In yesterday’s article, I discussed the environmental impact of eating meat, based on a report issued in 2006 by the U.N.
When you consider what the report says, it may make you decide that you prefer to focus on fish as your source of animal protein.
But there are ramifications for this also: both for the environment and for your health.
In fact, there are so many ramifications to eating fish that I will devote an entire series to this subject at another time.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t eat fish, or any animal food at all. That’s your personal choice, but it’s best if you make your choice an informed and educated one.
If you’re not willing to consider becoming a vegetarian, you want to at least cut down on the amount of animal food you do eat, or at least do what Paul McCartney is advocating, of going meat-free on Mondays, or whichever day you want to designate as a meat-free day.
If you watch the above video, which is a trailer to a film called The End of the Line, you will understand what one of the environmental reasons is for considering your fish intake.
This documentary, produced in England, came out in June of this year. You can learn more about the organization that is behind the film by going to their website, https://drmichaelwayne.com/blog/endoftheline.com/
A 2008 United Nations reports that 80 percent of the world’s ocean fishing areas are now either fully fished (i.e. incapable of providing more) or overexploited.
This is also what The End of the Line is stating. But besides the overfishing and possible catastrophic results from it that The End of the Line discusses, there are also environmental and health issues.
There are many fish in the ocean that contain dangerous levels of mercury, PCB’s and pesticides, and the trend towards fish farms isn’t necessarily a panacea, as there are troubling environmental and health issues surrounding fish raised that way – from the corn feed, chemical feed and hormones that some farmed fish are given, to the pollutants that are in the waters at these factory fish farms.
And then there are questions as to whether the health claims of fish are overhyped, as a study that came out in March 2009 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal stated.
So what to do about eating fish? You can make your decision by choosing sources that are fished or farmed responsibly, and low in environmental contaminants.
According to the Environmental Defense Fund, you want to choose either wild fish from healthy, well-managed populations, or caught using fishing gear that does little harm to sea life and marine habitats; or choose farmed fish raised in systems that control pollution, the spread of disease, chemical use and escaped fish.
Most fish that the Environmental Defense Fund considers safe to eat are also low in environmental contaminants and can be safely eaten at least once per week.
The list of fish that make this list include: Arctic char, farmed oysters, sablefish (aka black cod), wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, farmed trout and West Coast albacore tuna, anchovies, catfish, soft shell clams, Pacific cod, Pacific halibut, farmed striped bass, tilapia, farmed white sturgeon, and squid.