Fish is a wonderfully healthy food, rich in omega-3 fatty acids that do all kinds of great things for the body, including acting as an anti-inflammatory that can help quell problems with heart disease and arthritis. It’s also rich in protein, can be high or low in fat but it’s healthy fat no matter how much it contains, and it’s carbohydrate-free (which can be important for those with type 2 diabetes and/or insulin resistance).
That said, there’s growing concern that we’ve mismanaged the fish supply, overfishing some varieties, polluting the ocean so that other varieties are high in toxic substances such as mercury, and farm raising others in a way that pollutes the environment and the fish that are raised in those environments.
It’s a complicated picture that I don’t profess to understand completely but which I do intend to study more. So when a forwarded email of an interview with the author of the book Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood landed in my inbox, I read it with interest. Was quite a long interview but basic message was that there remain some great seafood choices but we need to know what we’re doing. I intend to get a copy of the book to read more, but while I wait to get my copy, I think I’ll follow some of the basic recommendations I read in the interiew: farmed fish like trout, Artic char and tilapia, sardines, oysters and mussels, all of which are fish I like and already eat relatively frequently. I’ve already cut farmed salmon from my menu, but do buy Alaskan salmon when it’s at a good price (although still pricey) at the store.
Bottom line: Fish is a great food for healthy eating, weight loss and healthy weights. But we need to choose wisely both to feed ourselves well and to help ensure we’ll have plenty of healthy fish to choose from in the future.
Another good site for information on this appears to be the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch.