Eating from the Ocean
Where you buy is just as important as what you buy. Some parts of the world have serious problems with pollution run-off, and seafood harvested in those areas contain dangerously high levels of PCBs, mercury, and chlordane. Those most at risk are pregnant and nursing women, women trying to conceive, and children. Children experience behavior and neurological problems from consuming seafood with these contaminates and are advised to avoid eating seafood containing these and other contaminates.
Around the world, efforts have been made to help clean up polluted areas, but continuous oil spills, run-off from agriculture and industrial waste is taking a toll on our oceans creating dead zones and unsafe seafood.
Many organizations have come together to test and help guide the public on the best choices for seafood, but buyer beware. Although these apps are a wonderful guide for helping pick the best product, there are still companies out there that are mislabelling seafood. The best answer is to buy from a repretable store and check for freshness when you shop. Let your eyes and nose be your guide. Fish should look fresh and have no smell or a slight smell of the ocean, anything more, you should be avoid it. If possible, try to buy locally, as your odds of freshness increase when the source is minutes away.
Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch downloadable app is a great source to have on your phone. They have apps according to the region of the US you are shopping, so if you go on vacation and aren’t certain what to buy, this site is a great place to visit.
You can also visit The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and look at their list of seafood that is sustainably caught and healthy to eat. They test for toxic chemicals and help troubled fisheries around the world to end overfishing. They have a downloadable app as well. Both Monterey Bay Aquarium and EDF update their app regularly, so check back ocassionally to update your information.