Eat Seafood!

I might be a bit biased, but I do believe that eating seafood is really important (and delicious) way to boost your health.  It is high in protein, low in saturated fat and high in omega-3 fatty acids.  Our bodies need omega-3s, especially the long-chain omega-3s that are pretty much only found in seafood.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium states, “The nutritional profile of seafood makes it an important part of a healthy diet.  Many types of seafood are high in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which play a crucial role in brain development in utero and during infancy, and for heart health in adults.  This makes seafood consumption important for all adults, and especially important for pregnant or nursing women, young children and women of childbearing age (Oken et al., 2005; Golding etal., 2009).”  from http://www.montereybayaquarium.org, Turning the Tide: The State of Seafood Report.

Even if you think you can’t afford to eat the recommended 3 servings of fish a week, there are some really easy, cheap ways to get seafood into your diet.  Canned tuna, or even better, salmon, are pretty simple and tasty.  (my list of favorite sites for recipes is in the sidebar)

I know there has been some nervousness in the last few years regarding mercury in seafood.  Some people cut back their fish consumption for fear of contamination, but only certain fish need to be avoided.  The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a cheat sheet you can print out and carry in your wallet or purse that tells you which types of seafood are the least contaminated.  Wild Alaskan seafood has very little contaminants in it because the waters are less polluted.  Alaskan salmon has almost no mercury in it, partly because they don’t live long, and they are pretty far down on the food chain.

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6 thoughts on “Eat Seafood!

  1. Hi Robin,
    Dex Horton clued me into your blog, and I felt compelled to respond to this post.

    My gut feeling is that people don’t eat enough fish because they HAVEN’T eaten much fish. It’s just not part of their dietary vernacular. That also means that they don’t know how to cook it. Couple that with the fact that most of the States are landlocked, and the choices one gets are far from, well, choice.

    Apparently, studies have shown that frozen fish is often better that fresh, seeing as it’s immediately frozen on the boat and so is ironically fresher than “fresh” fish – which may have been sitting around for two or three (or more) days by the time it gets to the table. So frozen can be a good option for people not on the coast.

    Also, I’m thinking about Great Britain (where I live) in the middle ages — skeletons dug up reveal a diet largely made up of fish, even 200 miles from the sea. Maybe America needs to look towards the old methods of preserving fish (along with freezing) to keep fish usable where fresh is not a great option.

    Obviously, for any of this to work, everyone needs some intensive cookery lessons for how to deal with fish, fresh, frozen or salted or pickled. A look at our ancestors’ recipes could reveal tons of tasty options!

    I admire you and your husband for choosing to pursue this difficult but rewarding life. I think you’re on the right track trying to educate people. Good luck — it must be hard to do along with everything else you’ve got to manage in a day!

    Best,
    Tara

    • Tara,
      Thanks so much for responding to this post, It’s really helpful to get another take on the situation. With a fisherman for a husband, I see fish differently than most, so I need the input of people from different backgrounds and different parts of the country. I definitely agree that people’s inexperience with seafood keeps them from trying it and that will be addressed in my next two posts. I think it is essential for people to change the way they THINK about seafood, before anything else. I hope I can help some people get comfortable with seafood to the point that they can work it into their everyday life, into their “dietary vernacular”, as you so well put it.
      My next post will address fitting seafood into your budget, which types are cheapest and health, and the final post will deal with prepping and preparing it.
      I’d like to hear more about the seafood you have available in great britain and what it costs…
      Thanks again for your input,
      Robin

  2. I agree we should all be eating more seafood. However it worries me that so many people are too scared to try something new. So many people go to the grocery store and buy the same two types of fish over and over, haddock, cod and salmon, being the most popular here on the East Coast it seems. I wish people would be more bold, and ask questions, search for recipes, and give something new a try. They may just be pleasantly surprised.

    When we diversify our diets, we are diversifying our oceans.

    • I agree. We could take a lot of pressure off some of the more popular species by trying less common ones. I think people are intimidated by seafood – aren’t sure what they should buy or how to cook it. Here people eat lots of salmon, trout, tilapia, halibut…

  3. I think the problem with not eating enough fish is that you can’t find fresh fish….Safeway…?? Albertsons …??? We need a fish market in Port Angeles or Sequim that can sell the fresh fish from our waters. Most of the fish are caught and sold to other countries and we are left with not too many choices. I don’t think it’s fair that we cannot have a fresh market here. I am looking all the time to buy fresh and in bulk…..keep me posted if you know of someone that is willing to sell fish locally. I don’t want to drive to Seattle to Pikes Place for fresh seafood.

    • Judith,
      You are absolutely right. It is too hard to find fresh, quality, affordable seafood. So much of the seafood in the grocery stores now is farmed crap from overseas, while we ship our sustainably caught seafood to China and Japan. The sad part is that there just aren’t enough consumers in the US that really care.
      Unfortunately I don’t know any fishermen in your area… I wish there was a directory of fishermen willing to sell direct to the public. I will let you know if I find something for you.
      -Robin

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