In the January, 2010 issue one reader asked the Foodist, “With the buzz surrounding sustainable seafood, why do so many restaurants still serve endangered fish, and what can I do about it?” This is the dilemma of the year for me.
The Foodist responds with a few good rules to keep in mind:
- Avoid all farm-raised salmon and imported farm-raised fish and shellfish due to increased levels of toxic chemicals. (Domestic farm-raised barramundi, arctic char, catfish, striped bass, and rainbow trout are fine.)
- Eat sardines and mackerel: The rule of thumb is the smaller the fish, the more sustainable.
- Avoid Chilean sea bass, bluefin tuna, orange roughy, imported sturgeon caviar, and imported shrimp whenever possible.
- And, just because it’s on the menu at a famous chef’s restaurant doesn’t mean it’s okay to eat.
I would add to that: If the fish isn’t local, eat frozen rather than fresh as I mentioned in a recent blog post. You may have to ask your server how it arrives at the restaurant.
And, I’d still be skeptical about any farmed fish even though the Foodist okays a select few in rule number one, above. My question is: What do farmed fish eat? No doubt, corn is on their menu.