Tuesday's Tip: Seafood Sustainability

August 03,2010
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird( )

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

A fish monger, I am not. I’ve written before how seafood and I didn’t really jive until I was in my twenties. Probably due to my limited exposure to seafood that stretched from tuna salad to tuna casserole, I am still learning how to cook, grill and prepare some types of seafood. SPH is my mentor in this area; having grown up on the east coast and with much boating and fishing experience behind him, he is a seafood expert. However, with the changing environmental landscape and seascape, even SPH admits to needing to know which seafood is the most responsible, sustainable and healthful choice at the supermarket. There are a few things to look for in making a healthy (both for you and our planet) seafood choice, and combined, they are this week’s Tuesday’s Tip: • First, most grocery stores will label the country of origin for each type of seafood. Local choices are best, but if you are in a land locked area, the country of origin can help ascertain whether the seafood has been responsibly fished. • Second, seek out wild-caught fish, rather than farmed seafood. There are exceptions to this rule, but generally, wild fish is the best choice. • Third, use your “Sustainable Seafood Guide” from SeafoodWatch.org. Don’t have a seafood guide? Click here to print out your geographically tailored seafood watch guide. We have our “Central US” guide, and it is easy to just keep in your wallet during shopping trips! Now with your guide in hand, you are ready to embark on a tasty, yet sustainable, seafood adventure! As a side note, pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children need to be extra aware of their mercury intake, which is a common contaminant in certain seafood. The USDA has a great fact sheet on the importance of watching your mercury consumption when eating fish. SPC