Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Support Sustainable Fish: It’s Now or Never

Cooking fish is a joy. Eating fish is equally rewarding. Fish, with all its healthy fats, essential oils, and nutrients, fits nicely in a balanced diet. However, on an exceptionally primeval level, it just tastes first-rate.

These days, with everyone wanting to “live green,” one of the issues that does not get enough publicity is the sustainability of fish. Our oceans are in crisis. Oceans supply us with food, help normalize our climate, and provide a source of revenue for millions of people. Humans have been fishing the ocean for thousands of years. Nevertheless, technology has allowed us to fish deeper and farther than ever before. Some methods are incredibly efficient, while others have us on the verge of disaster.

Over fishing of certain types of fish is a huge concern. The ocean cannot provide an infinite supply of fish. If a fish is caught at a much faster rate than it can reproduce…there will come a time when the fish will cease to exist.


Tilapia is a mild flavored, white fleshed fish. US farmed-raised tilapia is the “Best Choice,” according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The MBA website is a wonderful resource for education on eco-friendly sustainable seafood. While US farm-raised tilapia is an eco-friendly sustainable fish, avoid Chinese and Taiwanese farm-raised tilapia. These fish are raised in pools where pollution and weak management are massive problems.

The ocean is a treasure trove of astounding delights. Do you part to ensure that future generations can derive pleasure from what it has to offer. You want to be able to point at a time in history and proudly declare that you were on the right side of the ledger.

Planet Earth is a shared living environment. At some point the policy of passing the buck will be at an end. The check will eventually have to be paid. Why are our policy makers bent on ensuring that future generations will have to deal with catastrophic environmental disaster? I am not. Stand up and be counted. Who is with me?!

That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!

39 comments:

  1. I'm glad you raised this issue, and gave some advice. I'm always unsure which type of fish is best for me to buy.

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  2. I am with you on this one - whilst I don't eat fish myself I make sure I only ever canned fish for my husband that is sustainable, eco friendly and has zero by-product catches like dolphins and turtles. Although it would be helpful if it was mandatory to show where fresh fish is from and how it was fished - your dish looks yummy and environmentally friendly :)

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  3. Over here we uses tilapia for steaming but we steam the whole fish with head and tail on :p Thanks for sharing this info. I love reading your posts. Keeping them coming :)

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  4. Great info...and beautiful dish! You can't go wrong with Tilapia.

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  5. Thanks for the reminder. I used to have a little handy chart from them. I'll just add them to my blog.

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  6. It's a struggle here (Singapore) to eat sustainably or even organically or locally. Awareness is sadly, generally lacking and virtually everything we eat is imported, usually from countries whose concerns are primarily not sustainability, good animal husbandry practice or eco-friendly production methods.

    We are a tiny city state with an outsized population and virtually no land for farming, piority going to housing and commercial developments. We're basically at the mercy of our neighbours and whatever methods they employ, for our food. Things are getting better and organic and sustainably farmed/harvested produce is beginning to appear though the cost of eating this way is still prohibitively high, especially for larger families with growing children.

    I am not happy about this and appreciate the ranting space LOL Here's hoping things will improve for others who similarly have little choice.

    Btw, your tilapia looks incredible! That fish is done to a perfect turn :)

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  7. I'm totally with you primo! Thanks for reposting your article here, we need to get the word out before there are no more fishy about which to write!

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  8. I always have that sustainable fish (seafood) pocket guide when I go "fishing" (rather...buying my fish) ;p

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  9. TILAPIA is my favorite fish. kind of tied with salmon.. but still one of my favorites!
    this dish looks incredible.

    i am so with you!

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  10. Thank you for this information! It's helpful to know what to look for - and I do love fish so very much. :-)

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  11. great post...love all the info..your plate is just lovely

    sweetlife

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  12. Lazaro, I'm with you. I definitely want to be on the correct side of the ledger on this huge issue. We eat a lot of seafood at our house and Tilapia is becoming one of our favorites. It's so versatile. Great job of reminding of us of this important issue. Your Tilapia looks delicious.
    Sam

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  13. After living here for 9 years now, choosing organically raised food or sustainable fish is a choice of luxury. Those are issues that citizens of wealthy Western countries can afford to address.

    Although it is good for the environment as you say; however, with the PH being a third world country where most of the population live on subsistence level and can't afford to eat 3 meals a day, I can't help but feel fortunate enough that I can even blog about the stuff that I consume and share it with the world.

    When you live in a place like this, you can't help but be grateful that you can afford to eat 3 meals a day period. Organically raised food or sustainability just takes a backseat. It's like what Denise said above. It's not a priority.

    If were still living back home (Los Angeles), and have never lived in a developing country, I'd probably do the same things as you - support sustainable fish, local farmers,etc. But right now, as I've said, I'm simply grateful that I can afford to choose what I want to eat and share it with you guys by taking pics of it and write about it. :)

    That is the fattest, juciest looking tilapia fillet I've ever seen. When I had tilapia fillet, I made up my mind that it doesn't make a good fillet. I guess that has something to do with the tilapia here being much skinnier or anorexic in comparision to yours. Lovely dish, as always. :)

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  14. HI Lazaro
    What a great post!! Now only does this look delicious but it gives some great information..
    Have yhoiu ever visited Monterey Bay Aquariaum site? They do a lot to promote sustainable seafood. http://montereybayaquarium.typepad.com/sea_notes/

    I think you will enjoy their site if you haven't had the pleasure yet..
    Best Regards!!
    Dennis

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  15. Thanks for raising such important issue, great post.
    Your dish looks very delicious and so well presented x

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  16. Good advice here! Tilapia is so delicious and I prepare it quite often. Your dish looks excellent!

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  17. Hello from Brussels!

    I love fish especialy Tilapia! I also love halibut, whiting, etc.

    This fish dish sings to me!

    You have a wonderful & COOL foodblog! MMM,....

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  18. Hi there, I'm not a huge fish lover, but the hub certainly is. I love the 'sustainable' character of your post; much my mantra too. This is indeed a simple & beautifully made tilapia!

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  19. AMEN! I could not agree with you more. We absolutely live off fish in this house. There are so many different things to do with it and it is healthy. If there is one thing I wish to get across to my readers is that fish doesn't have to be scary. It is oerfect just the way it is with a little butter and lemon juice, you don't have to go all out all the time. Thanks for stopping by Kitchen Belleicous! I love to hear from you. You said my post was informative but compared to yours it's just a baby! LOL!

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  20. Thanks for the great post. Dish looks simple but yummy.....

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  21. I'm with you on this. I love fish; unlike my husband. I've recently watched the Food Inc movie and I totally got you here!

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  22. Thanks for the information! Love reading it :-) Luckily we love tilapia...it is a fish that is always in our table :-)

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  23. Well said Lazaro! Tilapia is a filipino favourite, sadly we hardly get it in NZ:(

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  24. Hello and thanks so much for stopping by my blog! This is such an important issue, I'm really glad you raised it. Tilapia is one of my favorite types of fish -- and the way you served it looks really delicious!

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  25. I love fish and eat it all of the time, but I could probably stand to learn a bit more about sustainability! Your dish looks fantastic, the fish is perfectly crusted!

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  26. This looks gorgeous AND delicious!

    Also, thank you for the comment on my blog. I am now following your blog as well. Keep up the great work!

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  27. oh I know, we should be responsible eaters, so sad that the oceans have lost most of their fishes! Thanks for reminding everyone about sustainable fish and farming. The more I think about it, the more I want to become vegan, anyway beautiful dish, I can tell by the color of the crust, it's just perfect!

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  28. Your post reminds me of a documentary that I saw a few weeks ago called "The Cove." It touches on the problem of over-fishing while primarily focusing on dolphin slaughter. It's tough to watch at times but it's an eye-opener. They also mention in the film, the benefit of eating young fish (like tilapia) rather than large, old fish (tuna, salmon) because of mercury levels.

    Great post!

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  29. Thanks for sharing! This is really informative. I'll be sure to pay more attention to where my fish is coming from the next time I'm at the store :)

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  30. that looks delicious! It's important to be as knowledgeable as possible about where our food is coming from. Thanks for sharing!

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  31. Fish is a topic I'm trying to learn more about when it comes to sustainability so thanks for bringing this up. I have a lot to learn. The dish looks great!

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  32. You have discussed a very important issue today!
    Thanks for sharing!

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  33. I've only recently discovered Tilapia. (I'm not much of a fish eater but I'm working on it:)

    Thank you for this most informative post and that delicious sounding recipe.

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  34. Lazaro, I have a quick question. Where do you find a list of what fish "not" to eat. I took a look at the MB site and saw a lot of good information, but I didn't see a list of which fish not to eat.

    I've heard people say they always "check the list" before they buy fish. Where can I find this list they are talking about?

    Thanks for your help and I hope you have a great weekend.
    Sam

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  35. Hi! 1st, thanks for having stopped by my blog. Greatly appreciated :)
    2nd - how can you NOT love Denise? She's super fantastique.
    3rd - great, great post. I am slowly, (very slowly) trying to find other foods to eat so our earth won't implode because it's starting to feel like it will any second, right?

    Technology - mechanisms, chemicals, everything have made growing, fishing, easier. But has caused so much harm and strain on the planet. What do we do? Where and how to educate people?? When will organic and local become the norm again? I will admit, I love eating pineapple and mangoes, but they're nowhere near local to the Canadian prairies. Is it ok to indulge in these kinds of foods or is it better not to in order to sustain? But it's sold in the grocery store. Where do we begin and the cycle ends?

    Sorry, so many questions!!! Can't wait to read more :)

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  36. Great great advice here! I say you have to trust your fish monger as well, but I understand one person on here saying if you cannot afford to eat three meals a day, I can understand. Being a single mom for years with little money I had to eat (growing up too) a lot of beans and rice, with that being the only protein. Only until now has prices gotten more affordable, well, sort of, but finding US farm raised talapia can be a quest, so only buy from trusted markets in your area.

    Stay away from bulk frozen fish, that is where you can get into trouble. I knew someone once that bought scallops and they all got sick from the frozen bulk packages.

    Fresh is better! Love your dish, and love your site here!

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  37. I'm glad you raise the issue of sustainable fish. We need the omega-3s that fish provide, but I've been weary of fish lately.

    As a result of trying to avoid larger fish because of their higher mercury content, and not wanting to buy farmed fish that are fed ground up chicken... I've only eaten fish once or twice in close to 6 months. I need a better solution!

    More fish farmers need to learn from the Spanish. Dan Barber TED talk is very informative and sheds light on how fish farming can be sustainable and healthy. I've been meaning to post on this for while, but no time, I think you will enjoy his talk.
    http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_barber_how_i_fell_in_love_with_a_fish.html

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