Nourishment: Sustainable Seafood

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Newsflash: the sea is not an endless source of food.

Sure, most of us know that for some reason we’re not supposed to eat Chilean Sea Bass, and that if we’re pregnant there are certain fish we should avoid due to high levels of heavy metals like mercury. However, the environmental issues around seafood are a little more complicated. Heavy metals are just the beginning.

What is perhaps more urgent is the manner in which seafood is caught and/or raised — it is more often than not in ways that either destroy the ocean floor, harm other species in the process, or are too agressive and cause species to be over-fished.

If you are like me, you want to do everything you can to avoid harming the eco-system with your food choices. But the issue of sustainable seafood can be difficult to navigate with the myriad of choices presented to us at the market or on a menu.

It can begin with a notion as innocent as “let’s grill up some tuna steaks for dinner tonight, honey.” That’s where these handy guides come in handy.

In the spirit of Apartment Therapy, where informed choices about the way we live mean better living, I offer two great online guides that you can print out and keep in your wallet for when these pressing decisions have to be made… when the waiter is staring over at your table as you look quizzically at the menu (Tuna? Crab? Mahi-mahi?) or when the fish monger is twiddling their thumbs as you scan the two dozen varieties of fish for sale and you have no basis on which to decide.

Start using these resources to help you make your seafood choices, and start teaching your friends and family too. Although many species of fish are on the brink of extinction, and many of the industry methods for bringing fish to our tables are extremely harmful to the environment, there is no reason why we can’t decide to be informed consumers and still enjoy our fish.