I can’t seem to go anywhere without facing some moral decision, or at least what I consider a moral decision.
Today at Sam’s Club I wanted to buy some fish. It’s expensive these days to buy the nice fresh fish at Harris Teeter, so I wanted to look at the bulk bags.
We only buy wild caught fish because of the health issues with farm raised fish… I don’t have time to add a bunch of links or references, but essentially farm raised fish have higher concentrations of heavy metals and PCB’s because these chemicals are concentrated in lakes and rivers. For example, North Carolina recommends pregnant and nursing mother’s not eat local NC farm fish, like cat fish, because the coal-fired power plants here emit such high levels of mercury. The coal-fired power plant issue is a whole other thing which you really should read about.
So it has to be wild caught.
Then you’ve got the other issues. Tuna, orange roughy, swordfish, the nice big, yummy, steaky fish, are going to have higher mercury levels because they eat the smaller fish– a food chain thing. Then you have to consider that most tuna comes from Japan, which has several questionable practices regarding fishing that are damaging the environment.
And the fact that sushi has become so popular, the worldwide demand for tuna (which we love tuna steaks in this household) is messing with the environment because the poor little penguins are losing their food from overfishing.
So no tuna, no fish too terribly big.
I look at the plain old simple whiting. Small, more abundant, cheapest, less heavy metal toxicity. It is wild caught and is a product of Chile. Hm.. probably some issue there that I just haven’t read about yet.
I was reading somewhere that salmon can be sustainable, but its got to be wild caught from Alaska, where certain sustainable practices are followed. You can get canned salmon that has a seal on it that has the Marine Stewardship Council’s seal on it, and we buy that too. Go to their website for more info on this stuff.
So I buy the whiting, but I want to look up fish practices in South America before I go next time.
But just like with meat, the greenest, healthiest for the planet thing to do is just not eat it, or at least not much. I have a friend who is totally vegan and I admire that. I don’t eat dairy, and maybe one day I’ll totally stop eating meat (it wouldn’t be the first time in my life). I’ve been eating more lately because it’s so easy to pop in the oven when you have two kids, restrictions on your diet, and need to keep your calories up (because I’m nursing).
As big as I am on supporting Farmer’s Markets, if I really want fish we should go to the local stores.
Fayetteville finally has a Saturday morning market downtown! So btw, support it and tell your friends!