Have you thought about where your salmon comes from🐟? A new Netflix documentary, Seaspiracy, has stirred the ocean waters, creating a controversy of what exactly is seafood sustainability and why it’s important. Seafood sustainability is about how seafood is caught or farmed with minimal environmental and social impacts. It is intended to maintain healthy populations of fish while minimizing the impact of the fishing industry on the marine environment. Seaspiracy, definitely made me yearn for the truth. Is the seafood industry truly sustainable? Do the benefits of consuming seafood outweigh the environmental dilemmas?
Seaspiracy examines the global fishing industry, challenges notions of sustainable fishing and shows how human actions cause widespread environmental destruction. According to the filmmakers, the “ban single plastic to save marine animal” campaign is just a small part of the solution to protecting our oceans. The movie demonstrates how fishing nets are much more threatening to marine life. Yet these accusations have been disputed out by the industry, claiming the movie creators are making misleading claims, using out of context interviews and man-made statistics.
The techniques of film 🎥 and storytelling build a strong case against the seafood industry and their supposed lack of care for the marine environment. In the end, the waves of controversy will most likely benefit the seafood industry. Seafood actually has a lower carbon footprint than any other complete protein. It’s nutritious and delicious😋. The nutrition benefits of seafood are well-researched, and there is wide consensus that eating more seafood can significantly reduce the risks of chronic disease. Seafood has many immune-boosting nutritional properties, including being a source of lean protein, vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, selenium, iron and zinc. A new study from the University of Pennsylvania states frequent fish consumption is linked to both fewer sleep problems and higher IQ scores in children. Dietary fish and omega-3 fatty acid intake is also associated with improved cognitive and academic performance in adolescents and reduced cognitive decline and dementia in older age.
Sustainability is defined as minimizing impact on the environment; not taking more out of the ocean than it can naturally replenish. Per the seafood industry, wild fish caught in the US is sustainable, making sure farms have minimal impact on the environment. Regulations are tightly controlled in the US, including seafood imports. Yet, an upward trend of the United States producing more than 80% of its seafood abroad is not helpful for sustainability because other countries are not as careful in their environmental protections. It is a bit of a conundrum on many levels. For those who enjoy seafood and want to maintain the nutritional benefits without harming the environment, one option is to be more selective and buy seafood that is sourced locally. Also, be sure the look for the certification logo or mark on packages and at the seafood counter, to know you are buying responsibly farmed or caught products.
Omega 3 fatty acids are key resources to our overall health. Studies have found that they may reduce inflammation, decrease blood triglycerides and even reduce the risk of dementia. Fatty fish has been known to be the best source, but you can lean into non-fish options as well: chia seeds, Brussel sprouts, algal oil (oil from algae), hemp seeds, walnuts, flaxseeds. perilla oil (from perilla seeds). Where do we land with this dilemma? The choice to eat seafood or not is yours, but prioritizing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids should be a priority, regardless of your source!
Here are some tasty recipes, all with healthy sources of omega-3s. From my very first blog, to today, and always ~ Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much food.
12 ounces vegetable-based or whole wheat pasta
1 1/2 Tablespoons truffle oil
3–4 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 Tablespoon from the jar)
16 ounces shiitake mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
8 ounces fresh lump crab meat
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbles
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Prepare pasta according to package directions. Place in serving bowl and keep warm.
Place large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon truffle oil and heat for 2–3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 4–5 minutes, or until softened. Add mushrooms and balsamic vinegar. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Add crab and heat through.
Pour veggie and crab mixture over the pasta. Add 1/2 tablespoon of truffle oil and gently stir. Top with 1/2 tablespoon feta cheese, parsley and ground pepper to taste. Makes 4–5 servings.
1 1/2 cups dried Israeli couscous
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound sea scallops
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped (if not using scallops, add 1/2 cup walnuts)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Prepare Israeli couscous according to package directions.
While couscous/or p’titim is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, reduce heat to medium-low and add the garlic. Sauté the garlic for about 2 minutes. Add scallops and sauté about 4 minutes, flip over and continue cooking for another 4 minutes.
Add prepared Israeli couscous, parsley, lemon juice, walnuts, pepper and red pepper flakes to the skillet. Continue to cook and stir for about 2 minutes, until all is heated through. Adjust seasonings to taste. Makes approximately 5 servings. Serve with roasted veggies or a side salad.
1 large beet, peeled and sliced into 4–5 1/2-inch thick pieces
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon walnut oil (optional, only if you like)
2–3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts
1/4 cup feta or blue cheese, crumbles
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Optional garnish: 1/4 cup fresh thyme or basil, chopped
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Place the cut beets on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, walnut oil and garlic. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, turning once or twice with a spatula, until the beets are tender. Remove from the oven and toss with walnuts, blue cheese and pepper. Sprinkle with fresh thyme or basil and serve warm. Suggestion: place on top of toasted whole grain bread.
Proposition: Let’s get uncomfortable together🥴. Being uncomfortable is scary. It can be anxiety provoking. However, we do not make changes unless we truly feel uncomfortable on some level. Have an uncomfortable conversation with yourself. What is truly holding your back from making a change you know you want to make? Or why/what is the change you want to make? You need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The more familiar you get yourself with this feeling, the more you will feel empowered to make a change🙌🏽.
You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.
Innis, S. M. Dietary (n-3) fatty acids and brain development. J Nutr 137, 855–859 (2007).
Marik, P. E. & Varon, J. Omega-3 dietary supplements and the risk of cardiovascular events: a systematic review. Clinical cardiology 32, 365–372, https://doi.org/10.1002/clc.20604 (2009).
Young, G. & Conquer, J. Omega-3 fatty acids and neuropsychiatric disorders. Reproduction, nutrition, development 45, 1–28 (2005).
Qin, B. et al. Fish intake is associated with slower cognitive decline in Chinese older adults. J Nutr 144, 1579–1585, https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.114.193854 (2014).
Schaefer, E. J. et al. Plasma phosphatidylcholine docosahexaenoic acid content and risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease: the Framingham Heart Study. Arch Neurol 63, 1545–1550, https://doi.org/10.1001/archneur.63.11.1545 (2006).
van Gelder, B. M., Tijhuis, M., Kalmijn, S. & Kromhout, D. Fish consumption, n− 3 fatty acids, and subsequent 5-y cognitive decline in elderly men: the Zutphen Elderly Study. The American journal of clinical nutrition 85, 1142–1147 (2007).
When life gives you lemons🍋, how do you handle it? Do you show up as your best self? With a whole damn pitcher of lemonade :)? Do you curl up under the sheets to avoid human contact? Perhaps you’re somewhere in the middle — you show up, but not with the energy needed to manage the situation. For the last year (plus) every one of us was handed bushels of lemons. Many people experienced days, weeks or months that were quite sour. Some of us used the pandemic as a time to complete projects, cook, bake, exercise, hang with your pod, and gather outside with others. Spring is in the air and, with the promise of vaccination, hope is also out there. Let’s embrace some hope, slice up some lemons and create more hope…and some tasty zesty food.
In regard to nutrition, if you could pick one new thing to create or change, what would it be (i.e. add veggies to a meal, eat breakfast, mindful eating)? Regardless of what you decide to change, you need to have a strategy to help make the change doable and sustainable. Hope alone is not a strategy. I “hope” to lose 10 pounds before the summer. I “hope” to start running. I “hope” I will drink less once I can get out again (LOL). What do you want to change? What is your strategy to get there? Your strategy or plan of action will help you to achieve your desired new habit. Without it, when the lemon is handed to you along your journey — and it will happen, you need to be prepared to manage the obstacle(s).
As dietitians we talk a lot about SMART goals. They very efficiently take you right where you need to be, when setting goals:
S — Specific
M — Measurable
A — Achievable
R — Relevant
T — Time-bound
Example of a vague goal or strategy: I will lose 10 pounds by summer.
Example of a SMART strategy: I will include at least one vegetable serving with my lunch 5 days a week. I will include vegetables on my shopping list to be sure I always have options. This will help me fill up at lunch with the extra fiber. Starting next Monday, I’ll add a vegetable to my lunch at least 5 times each week. I will put food shopping on my calendar for this Sunday, so I’ll be ready.
Creating your own personal strategies to achieve your own personal want, no matter how daunting the task, will help get past any lemons thrown your way. Your plan can break down any goal into measurable and achievable amounts. Your plan should empower you, as you know you can do it! Plan meals, grocery shopping lists, exercise classes, & social situations that we have not managed in quite some time. Without a personal plan or strategy, you may feel frustrated or lost (sour lemons) instead of energized and focused (with a lemon martini🍋)…SEE BELOW!
The most effective way to do it, is to do it.
~Amelia Earhart, first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean
The rebellious Rd
As a longtime promoter of healthy cooking and eating, Amy's focus is on plant-based eating, with a rebellious twist - that she and no one, needs to be perfect.