Sunday, February 28, 2010

28 Day Real Food Challange: Day 26 - Fish and Seafood

The Philippines is an archipelago comprising of 7, 107 islands and I am blessed to have access to abundant fish and seafood. With so many varieties, I am still confused with the their names and their appearance. I am also concerned about the environment and pollution that has a huge impact on our islands. Since I live within the polluted and congested Metro Manila, choosing a right fishmonger and developing a good business relationship is still important.

Here's Day 26 - Fish and Seafood from Nourished Kitchen.

We're wrapping up the last week of the Real Food Challenge by discussing the value of seafood including oily fish, shellfish and roe. Dense in minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, fish and shellfish number among some of the healthiest foods available; however, they're not without their problems.

Prior to the advent of industrial agriculture, people thrived on local foods, properly prepared through traditional methods that maximized nutrient density incidentally, if not purposefully. While almost all of the food people traditionally consumed agriculture was grown or raised locally, landlocked tribes and communities often went to very great lengths to acquire mineral-rich seafood, such as dried fish roe.

The Good. Seafoods, particularly fatty fish, mollusks and even sea vegetables number among the most nutrient-dense foods available. They are remarkably rich sources of vitamins, minerals and of omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA which are known to support cardiovascular, reproductive and cognitive health.

Eaten raw, foods such as oysters, herring and roe offer present an excellent source of vitamin D. Raw fish roe is a superb source of vitamin E, a nutrient that is otherwise hard to come by outside of nut and olive oils. Clams number among the best sources of iron, while oysters are among the best sources of zinc. Salmon and other fish offer myriad vitamins and high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. No wonder traditional land-locked peoples went to such great lengths to acquire these nourishing, powerful foods.

The Bad. Our seas are polluted; fish is farmed intensively and there is an island of plastic containing over 100 million tons of garbage floating in the pacific ocean. As we've addressed earlier in the challenge, if animals are poorly nourished or subject to polluted environments, so then is their flesh.

The challenge, then, is not only to nourish our bodies well, but to do so ethically. Consuming fish and shellfish from polluted waters is increasingly risky; moreover, overfishing threatens wild populations and fish farming, in many (but not all) cases, is an environmental disaster.

A muddled solution. Fish, shellfish and roe, in particular, are rich sources of nutrients and vital foods that offer variety and enjoyment as well as simple sustenance. In our home, we rely largely on foods local to our community: beef, lamb and pork; however, we also enjoy sustainably caught fish as well, relying largely on Seafood Watch a comprehensive consumer's guide to choosing fish and seafood by the Monterrey Bay Acquarium.

Wild-caught salmon, troll-caught skipjack, wild-caught clams, wild-caught spot prawns and wild-caught Alaskan salmon roe all represent nourishing, but sustainable sources of seafood that can be cherished with moderation and pleasure.

Today's assignment is to source some high quality, but sustainable fish or seafood and prepare it well.

Day #26 Check List:
Prepare a nutrient-dense meal featuring wholesome, sustainably caught seafood. Further Reading: Follow up on the value of seafood: Do you love seafood?

Love and light,


  1. I love how whole heartedly you've taken to the event Div, and vocally too. I have adopted it more in spirit for myself rather than in writing. YOU GO GIRL! {HUGS}

  2. Hi Divina, I use to turn my nose on seafood many moons ago, but now I love it, and when I see it on menus I go straight for it. In San Francisco at the San Francisco Ferry Building(where they have the Farmer's Market) there is this seafood place that you sit outside and have your mussels looking to the beautiful bay. With a glass of lovely wine what else one need to be happy? Loved your Post, as usual very informative. :-)

  3. I miss the variety of seafood in the Philippines. Sadly, seafood that I grew up with in the Philippines aren't always readily available here in Australia. Nevertheless, we still have the usual tilapia, bangus and espada - however the one type of fish I miss the most and haven't eaten in 10 years is the humble galonggong!

  4. You are very lucky to have an abundance of seafood. Here in San Francisco, we only have a limited of fresh seafoods when they are in season such as oysters (we have an oyster farm in a nearby city) and crabs. I sometimes get itchy skin from eating unfresh seafoods so I have to be really careful with what I eat.

  5. I love seafood. Having baked cod for lunch today :D

  6. We are lucky to always have good sustainable choices of seafood in our store and try to eat seafood at least twice a week.

  7. I was never aware of the importance of choosing wild caught well raised fish until recently. My stepfather who is a toxicologist did an entire report on the dangers of farm raised fish -- the amount of bacteria and...god knows what else is completely immersed throughout the entire flesh which many people without knowing consume into their bodies. It is important that people become aware of this, so thank you for posting this!


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