Wendy Bazillian, DrPH, RD You've heard fish is good for you-but are you picking fish that's good for the ocean, too?
You hear these terms all the time ...
- Omega-3s, protein, healthy hearts and healthy brains.
- PCBs, mercury, dioxins and health risks from nerve damage to increased cancer-potential.
- Wild, farmed, line-caught, sustainable, and over-fished.
So how can you make a choice that you can feel good about and that's healthiest for you?
If you don't already know about one of the best resources out there, you do now: it's the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Since 1999 when the Seafood Watch program began, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has been working to protect the ocean and its inhabitants as well as make us more aware of-and equipped with tools on-how we can help.
While there is sad news regarding many species that are overfished and whose existence is endangered or threatened, there's some good news, too. Many companies and individuals are helping by making choices from the seas, at the market, and at restaurants that are better for you and better for the environment and its sustainable future, too.
Today we can look to enjoy fish on the table at mealtime and feel more comfortable about the choices we make by selecting ocean-friendly seafood.
There are a number of cool resources you can hook into:
- National pocket guides. Are you a person (or do you have a parent or grandparent) who prefers a printable guide you can carry or post? You can print or order a Seafood Watch Pocket Guide that tells you not only what fish to avoid, but ones that are 'good' and even 'best'! There's also a Spanish version.
- Regional pocket guides. Check out this U.S. map that allows you to select the region you live in (or are visiting) and check out the fish that are more commonly found in that area. West coast, Southwest, Central U.S., Southeast, Northeast and Hawaii are available.
- Love sushi? Double the love by choosing more ocean-friendly varieties by using their Sushi Guide.
- Smartly-tied to your smart phone? The ocean-friendly seafood and sushi app is available that also provides maps with businesses and restaurants that offer options from the good and best categories. You can also search the list quickly by type of fish when looking at a menu. (Yes, you can get the app for both the iPhone and Android phones).
- Still stymied about how to shift from your ol' favorites? The super-helpful 2012 Culinary Chart of Alternatives helps you move from what you were thinking about ordering but should avoid to 'good' and 'best' choices that are similar to what you desire and sure to satisfy. You never have to feel like you're missing out, and you'll also be scoring good karma points twice-once for you and once for the ocean.