Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fish Tales

Buying sustainable, healthy fish in the supermarket is always confusing to me, so I did some research* on what choices I should be making:

1.  Buy:  Wild Alaskan Salmon.

Avoid:  Atlantic Salmon (all fish with this label are farmed - most often in     questionable conditions).

Buy:  Domestic Shrimp from Oregon or the Gulf of Mexico.

Avoid: Imported Shrimp (90% of shrimp sold in US is imported, farmed, and possibly full of contaminants, antibiotics and cleaning chemicals).

3.  Buy:  American or Canadian Albacore Tuna (caught young; doesn't contain as much mercury).

Avoid:  Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (highest level of mercury in any seafood; over-havested).

4.   Buy:  Alaska King Crab (always ask where King Crab comes from - it is often mislabeled).

Avoid:  Imported King Crab (most is from Russia where it is not sustainably harvested).

5. Buy:  Pacific Halibut, Catfish or Tilapia (sustainably farmed for now).

Avoid:  Atlantic Flounder, Sole, Halibut caught off Atlantic coast.

6.  Buy:  US hook-and-line caught haddock.

Avoid: Chilean Sea Bass (most are illegally caught; highly contaminated in mercury).

7.  Buy:  Pacific Cod (one of Food & Water Watch's Best Fish Picks).

Avoid Atlantic Cod (currently one step above endangered).

8.  Buy:  Domestic Farm-Raised Catfish. 

Avoid: Orange Roughy (over harvested).

9.   Buy:  Yellow Snapper or Domesticated Catfish.

Avoid:  Imported Catfish (90% from Vietnam, caught in antibiotic-contaminated water).

10.  Buy:  Atlantic or Pacific Squid.

Avoid American Eel (often found in sushi; highly contaminated with PCB's and mercury).

11.  Buy:  Pacific Halibut and Atlantic Mackeral.

Avoid:  Shark (destroys the food chain, high in mercury, cruel use of fins in soup).

12.  Buy:  Lake Sturgeon or American Hackleback/Shovelnose Sturgeon Caviar from the Mississippi River System.

Avoid: Beluga Caviar (over-fished).

Paul Greenberg states in his book, American Catch, that 90% of all seafood eaten in America is imported, and that 79% of our Wild Alaskan Salmon is exported.  No wonder it's so hard to make a good choice.

*, "12 Fish to Stay Away From,"  by Emily Main.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this. I'm going to print it and tuck it in my wallet for seafood shopping.

    V. Frye