Safe Fish to Eat - Where are They?

Safe fish to eat are excellent sources of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. They still exist and should be sought after. Fish are an excellent source fats high in Omega 3 fatty acids. Selecting your fish is critical to nutrition and healthy eating.

              Alaskan Sustainable Fisheries
Alaskan Fishing Boat

We began looking for safe fish to eat over five years ago. We found fish from the Alaskan sustainable fisheries. It really does taste better than any fish we ate prior to that time. I found out that when fish smell bad, it's because they are going bad. When really fresh, it doesn't smell bad.

The salmon we get is always flash frozen right on the spot so I consider it higher quality than fresh fish. Unless you are the one doing the fishing, fresh fish may be a day or two old before you purchase it. So eating right to me, in this instance, means flash frozen, on the spot, is better than fresh - eaten a day or more later. This is something you will have to evaluate for yourself.

Not All Fish Are Healthy Foods

Due to the mercury in our oceans, fish can be a hazard when eaten. It's pretty hard to keep eating right when you don't know which is the safe fish to eat. We had a personal experience about this having to do with our cat, Tasha. She is a ragdoll and had a weak immune system when we got her as a baby.

Over the years, we found the best thing to feed her was raw fish. She hasn't been sickly since. This worked for several years but we got concerned about mercury finding it's way into the ocean and into our fish. We eventually switched Tasha over to raw beef, and then bison. She did okay for about three years and then I could see she was tired of that.

So, we decided to buy albacore tuna again. This time, I found a reputable place to purchase it through the Internet. It was very expensive, but we decided to give it a shot anyway.

There was a remarkable change in Tasha at that point. She became very relaxed and happy again. She was 16 1/2 years old then and we didn't like seeing her moping around.

After the first month on this high quality fish, I decided to try a less expensive brand from the healthfood store. This was still good quality so I hoped it would contain less mercury. We had her on this for a month and I noticed her attitude had changed. She seemed angry or sulky or upset more often than not.

So we went back to the more expensive albacore again. It was dramatic. She settled right down and seemed peaceful again - pleasant to be around. We had her eating right again. Pretty tricky!

So What's The Difference?

The good albacore is from a sustainable source and a very young tuna. It is from a fishery that is certified by the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council). The other was a larger albacore tuna, but I was told it was small so I was hoping it was small enough. When I compared the two, the expensive tuna had less water in the tissue, was more dense with less connective tissue.

Tasha was still hungry after eating the less expensive tuna but satisfied after eating the expensive kind. My conclusion is this: the more expensive tuna is nutrient dense, so less is required but the less expensive tuna had more mercury in it causing Tasha to feel upset most of the time.

I did some research on this and found some interesting statistics. Tuna was on the list. Evidently I was not able to get a young enough tuna from the healthfood store. Plus, it was not certified by the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) which I'll explain about further on down this page. You can get an idea of what the safe fish to eat are.

Here's the statistics I found which are from the 1990's. The stats could be higher than this now but this will give you an idea.

High Levels of Mercury

  • Shark - .98
  • Swordfish - .97
  • Kink Mackeral - .73
  • Tuna - .34

Low Levels of Mercury

  • Sardines - .016
  • Salmon - .014

Mercury Levels - Comparison

Sustainable

  • Albacore Tuna - .08
  • Halibut - .08
  • Sable - .07

Standard

  • Albacore Tuna - .34
  • Halibut - .26
  • Sable - .22

Quality Assurance

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an independent non-profit organisation that promotes responsible fishing practices. You can find their blue certification logo on products that come from their certified fisheries.This is assurance that the health and future of the fish are considered by the fishery and the result is healthy food ending up on your table which keeps you eating right.

One point here to know though about safe fish to eat, the younger the fish, the less mercury in them. Not all fish approved by the MSC are young. I just happened to locate some younger tuna. The salmon is a safer fish when it comes to mercury as it seems to have very little anyway.

We get all our tuna and salmon from Vital Choice.

Avoid Farm Raised Fish

Pass over the fish farms when you are looking for safe fish to eat. If you are buying these fish and think you are eating right, you may want to change. The fish are not fed properly which results in disease. They are not able to do what they inherently do in the wild which is swim in challenging waters. We may see ethical changes from this industry in the future as I've read something recently but we don't have it yet.

The fish are fed grains (grains are not a fish food) along with a small percentage of smaller fish pressed into pellets. They are given antibiotices to ward off disease. The salmon are continually given pink snythetic pigment to give them their pink color. If not, they would be gray.

Do you want real natural healthy fish or sick artifically grown replacements. Yes, it is cheaper. That's their game. Money profits, not healthy food. So don't plan to buy cheap fish when you are looking for safe fish to eat. It will cost more, but it is well worth the cost and you don't have to eat as much.

Let's Go Fishing

There are many small fisheries that take care to provide us with good fish. Finding the safe fish to eat can become a game. Sort of like going hunting in the olden days. It takes some work to find the food but you'll be a lot healthier and will enjoy life more... like Tasha.

References

  • http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~frf/sea-mehg.html
  • http://vitalchoice.com
  • http://www.latimes.com/la-me-salmon9dec09,0,6535872.story



Please feel free to email me if you have questions or comments. I am always happy to respond.

Go to Food Nutrition Guide from Safe Fish to Eat