Monday, August 30, 2010

Do you know how safe your seafood is?

Most people are aware that we have to be worried about the amount of mercury and other contaminants in our seafood, and whether the seafood we choose is being overfished and at risk of being endangered (although I note some contradictions in these sites regarding what is at danger of being overfished and what is not!).

And now we need to be cautious about
eating seafood from foreign countries (and our own country). The fact that seafood from the oil-drenched gulf is purported to be safer than other seafood should put the fear of God into all of us.
According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch, the following types of fish and seafood are your best alternatives (as of May 2010):

--Albacore Tuna (troll- or pole-caught, from the U.S. or British Columbia)
--Freshwater Coho Salmon (farmed in tank systems, from the U.S.)
--Mussels (farmed)
--Oysters (farmed)
--Pacific Sardines (wild-caught)
--Rainbow Trout (farmed)
--Salmon (wild-caught, from Alaska)

Other Healthy "Best Choices":

--Arctic Char (farmed)
--Bay Scallops (farmed)
--Crayfish (farmed, from the U.S.)
--Dungeness Crab (wild-caught, from California, Oregon or Washington)
--Longfin Squid (wild-caught, from the U.S. Atlantic)
--Pacific Cod (longline-caught, from Alaska)

Note that shrimp is NOT on this list, yet the
average American eats 4 pounds of shrimp each year. However, this Environmental Defense Fund site claims that shrimp from Oregon (yay!) are "eco-best," with other shrimp from the U.S. being "eco-okay." (Here is the Environmental Defense Fund's list of eco-worst seafoods.)

The important messages? Know where your shrimp are coming from; do not buy foreign-raised shrimp; and urge your favorite stores to stock U.S. shrimp. Nicholas loves shrimp, so I will be taking this to heart.

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