Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Give up seafood, save the planet?

by MARTIN MITTELSTAEDT

Dr. David JenkinsEating fish has always been touted as an excellent dietary source of protein, with Health Canada's food guide recommending everyone eat two servings a week. The recent craze over the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish has only added to the allure.

But is eating fish the best choice for health and the planet?

Although negative views about fish consumption are almost never expressed, a group of medical and fisheries experts is making an argument against eating the seafood in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

In an analysis being released Tuesday, they say that the purported benefits of fish for such things as cardiovascular health have been overstated, while the growing demand among health aficionados for the food is destroying global fish stocks.

“The public view is that fish are good for you. There is plenty of it and let's go for it,” said David Jenkins, a nutrition professor at the University of Toronto and lead author of the journal article. “I don't think either of those views should be as strongly held as they are.”

The pitch against fish consumption because it is environmentally tainted had one unusual author, for a medical journal. The well known Canadian nature writer Farley Mowat reviewed the analysis and decided to lend his imprimatur to the call against seafood.

“I'm just desperately worried about what's happening to the life in the ocean, as everybody should be who thinks about it at all,” Mr. Mowat said in an interview.

While Mr. Mowat personally loves to eat fish, he takes the problem seriously and seldom has it on his dinner plate now.

“The fish population is declining so rapidly that I try not to lean on it any harder than I have to,” he said. …

Give up seafood, save the planet?

1 comment:

CareforNature said...

We've got to be united to save earth! Earth Hour is practiced at large scale in all developed and developing countries but there has been more publicity and awareness this year, as well as participation from large corporations like http://www.commit21.com/ which is a good sign - that there is still hope and that people still care!

Let's all do this, no matter where you are! Saturday, 28 March 2009. Lights off from 8.30pm to 9.30pm!