Want to feed your family something that is delicious, nutritious and sustainable? Try wild seafood

Sep 14th, 2017 | By | Category: Food and Nutrition

(NC) Wild seafood is a renewable resource that requires minimal freshwater to produce, emits little carbon dioxide, uses no arable land, and produces a lean protein at a cost-per-pound that is lower than other animal proteins.

Seafood is also rich in nutrients and filled with healthy omega-3 fats. Omega-3 can help lower the risk of heart disease, is linked to brain development in infants, and research shows it can play a role in lowering the risk of cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s and depression.

Health Canada recommends eating at least two servings of seafood a week, which will allow you to get the nutritional benefits that are found in food sourced from the ocean.

But ensuring seafood is sustainable has becoming an increasingly important issue.

“When you are planning your next meal, remember that not all seafood is created equal,” explains Josh Laughren, executive director of Oceana Canada an advocacy group focused on ocean conservation.“Some seafood has a bigger environmental impact and often can’t be consumed sustainably.”

Eating sustainably usually means choosing food that takes into consideration the long-term preservation of our planet’s resources. Sustainable food is generally very good for you, and there are even more health benefits from choosing sustainable seafood.

“To find more seafood that is healthy for the oceans, check with your local grocer and favourite restaurants to see if they buy from sustainable fisheries,” recommends Laughren.

Here’s a list of some great seafood options that will help keep you and the oceans healthy:

Dungeness crab: Try this sustainable seafood in pasta recipes or on its own with butter. Look for Dungeness crab trap-caught in Canada, California, Oregon or Washington.

Sablefish: This fish is considered a delicacy in many countries. A great source of omega-3 fatty acids, sablefish is perfect for grilling, smoking, frying or serving as sushi.

Swordfish: This large fish is often sold as steaks and its relatively firm meat makes it ideal for cooking over the grill. Make sure it is caught by harpoon or handline and is from Canada or the United States.

Hand-dug clams: This tiny seafood is a big source of iron, protein, calcium, zinc, vitamin B and omega-3 fatty acids. Clams are delicious eaten raw, steamed, boiled, baked, fried or in a hearty bowl of clam chowder.

Spot prawns: Trap-caught prawns from the Canadian Pacific are considered sustainable, cook quickly and easily and are great in soups, pastas, stir-fries or on their own with butter.

Gloucester Baked Halibut

According to Oceana Canada, wild seafood is the perfect protein: it produces a lean protein at a cost-per-pound that is lower than other animal proteins, uses minimal freshwater to produce, emits little carbon dioxide and uses no arable land.

Prep time: 10 minutes.
Cooking time: 20 minutes. Serves 4.

Ingredients

• 3 garlic cloves, peeled

• 1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) kosher salt,
plus more for seasoning the fish

• 1/2 cup (120 mL) extra virgin olive oil

• 1 cup (240 g) crushed saltine crackers

• 1 tbsp. (15 mL) chopped fresh thyme

• 1 cup (240 mL) grated white cheddar cheese

• 4, 6 to 8-ounce (168-224 g) skinless halibut fillets

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Add garlic and salt to olive oil in its measuring cup. Let steep for 30 minutes (or longer, time permitting).

2. Place the saltines and thyme in a medium bowl. Pour in a quarter cup of infused olive oil, leaving the sliced garlic behind in the cup. Coat all of the crumbs with olive oil. Fold in cheese.

3. Spread crumbs on a plate. Brush each fish fillet all over with remaining oil and season with salt. Use any oil left in the cup to grease a rimmed baking sheet. Roll fish on all sides in the crumbs, pressing to coat well and trying to use all of the crumbs. Put fish on a baking sheet, leaving an inch or so between each fillet.

4. Bake until crumbs are crisp and golden and fish is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Avoid seafood fraud

Studies suggest that more than one third of seafood is potentially mislabeled. So how will you know if you are being cheated?

“Price, season, preparation and the specific kind of seafood all affect the chances of fraud,” says Josh Laughren, executive director of Oceana Canada. “If your seafood is out of season, processed instead of whole, and seems too good a deal to be true, it just might be.”

Here are some tips to make sure your seafood is sustainable and true to the label.

1. Ask your fishmonger or restaurant server about your seafood. Good questions include: What species of fish is this? Is this farmed or wild caught? Where was this fish caught? What type of fishing gear was used to catch it?

2. Check the price. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is, and you are likely purchasing a completely different species than what is on the label.

3. Purchase the whole fish. Purchasing the entire fish rather than a fillet makes it harder to disguise.

4. Purchase traceable seafood. Support existing traceability efforts by purchasing seafood from retailers and restaurants that sell traceable seafood.

5. Check out a list of commonly mislabeled seafood online at oceana.ca/stopseafoodfraud.

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