Most Canadians still aren’t trolling for dinner often enough. Use this guide and accompanying recipes to navigate the seafood counter like Captain Ahab and get hooked on the best catches that meet your need for good nutrition and earth’s need for sustainability.
Fish large and small have a nutritional resumé not found in other meats like beef and chicken. This is why certain health organizations stress that we should be eating seafood more often, especially those that supply heart-healthy omega-3 fats.
But for all that is nutritionally great about seafood, there’s no shortage of concerns over sustainability.
Some dicey options carry a heavy environmental burden, including unrelenting overfishing or farming methods that can pollute surrounding waterways. (See our interview with Alexandra Morton on the subject of open-net fish farms.)
Despite the scary headlines, however, there is no need to spurn wild and farmed seafood entirely. The key is to wade through the murky waters and become better informed about the best choices for you and the planet. You can make a good start with these recipes that call upon fish and shellfish that can help preserve our gifts from the sea for generations to come.
School of fish
On top of our big five, these are more sustainable and nutritious seafood options you can feel good about casting your line for.
- barramundi (US and Vietnam farmed)
- catfish (North American farmed)
- lake whitefish
- Pacific cod (lingcod)
- Pacific halibut
- Pacific sardines
- pickerel (walleye)
- rainbow trout
- scallops (farmed)
- spot prawns
- tilapia (North American farmed)
- tuna (albacore or skipjack—pole caught)
Avoiding frozen? Let it go
Don’t be fresh-obsessed when it comes to buying fish. State-of-the-art flash-freezing technology, employed shortly after fish such as wild salmon have been hauled on board, results in little, if any, loss of quality. Not to mention that frozen fish can be more economical, and it also means you can buy it in advance of use when desired.