How to Shop for Fish Without Ruining the Planet
Fish is good for you, it’s easy to cook, but so much of it is not sourced sustainably. Mark Bittman tells us what you can buy from your fishmonger—and what you should definitely avoid.
Released on 3/21/2017
Well, why eat fish?
I mean, at this point the easiest thing
to say would be don't.
So many fish are endangered, but they're good for you,
they're super delicious, they're easy to cook,
and many of them are sustainable.
Generally speaking, farmed bivalves,
so oysters, clams, mussels are all fine.
Almost always without exception,
you can feel good about that.
Farmed shrimp you want to stay away from.
Stone crab claws, they're sustainable because
the rule is you can tear one of the claws off a crab
and then throw the rest of the crab back,
and then the leg grows back.
So if you feel okay about that,
these are good to eat.
Okay, salmon, it's pretty simple, you want wild salmon.
Snapper is so often mislabeled and so many species
are endangered, I would steer clear of it entirely.
Sword fish in and out and here I'm gonna plug
the Monterey Bay Aquarium because that website
will tell you which sword fish is sustainable,
which sword fish to avoid.
Chilean sea bass, no, never.
I hope that's clear enough.
Yellowfin tuna is a tuna that you can buy
with some confidence.
Bluefin tuna is a no-no, never.
It's endangered, probably 90% of the fish is gone.
Sadly, it's really delicious but it's not something
you should be buying or eating at sushi bars.
Generally speaking, fish that's imported from
Japan and Spain, I would tend to steer clear of.
These just came in, these sardines are from today?
Sardines and anchovies are a group of fish
that we're destined to eat more of.
There's plenty of them,
so you can see really nice clear eye,
beautiful shiny skin, quite firm flesh,
so that's a nice fish.
Catfish is a great substitute for cod.
Cod is endangered and becoming increasingly so.
Here's a Spanish mackerel whole,
this one you can see it's firm,
clear, bright eyes, smells great,
which is always a good indication of freshness,
so there you have it.
Eating sustainable fish doesn't mean
eating uninteresting fish.
There are some old favorites that you can turn to,
wild salmon for example,
and then there are these new fish
that are really, really good alternatives
to the old stand-bys.