Fish is often touted as one of the healthiest things you can eat. It's loaded with essential nutrients like bio-available protein, fat-soluble vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids. But like choosing organic produce or pasture-raised meats, sustainable seafood is best for both your body and the earth.
Why it’s important to choose sustainable seafood
It’s better for you. The majority of farmed seafood is run irresponsibly. Although there are some notable exceptions, farmed fish are often fed GMO corn or soy (not a fish’s natural diet), and are exposed to pesticides, antibiotics, and growth hormones. Remember that you are what your food eats, and for the fish to have the healthy ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s, it needs to be eating its natural diet.
It’s better for the ocean. Unsustainable farmed fish pollute the surrounding areas with waste, uneaten food, pesticides, and antibiotics. This changes the composition of surrounding water and affects wild populations.
Wild isn’t good enough. Many species are overfished and their populations collapsing. When we focus on only a few kinds of popular fish they are faced with extinction, diminishing biodiversity and impacting entire ecosystems. This also threatens communities that rely on fishing for their livelihoods.
- About a third of fish in the United States is mislabeled. We love working with Sea to Table, who are setting the standards on sustainable fishing. Their fish are always wild caught in the United States, and are traceable, meaning that they know the exact dock the fish came in from, and who caught it.
We checked in with Matt Robertson from Sea to Table to share more details. He mentioned, "over 90% of all the seafood consumed in the US is imported from poorly managed fisheries overseas. International fisheries and aquaculture continue to have problems with illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, mislabeling, fish fraud, overfishing, environmental destruction, disease, contaminants and forced labor. The US, on the other hand, is a global leader in responsibly managed fisheries. When you eat wild, domestic fish, you can rest assured that you are supporting not just sustainable fishing practices, but also our coastal communities of fishermen, dock workers and local businesses. Sea to Table proudly offers only wild, domestic fish."
How to source sustainable seafood.
- The Monterrey Bay Aquarium maintains an excellent website and app called Seafood Watch that rates the sustainability of fish. Seafood is labeled green (best choice), yellow (good alternative) or red (avoid).
- Ask questions! Ask your local grocer, fishmonger, or restaurant if they offer sustainable seafood. Let them know it’s important to you.
- Find a CSF. Much like a CSA (Community Sustainable Agriculture), a CSF (Community Sustainable Fishery) connects consumers directly to their local fishermen. A member prepays for a season of fresh fish, and receives a weekly share of fish and shellfish. Check Local Catch for a source near you.
- Order fish directly from Sea to Table. They ship their fish frozen at peak freshness straight to your door.
- At Provenance, we offer fish dishes as a part of our pescatarian and omnivore prepared meal plans that feature sustainable fish you can feel good about eating for your health and the planet’s.