Choosing Clean Protein Fish

By: Ron Lagerquist

The chart below lists fish that are not endangered and are safe to eat, even by pregnant woman and young children. The asterisk indicates fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Fish

Protein

**Sockeye Salmon

 60%

 *Chinook Salmon

 47%

 *Chum Salmon

 71%

 *Coho Salmon

 58%

 Pink Salmon

 68%

 *Herring

 48%

 *Mackerel

 39%

 *Pacific Oyster

 50%

 *Sardines

 51%

 Tilapia

 81%

 Snow Crab

 84%

 Pollock

 89%

Fish is easier to digest than chicken or beef, and if prepared wisely, is low in saturated fat. But the real magic in cold-water fish is their oil. Many types of fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Unfortunately, there is a downside: oil spills, sewage, and airborne contaminants are turning oceans into an international garbage dump. Since oceans cover two thirds of the earth’s surface, the mentality is there is no way man’s activity could affect the chemistry of such a vast volume of water. Out of sight, out of mind?

When it comes to the relationship between the health of the earth and human wellbeing, “out of sight, out of The world’s largest dump is located halfway between San Francisco and Hawaii, a rotating tangle of trash-laden water twice the size of Texas in the middle of the ocean. I have driven through about half of Texas and cannot imagine we are capable of producing that much waste. This area is infamously known as the Eastern Garbage Patch.

In June 1995, Green Peace scientists tested cod-liver oil from six countries. They sampled 22 brands commonly sold in health food stores. Of the 22 samples, 21 had high levels of hazardous contaminants, such as organochlorine pesticides, DDT, lindane and polychlorinated byphenyls (PCBs). One of the popular brands tested would have introduced 128 times the UK estimated daily intake of PCBs.mind” has a visible price tag. Regrettably, the children often pay for the excesses of their fathers. The high cost of using our oceans as garbage dumps is now rearing its ugly head in the fish we eat, and is directly affecting human health. Monitoring the level of contaminants in fish livers provides a stark portrait of the damage being done to the earth’s oceans.


Green Peace has documented the potential health dangers of these chemicals. Organochlorine toxins are known to accumulate in human blood, breast milk and body fat, causing birth defects, infertility, and altered levels of sex hormones. Some ocean fish are so high in mercury that no amount is recommended for human consumption.

There are still some pristine waters left on earth. Choosing the right types of fish to eat is crucial to enjoying their benefits without ingesting damaging toxins. 

Fish to Avoid Eating

This is a list of fish that have been tested highest in environmental containments, including mercury, and that should be avoided.

  • Seabass
  • Grouper
  • Marlin
  • Orange Roughy
  • Rock Cod
  • Shark
  • Swordfish
  • Bluefin Tuna
  • Atlantic Salmon
  • Tilefish

Fish that are high in containments like mercury typically are larger, long-lived fish who dine on smaller mercury-containing bait fish, concentrating containments in their flesh and oil. 

I eat two to three fish meals a week in the form of fresh grilled salmon with skin on, or canned sockeye salmon. Supper will always include a green salad or steamed vegetable. To grill fish, we use the George Foreman grill with a light mist of olive oil and seasonings. Pollock is a high-protein, low-fat fish that can be flaked over fresh salad, creating a full meal that is great after a workout at the gym. If you do not like the typical fishy taste and have not tried tilapia, you are in for a surprise. Tilapia has a light delicate flavor that even the most sensitive palate will welcome with open mouth.tested highest in environmental containments, including mercury, and that should be avoided. Fish that are high in containments like mercury typically are larger, long-lived fish who dine on smaller mercury-containing bait fish, concentrating containments in their flesh and oil.

Related Article: Choosing Clean Burning Protein Meat

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