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Fish: What You Need To Know Now

Fish is one of the healthiest food choices you can make. It’s low in calories and the “bad” type of fat, has antioxidants and nutritionists call it a brain food that’ll help keep you sharp.  Plus, it’s easy to prepare and there’s no shortage of varieties.

Is this wonder food too good to be true? Not necessarily, but just like there are precautions when enjoying meat there are things consumers need to be mindful of before feasting on fish.

Overfishing can cause the breakdown of sea ecosystems. Fishery management mandates have been implemented in recent years to try and prevent the breakdown, and the extinction of some species. Fish farming – raising fish in tanks or enclosed areas –  has been said to be more sustainable.  However, this comes with it’s own host of problems.

One fish in particular that’s caused some alarms to go off is farmed salmon. I count salmon in my list of top 10 favorite foods so this pains me!  But, you just have to be aware of where the fish came from…

What’s the environmental impact of farm raised salmon?

-Fish parasites can easily run rampant in salmon farms.

-Farm runoff has been linked to increased mercury levels neighboring wild fish. 

– Toxic fish feces, copper, and zinc can contaminate the waters surrounding salmon pens killing other species.

Sportsfisherman.com reports that it takes two to five kilograms of wild fish to produce one kilogram of farmed salmon.

What are the health affects?

-Farmed salmon contains high concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other dangerous contaminants, and the widespread use of antibiotics and pesticides may lead to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

– Plus, it’s dyed “salmon” color because its natural color would be grey from it’s artificial diet.  Not so appetizing.

-Scientists have found farm-raised salmon contain more cancer-causing PCBs and dioxins than wild ones do, typically originating in their feed.  It’s estimated that the risk of cancer from contaminants is about three times higher for farmed salmon than wild.

Bottom line? Eat fish in moderation, enjoy wild and if you are a fisher please catch and release to help cut down impact!

Posted by Beth

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Beth is a Health and Wellness expert who believes sustainability goes hand-in-hand with self care. She’s the girl whipping up kombucha cocktails at parties, and extolling the benefits of canning vegetables to anyone who will listen. View all posts by Beth Funari

4 thoughts on “Fish: What You Need To Know Now

  1. Thanks Beth, this post is very interesting. I never knew that salmon color was fake in some fish!

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