Fish is one of those wonderful nutrient rich marine foods which God put on this earth to help restore health to mankind according to the Biblical record of Genesis. However, due to the reported high mercury content claimed by the various government research, food industry and media organizations, it is good to choose wisely when buying fish and consider a few shopping tips for eating safe and healthy fish and not the mercury laden variety.
Tuna: Facts About The Most Mercury Laden Fish
Theoretically, the larger the size, the more mercury laden is a fish in its content and the older it is the longer the mercury has permeated the fish. Unfortunately, the most consumed fish in the United States at least is canned tuna and for the most part tuna is a medium to large-sized fish.
R. Illus. Albacore Research carried out by the Consumer Union institute indicated several years ago that 6 percent of light tuna was up to three times more mercury laden as that of albacore. Yet, the reverse was noted in later different studies so the question is: which is it? Obviously tuna is mercury laden but its rich Omega 3 fatty acid oil is a must for maintaining good health. On the down side, would not Omega 3 fatty acid oil be contaminated with mercury likewise? (1)
Thankfully, all is not hopeless and the consumer need not give up fish at all, only learn to choose wisely. Below are several shopping tips for eating safe and healthy fish which will enable consumers to choose and eat the healthiest fish available without breaking their piggy bank. These guidelines are put out by Seafood Watch at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and offers the public a science-based Super Green List of the least mercury laden fish according to current fishing trends. (2)
Ingredient Details To Look For When Shopping For Low-Mercury Tuna:
The region where fish was caught: “Pacific albacore” (United States or Canada) or “U.S. caught.”
The method of fishing: “troll-caught” or “pole-caught.”
Hand packed: most tuna is cooked before being canned, making it easier to mechanically clean, but removing much, if not most of the beneficial fat.
No added oil, water, or preservatives on the ingredients list.
Per 2-ounce serving, not less than about 5 grams of total fat.
Some U.S. reported tuna brands that fit these criteria include High Seas, Island Trollers and Wild Planet.
Current “Safe Fish” List R. Illus. Tilapia
* Albacore Tuna (troll- or pole-caught, from the U.S. or British Columbia)
* Freshwater Coho Salmon (farmed in tank systems, from the U.S.)
* Oysters (farmed)
* Pacific Sardines (wild-caught)
* Rainbow Trout (farmed)
* Salmon (wild-caught, from Alaska)
Other Healthy “Best Choices” R. Illus. Salmon Chinook
* Arctic Char (farmed)
* Barramundi (farmed, from the U.S.)
* Dungeness Crab (wild-caught, from California, Oregon or Washington)
* Longfin Squid (wild-caught, from the U.S. Atlantic)
* Mussels (farmed)
Hence, consumers can have somewhat of a good choice once educated as to the “safest fish” available and where the fishing grounds are located: try choosing fish from the Atlantic one time or the Pacific another time. North Sea sardines or from the southern Mediterranean. Also assorted fish farms, fresh water fish or wild caught.
By choosing wisely with these helpful shopping tips for safe and healthy fish, fish which is one of the richest nutrient foods ever created, will still be the blessing God meant it to be to man.
* An Additional Eating Tip: pray before you eat anything always asking for God’s protection.
Written by Beverly Anne Sanchez, March 1, 2011