Fish is one of the most nutritious food sources on the planet, especially when it comes to protein. But I’m usually scared to eat it. That’s because some seafood is at risk for toxicity that can harm our health, not to mention certain aquaculture methods are contributing to declining populations and even the acidification of our oceans. It’s not all bad, but it is complex. There are several important things we should think about in order to reap the health benefits from fish and act as environmental stewards at the same time.
To better understand seafood I sat down to talk with Paul Greenberg for this week’s episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy. Paul is the bestselling author of Four Fish, American Catch, and The Omega Principle. A regular contributor to the New York Times and many other publications, Mr. Greenberg is the writer-in-residence at the Safina Center, a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation and the recipient of a James Beard Award for Writing and Literature. He appears frequently on American and international radio and television programs and is the featured correspondent and co-writer of the 2017 PBS Frontline documentary The Fish On My Plate which, along with his TED talk, has reached millions of viewers.
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Here are more of the details from our interview:
Why I’m scared to eat fish and why Paul is optimistic about our oceans (6:55)
Overfishing and the declining fish population around the world (17:57)
How our monoculture is leading to the creation of dead zones in our waters (25:48)
Pros and cons of aquaculture (27:26)
The nutritional value and toxin levels of farmed salmon (31:37)
The decline of our oceans from an environmental point of view and the death of phytoplankton (38:36)
The most effective way to test for mercury exposure (44:10)
The best types of fish for you to eat (53:13)
Fish oil, omega-3 deficiency, and veganism (1:00:47)
The issue of microplastics in the ocean (1:15:44)
Learn more about Paul Greenberg at www.paulgreenberg.org and watch his TED talk at https://www.ted.com/talks/paul_greenberg_the_four_fish_we_re_overeating_and_what_to_eat_instead.
Follow him on Facebook @fourfish, on Instagram @4fishgreenberg, and on Twitter @4fishgreenberg.
Resources:Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) https://www.msc.org/home
Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) https://www.asc-aqua.org/
Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) https://www.bapcertification.org/
Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch https://www.seafoodwatch.org/
Greenpeace’s Carting Away the Oceans Report: 2018 Supermarket Seafood Ranking https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/research/carting-away-the-oceans-10/
Seek out a “Community Supporting Fishery” or CSF through www.localcatch.org