If you’re trying to improve your diet, lose weight, or eat a bit more sustainably, chances are you’re looking for ways to include more fish with your meals.
However, there’s also a great deal of news warning consumers about fish and seafood because of pollution in our oceans and fresh-water sources, over-fishing, exploitative fish farming, and dangerous mercury levels. So, how can you find fresh, delicious fish and seafood that will complement your lunch or dinner without causing unnecessary harm to the environment, the species of fish, and your own personal health? Here are a few key tips and some suggestions for the best fish to pair with your favorite Tommy’s frozen vegetable medleys.
Small Fish = Big Flavor!
For several years now, scientists have been warning the public about the rising rates of Mercury in our fish supply. Mercury is a toxin that when ingested, can cause brain function and nervous system disruptions – and pregnant women and children should avoid any contact with it. As a rule, small fish and shellfish—such as sardines, scallops, squid—contain less Mercury than larger fish species like tuna or swordfish. Why? Because big fish eat the smaller fish and as a result, ingest all of the mercury found in their prey. The unfortunate end result is that the Mercury then finds its way to your dinner plate or in your lunchtime sandwich. That’s an unwelcome guest at the table for sure!
Putting the worries about Mercury aside, there are still many different varieties of fish and seafood that are free of Mercury that are healthy and delicious to eat and serve to your family. Here are some to look for the next time you’re at the grocery store or fish market:
Canned or Fresh Salmon
Squid / Calamari
Two federal agencies are responsible for monitoring and reporting on Mercury levels in fish and our waterway: the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), which conducts the tests on fish for mercury, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is responsible for determining what mercury levels are considered safe for women of childbearing age. We recommend you visit their websites to learn more, if this issue is of particular interest to you.
Buy Seafood Close to Home
Keep in mind that the USFDA inspects less than 2% of seafood that originates from countries outside of the US. When possible, stick with choices that are native to your region. While it might appear to be economical to buy the bag of frozen fish that originated in another country, you may be paying a much higher cost in the long run in terms of your health and well-being of the environment.
If you live in a region of the US that is known for fresh or saltwater fishing, be on the lookout for community supported fisheries. Modeled after community supported farm programs, customers purchase a “share” of the weekly catch. This is a great way to know exactly where your seafood comes from and how it was caught. Like their agricultural counterparts, these community programs also help local fishing economies while promoting the value of sustainable, local fish.
Tommy’s Superfoods & Sustainable Fish
Pairing fish with vegetables makes for a delicious meal and when you buy fish with low or no traces of Mercury, you’ll know you’re making the healthiest choice possible. Here are some ideas for pairing our flash frozen vegetable medleys with sustainable seafood choices. Experiment, try different combinations that are appealing to you, and send us your photos and favorite recipe suggestions!
Pair with Tommy’s Asparagus and Kale
Pair with Tommy’s Fiesta Quinoa
Pair with Tommy’s Cauliflower & Green Beans
Pair with Tommy’s Seasoned Brussels Sprouts
Pair with Tommy’s Seasoned Vegetable Medley
Pair with Tommy’s Seasoned Super Greens
Pair with Tommy’s Organic Seasoned Super Greens
Pair with Tommy’s Organic Seasoned Sweet Potatoes
Pair with Tommy’s Seasoned Root Fusion
Make Sustainable Seafood a Snap
While finding sustainable, healthy seafood may seem daunting, just keep in mind that options are available. When you ask if your local grocery store, fish market, or restaurant offers sustainable seafood options, you are helping to shape demand for environmentally responsible choices. Be vigilant and commit yourself to knowing as much as you can about the food you place on your family’s table!