The Antidote

Counterspin for Health Care and Health News

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Something's fishy

This post is a little outside what I usually write about, but it's an area that's been important to me for years. Kim O'Donnel, who writes about food for, has been covering the environmental sustainability of fish populations, in conjunction with the health benefits and risks of eating fish, in her blog this week; she's not done, so I can't give away the story, but one message is that our current fish consumption, and in particular where it would go if we were all to follow current health recommendations (two 3-oz. portions per person per week), is not sustainable, at least if we keep gobbling up the big three, salmon, tuna, and shrimp. So Kim proposes exploring other fish: sardines, tilapia, mussels, carp, and squid, for example.

I have to say I'm frustrated at how many restaurants still serve cod, which is particularly threatened. If you go up to New England, where I'm from, folks seem to think it's their birthright to eat cod until it's gone, and the Boston Globe regularly prints cod recipes without any acknowledgment of overfishing.

Here's a 2-page PDF that folds into a wallet-sized guide to better (and worse) seafood choices.


At 2:48 AM, Blogger Kim said...

Do anchovies count? : )

Thanks for the PDF link, will download that now. And I'm already eating lots of salmon and tuna, looks like I may have to diversify!

At 10:08 AM, Blogger Emily DeVoto said...

Anchovies count. Personally I can't eat more than two or three at a time, because of the salt, so I don't know how many omega-3's I'm getting...

At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Relating to cod, I am reading a fascinating book about the history and politics of cod fishing and consumption. The title is "Cod," and the author is Mark Kurlansky, who also wrote "Salt," which is probably about salt, although I haven't read it yet.

The Zweiginator (with a little help from the Marcusator)

At 8:49 PM, Blogger Linda said...

I saw a cartoon the other day which featured "sauteed goldfish" on the menu, and the diners recognizing the problems of overfishing.

At 10:39 PM, Blogger Emily DeVoto, Ph.D., said...

Sauteed goldfish, huh? I guess that's better than the old fraternity stunt of swallowing live goldfish...


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