You’ve ordered a wonderful tilapia for dinner. You’ve got the right wine, great company and entire evening to spend enjoying your meal.
You probably aren’t thinking about how fresh that fish is, how it got to Nashville, whether it has been frozen or if it made its way to your plate via China, even though it was caught elsewhere.
There is a lot to know about how fresh fish ends up on your plate and David Feinstone of Off The Dock Seafood tells us what happens from the time a fish makes the fatal decision to swim into a net to when it lands on your plate.
How much seafood should we eat?
By far, the most popular seafood for American is shrimp. We eat four pounds of it per person per year, according to the World Atlas. Salmon and tuna are next with 2.3 pounds per person each. Coming in last among the top 10 are clams with 0.34 pounds per person per year.
When it comes to freshwater fish, there is little data available because species vary from region to region. Very little northern pike is caught in Tennessee and, if they are, it probably involves a barrel.
Whatever fish you like – or don’t like – the experts at the Harvard University School of Public Health say we need to include fish in our diet. They say: “Fish is a very important part of a healthy diet. Fish and other seafood are the major sources of healthful long-chain omega-3 fats and are also rich in other nutrients such as vitamin D and selenium, high in protein, and low in saturated fat. There is strong evidence that eating fish or taking fish oil is good for the heart and blood vessels. An analysis of 20 studies involving hundreds of thousands of participants indicates that eating approximately one to two 3-ounce servings of fatty fish a week—salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, or sardines—reduces the risk of dying from heart disease by 36 percent.”
Maybe anchovies on pizza isn’t such a bad idea.
Or maybe shrimp – the USDA says we should eat 8 ounces of seafood a week.
On the FDA’s list of best fish to eat are:
Atlantic mackerel; Black sea bass; Butterfish; Catfish; Clam; Cod; Crab; Crawfish; Flounder; Haddock; Hake; Herring; Lobster, American and spiny; Mullet; Oyster; Pacific Chub; Mackerel; Perch, freshwater and ocean; Pickerel; Plaice; Pollock; Salmon; Sardine; Scallop; Shad; Shrimp; Skate; Smelt; Sole; Squid; Tilapia; Trout, freshwater; Tuna, canned light (includes skipjack); Whitefish; Whiting.
The FDA says the worst choices to make, because of high mercury levels are: King Mackerel, Marlin, Orange Roughy, Shark, Swordfish, Tilefish (Gulf of Mexico), Tuna, bigeye.
One reason more people don’t eat fish, the health experts say, is because we don’t know how to cook it. Southern Living has what it calls a foolproof method for cooking filets.And no less of a culinary genius than Betty Crocker offers its own tips for cooking fish.