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Organic Consumers Association

Five Fish You Should Eat More Of

Our oceans are in a perilous state. Rampant abuse and rapacity has led us down a dangerous path; stories of overfishing, toxic contamination, and ocean acidification put consumers in a state of confusion and fear at the seafood counter. Luckily, all is not lost -- by making informed choices, we can enjoy healthy, delicious seafood while supporting fishermen that are doing their utmost to work in harmony with the planet. Here are five examples of sustainable, restorative seafood options that merit our support:

1. Sardines

First of all, I'm not talking about the unidentifiable, semi-fossilized fish paste that you find covered in oil or mustard sauce when you open up a sardine tin -- fresh sardines are a totally different animal. They are inexpensive, delectable indulgences that carry fabulous flavors, perform marvelously on a grill, and are used by top-level sushi chefs to make mouth-watering nigiri and sashimi dishes. Even better, these tiny delights are packed full of Omega-3 fatty acids while their short lifecycle keeps them relatively mercury-free. Unfortunately, we're using them in the worst possible way.

There's no excuse for the way we're treating our amazing sardine resource in this country. The vast majority of our sardines are sold to foreign bluefin tuna ranches, where they are used to fatten up juveniles that have been purloined from wild stocks. This is a problem on many levels: bluefin tuna are severely endangered, have little Omega-3 content, can be extremely high in mercury, and are exorbitantly expensive. We're using our sardines -- healthy, delicious fish that most Americans can afford -- to fuel a foreign industry that is harming the ocean in order to create a luxury good with dubious health benefits that is only available to the very wealthy.


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