Sunday, August 4, 2013

Eco-Best Seafood

I cooked fish for dinner last night- something I haven't done in quite some time. I was always confused when choosing what to cook because I didn't know which fish were sustainable and eco-friendly. I chose a Pacific Halibut last night and topped it with a Brushetta. Mmmmm, it was yummy. (The recipe is at the bottom if you would like). I made my choice based on the Environmental Defense Fund's (EDF) three levels of seafood: eco-best, eco-ok, and eco-worst.

Eco-Best Seafood: Fish on this list are the safest for your health as well as the environment. They are either wild fish caught in a sustainable manner that does not harm other marine life or the environment or they are farm raised in a manner that controls the spread of disease, chemical use, and pollution. You can safely eat fish in this category once a week.

Some examples:
  • European anchovies
  • United States baramundi
  • United States catfish
  • Farmed clams
  • Pacific halibut
  • United States Caribbean spiny lobster
  • United States mahimahi
  • Mussels
  • Farmed oysters
  • Alaskan and Canadian black cod
  • Wild Alaska salmon
  • Farmed bay scallops
  • United States tilapia
  • Farmed striped bass
  • United States albacore tuna

Eco-Ok Seafood: Fish in this category should only be eaten in moderation and there are mixed records on their sustainability. It is more difficult to figure out how these guys are raised, caught, or farmed. These types of fish may also contain higher levels of mercury or other environmental toxins.

Some examples:
  • Farmed caviar
  • Pacific cod
  • United States king crab
  • Pacific flounder
  • American/Maine lobster
  • United States and Canadian sea scallops
  • Black sea bass
  • United States farmed and wild shrimp
  • Yellowtail snapper
  • United States swordfish
  • Imported bigeye/yellowfin tuna

Eco-Worst Seafood: Eco-worst should be avoided as much as possible. These fish most likely come from over-fished areas or poorly managed farms. They typically contain high levels of mercury or other environmental chemicals. They are bad for you and the environmental. Alas, my love affair with octopus has ended!

Some examples:
  • Chilean sea bass
  • Atlantic cod
  • Imported king crab
  • Atlantic flounder/sole
  • Grouper
  • Atlantic halibut
  • Imported mahimahi
  • Monkfish
  • Octopus
  • Farmed or Atlantic salmon
  • Maine sea urchin
  • Shark
  • Imported shrimp/prawns
  • Red snapper
  • Imported swordfish
  • Bluefin tuna

For more information visit: or download their Pocket Seafood Selector and take it with you when shopping or eating out.

My yummy dinner last night:
Pacific Halibut baked 10-15 minutes on 400, until it is nice and flakey.
The Bruschetta topping consists of tomatoes, basil, lots of garlic, a splash of balsamic vinegar and olive oil lovingly smashed together and served room temperature draped over the top.  

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