet in ways that the whole family will find tasty.
5. Tap into Your Techie Side. In a restaurant? At the fish counter? Get the dish on whether you’ve got a sustainable choice in a flash:
Download a seafood pocket guide specifically for your region: blueocean.org or Pocket Seafood Selector.
Send a text to 30644 with the message FISH in caps, followed by the name of the fish you want to know about.
Download directly to your iPhone or iPod touch. Free at mbayaq.org.
Available for all mobile devices with Internet connection at mobile.seafoodwatch.org.
Kate is the author of Go Green, Get Lean: Trim Your Waistline with the Ultimate Low-Carbon Footprint Diet (Rodale, 2009), a powerful program to help you look better, feel better, and leave a better world for your kids.