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Fishy Stuff When did seafood get so confusing?

Which seafood should you eat?

Who knew it would be such a complicated question.

Which is low in Mercury and chemical pollutants?  Is wild or farmed fish best?  How are the wild fish caught?  Are there many other marine animals caught in the process? How and where are the farmed fish grown?  What impact does farming have on the native fish and the marine environment?  What are the farmed fish fed and how does that impact the quality of the fish?  Which are high in Omega 3?  Which fish tastes nice?  Which are easy to cook?  Should I buy it fresh, frozen or canned?  Which fish are local?  Which are is season?  Which are affordable?  Where is the best place to buy it?  How do I know where it is from?

I don’t know about you … but I’m confused!

Thankfully there are some great resources around to help you sort through the mess.  Like all things take a deep breath and work through the issues one by one over time.   Before you go trauling through the internet, think about what seafood you actually  eat now.  Chances are you aren’t really cooking and eating that much of a variety.

So here are some steps to work through the mess:

1. List all of the types of fish you eat at home and when you’re out, for example:

COOK AT HOME

– Salmon

– Canned Tuna

– Canned Sardines

– Rockling

EAT WHEN I’M OUT

– Calamari

– Sashimi – fresh tuna, salmon and kingfish

– Flake

– Oysters and Mussells

2. If you care about sustainability issues, as in:

– you don’t want to eat fish that are being overfished and

– you don’t want to eat fish that are caught in a way that kills other animals like turtles and dolphins (and I hope you do care about these things).

Check out www.goodfishbadfish.com.au and see how your choices rate.  GoodFishBadFish is an Aussie website passionate about sustainable seafood. It has up-to-date information on the area of sustainable seafood.  They go through the main fish breeds here in Australia and give you suggestion on how to cook and what is best to choose.

Check out  www.marineconservation.org.au  They have an app that you can use to choose sustainable seafood.  Get the app.  They also have a printable wallet guide AMCS Mini Seafood Guide.

Check out www.greenpeace.org.  They have a campaign related to sustainable canned tuna choice.  If you eat canned tuna it is worth checking out their guide. Canned Tuna Guide and here is a A4 guide –  Greenpeace_Tuna_Ranking

They also have a red list of endangered and overfished species.  Here is a A4 guide –  Green peace Red List

3.  Check out if the seafood you’re eating is known to be high in mercury content.  Here is a a wallet guide on choosing fish that are low in mercury Mercury Guide Wallet Card

And here is an interesting blog post by American Chris Kresser on fish and mercury Is eating fish safe? A lot safer than not eating fish!

4.  A lot of us include fish in our diet because we want a hit of Omega 3 fatty acids.  So which fish are high in Omega 3 fatty acids?

The oily fish win the prize here.  The oily fish store all their fats and oils in their tissues so when you eat the fishy you eat all their good oils.  White fish store their oils in their liver so when you eat white fish you’re not eating their fat – so no omega 3 fatty acids for you!

The little oily fish are particularly awesome – they are high in Omega 3’s, sustainable and affordable – so if you’re not eating any sardines or anchovies get onto it!  Do you have some little oily fish as well as white fish and shellfish on your menu?

5. Do you know much about where and how your fish are caught or grown?  Take some time to chat to your fishmonger about where they source their fish, which are in season and which they recommend.

It would be best if the fish were from a local area and fresh.

Here is an interesting article written in Feb 2012 about a fishmonger in Melbourne and the trends he sees in people’s fish buy and some tips for the best types to go for at different times of the year.  Link to article

6. Don’t get overwhelmed just take some time to check your choices are right for you and your body.

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