school of fish…

like all delicious foods, a craving for sushi cannot be satisfied by anything else. when you want it, you gotta have it! but any concerned eater has to wonder what’s safe and what’s not – for both body and planet…

bon appetit’s foodist posted a piece on sitting down to a sustainable, succulent sushi dinner (his sushi chef might have been a little annoyed, but he was quite satisfied) and he boiled it down to the five fish you should never eat:

Even though farmed fish is the future, I avoid all farm-raised salmon and imported farm-raised fish and shellfish, owing to reports of increased levels of toxic chemicals. (However, domestic farm-raised barramundi, arctic char, catfish, striped bass, and rainbow trout are fine.) And I eat sardines and mackerel, since the rule of thumb is that the smaller the fish, the more sustainable. Avoid Chilean sea bass, bluefin tuna, orange roughy, imported sturgeon caviar, and imported shrimp whenever possible. Just because it’s on the menu at a famous chef’s restaurant does not mean it’s okay to eat.

treehugger says for those special occasions when you treat yourself to sushi, it doesn’t have to be a boring affair. they show eight rather “exotic” selections that are safer than others – and i was excited to see that there was an alternative for my friends who love bluefin tuna – shiro maguro/albacore tuna belly.

image from treehugger

here are three terrific resources for eco-friendly choices you can make. the monterey bay aquarium has a handy pocket guide you can carry with you or put on your iphone. food and water watch suggests safer alternatives to a fish you may like, but that might not be so good for the planet. they also have a convenient, printable version. and the environmental defense fund has seafood recommendations and pocket guides separated for fish and sushi.

as with all things, this is not to say that you should never eat sushi, but just enjoy as thoughtfully as you can.


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