Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sustainable Seafood

There is a growing movement towards sustainability right now. But what does it mean exactly and why is it so important? For one, it means that people of the future generations will have the same access to food that we have today. Without sustainable practices set in place we are using up the resources of today so there are only minimal, or none left for tomorrow. Not only is this unfair but when it comes to food it means our kids and their kids and theirs kids will not have the same quality of health that we even have today. As the quality of the food degrades so will our health with it.

The demand for seafood is increasing and what has come along with that is harmful fishing practices. In certain areas fish can not reproduce fast enough to keep up with the rate at which they are being caught and eventually there will be none that remain in those waters. Practices that catch the desired fish faster and more easily are used at the cost of the lives of other sea creatures and the ocean's natural ecology. Fish are also now being imported at a higher rate than ever. They are brought in from dirty, chemical laden waters overseas which means the fish contain toxins, like mercury.

Yet, seafood plays an important role in a balanced diet. Fish supply essential fatty acids that our bodies can not produce on their own. Omega 3's are our bodies anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids, we must get them from our diets and they are not overly abundant by any means. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines and halibut supply EPA and DHA which are readily abosrbed Omega 3's. These healthy fats decrease our risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer. They are vital for a healthy immune system and are severely lacking in the Standard American Diet. Aim for 7-10 ounces a week of these fatty fish to get your Omega 3's but choose wisely.

Choose sustainable caught seafood. 
Choose sustainably raised animals. 
Choose sustainably grown produce.
Choose sustainability and your choice will give the future generation what you have had the privilege of today.

Check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. There is a guide and app you can download with healthy seafood choices that minimize toxins and ensure that the least harmful means of fishing are being practiced.

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