Seafood is a favorite for many, and for good reason. Not only is sustainable seafood delicious, but it’s also great for your health and the environment. Sustainability is a hot topic, as we become more aware of the impact our eating habits can have on the environment. If you’re looking for reasons to eat sustainable seafood, then the health and environmental benefits are significant. Here’s some more information:
It’s an Excellent Source of Protein
Whether you’re looking to build muscle or have a more balanced diet, protein is essential. Protein in salmon and other seafood is just one of many vital macronutrients that we need. Fish is also rich in Omega-3, which is important for a healthy heart.
The protein and other nutrients found in fish make it a substantial food source for countries living in hunger. Sustainable fishing methods can increase fish numbers in the ocean, making more seafood available to feed these developing countries.
Seafood Has a Lower Carbon Footprint
Unlike meat such as pork and beef, seafood usually has a lower carbon footprint. Seafood that is caught sustainably and not transported around the globe has a much lower carbon footprint than farmed meat. Seafood also requires no infrastructure, land, or fresh water to yield. This is important when we consider the natural habitats that suffer because of meat farming.
It Provides Jobs
Sustainable fishing provides jobs to millions of people. Many of these people live in developing countries and rely on fishing to generate food and income. Destructive fishing methods can destroy the oceans and fish stocks and mean that many people lose their jobs. Many growing economies rely on fishing to thrive.
It Helps Restore Oceans
Most people know that our oceans have suffered from overfishing. Often, this is because of unsustainable methods used in the past. Many conservation groups are supportive of sustainable methods as they help oceans recover from overfishing and ensure fish stocks for the future. Sustainable fishing methods also target species that are not endangered, which means fish stocks can continue to grow.
Eating sustainable seafood means that you’ll avoid consuming toxins that are often found in non-sustainable seafood. This includes mercury, which can be very detrimental to your health.
Your Health Improves All Round
Sustainable seafood contains a range of nutrients and minerals that are essential for a healthy body. These include B vitamins that can contribute to better heart function, brain health, the immune system, and strong bones. By consuming sustainable fish, you’ll know the fish that you eat is of the best quality and nutritional value.
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What Is Considered Sustainable?
Sustainable seafood is seafood that meets various requirements relating to several factors. These factors include the economic impact, environmental protection, and social responsibility. Sustainable seafood should be traceable and the methods used are subject to regulation. The regulatory bodies will vary depending on where you live.
Identifying Sustainable Seafood
Most sustainable seafood will display marks and logos from regulatory bodies on the packaging. From fish markets, it is acceptable to ask the vendor about the source of the fish and its origin. You’ll usually find logos on pre-packaged fish from the MSC or ASC. These bodies require fisheries to adhere to strict requirements and regulations.
If you can’t find out where your fish has come from, then it probably isn’t sustainable. Most fisheries with sustainable practices are very transparent and want you as a consumer to know about the product.
Eating More Seafood
If you’re looking to bring more seafood into your diet, there are many ways you can do this. There are many fish types available that you can cook easily. You can bake, fry, poach or grill fish fillets and serve them with various side dishes. If you’re feeling more adventurous, shellfish can be an excellent choice. Many types of shellfish can work well with pasta and rice dishes, just be sure to cook them properly.
If you’re looking to eat as sustainably as possible, then eating smaller fish can be a great way to do this. Smaller fish like mackerel, anchovies, and sardines are more sustainable as they are lower down the food chain and take less time to get to harvestable size.
Eating sustainable seafood can be a significant source of protein and other important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Choosing to eat fish that is responsibly sourced is both great for the health and the environment and can help future fish stocks. Many communities rely on fishing to generate income and food sources. By buying sustainably sourced fish, you can help to support these communities. Eating just a small amount of seafood each week can be beneficial to your immune system, brain, heart, and bones. Fish is a more sustainable source of protein than farmed meats and has a lower carbon footprint, making it better for the environment.