The Downside of Seafood

Fish market

Choosing the food you want to eat is like choosing the political party you want to rule your country. It often feels like whatever you choose will be bad, and the challenge is to choose the less harmful option. Over the years the way we harvest and process our food has dramatically changed. The reason for this? Expansion of our human society and its greed. Fish are a great example of how too much of a good thing can cause problems.

Fish have a reputation as one of the healthiest meats out there. Yet, when you take a closer look, it turns out that the long term effects of commercial fishing and fish farming are quite unknown and negative:

  • Food – The food that farmed fish consume may come from bones of sick cows raised on growth hormones and other accelerators.
  • Genes – This would probably includes much of what we eat today. For example, we inject fish with hormones which allow them to reproduce in greater numbers and are even close to seeing genetically modified fish on the market.
  • Life – Farmed fish often live with poor quality of life, poor lightning, and in artificial environments
  • Pollution – Polluted water means contaminated fish. Lead and acid in the water as well as low amounts of oxygen lower the quality and amount of consumable fish.
  • Radiation – Nuclear leaks and radiation near waterways contaminate the fish that live there. Interestingly those fish may be captured and sold as food. Lower bids will be tempting for suppliers, and consumers won’t notice the difference at first.
  • Steroids – Allow fish to become larger and grow several times faster, but what are the long term effects on our health?
  • Overfishing – Overfishing and bykill to satisfy our hunger for seafood is destroying our oceans.

The secret in a such case is to add some variety to your diet and make thoughtful choices. Instead of only eating fish try getting your protein from beans, nuts, tofu, chicken, cow, swine, and others. This rule of thumb applies to fruits, but more on that next time. When you do eat fish, opt for sustainable seafood.

Many of you probably think, “So where will I get my Omega fats?” There is actually a far better alternative, and it can be found in something you wouldn’t imagine: seeds. Several types of seeds are very beneficial. Seeds can have very high amounts of omega 3’s along with many other useful nutrients.

Follow Piotr Jędrzejuk on Twitter @sustainbusper

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by quinet

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