Some people soak catfish in milk or salt water to remove its somewhat muddy flavor. Substitutes : The best alternative for this one is black cod (also called sable fish), which is often touted as a more sustainable option.
Flavor/Texture : Although cod has a delicate, flaky texture, it’s also resiliently meaty and can hold up to just about any cooking method. It’s prized for its meaty, sweet flavor and boasts an impressively firm texture with big flakes.
Substitutes : Any fish with meaty texture works well here, like swordfish, marlin or shark. Can be used to describe many kinds of saltwater fish, including striped bass, rock cod, redfish and ocean perch.
Flavor/Texture : A mild fish with a slightly nutty flavor, a medium texture and a fine flake. Substitutes : Swap in one of the many fish synonymous with rock fish, or look for red snapper, porgy or cod.
Most people marinate shark meat to remove the naturally occurring ammonia flavor. Flavor/Texture : Although it’s a lean fish, properly cooked snapper is moist with a mild, sweet flavor and a delicate but firm texture.
Substitutes : Any whitefish with a delicate flavor will work here, like tile fish, flounder or grouper. When cooked, this fish flakes easily but sushi-grade tuna can be consumed raw and has a delicate, melt-in-your-mouth quality.
Substitutes : Choose a whitefish with a flaky texture, like haddock, rock fish or snapper. The sour cream dill sauce is subtly seasoned with horseradish so that it doesn't overpower the delicate salmon flavor.
It's a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals that's low in cholesterol-raising saturated fat. And some types of fish contain high levels of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.
Research has shown that eating fish, especially fatty fish, helps lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, arthritis, macular degeneration and Alzheimer's disease. And if you choose fish based only on its omega-3 fat content, you could end up eating a highly contaminated meal.
In general, the healthiest and safest seafood choices are also the most environmentally friendly ones. Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and is also released in the air and water from industrial pollution.
Larger, longer-living predatory fish (e.g. Chileanseabass, grouper, swordfish and some types of tuna) end up with the most toxins. As smaller fish are eaten by larger ones, contaminants are concentrated and accumulated.
If you regularly eat fish high in mercury, the metal can build up in the body and lead to health problems. Since it affects the nervous system, the developing fetus and young children are particularly vulnerable.
If women consume too much mercury before and during pregnancy, it may increase the risk of birth defects and learning disabilities in children. That's why many agencies advise women who are pregnant, could become pregnant, or nursing and young children to avoid eating high-mercury fish such as tuna steaks, king mackerel, shark, swordfish, marlin, orange roughly, tile fish and Escobar.
Canned light tuna usually contains skip jack, a smaller fish relatively low in mercury. Sustainable seafood is caught in a way that doesn't harm the environment or other species of fish and is not overfished.
Fish deemed unsustainable had significantly higher levels of mercury. It's important to note, however, that several good sources of omega-3s such as salmon were not included in the analysis because they were missing from the database.
Today there are a number of seafood-awareness programs to help guide you at the fish counter. The Monterey Bay Aquarium, which has a reputation for promoting safe and sustainable seafoods, has a “Super Green” list of choices that are high in omega-3s, low in mercury and caught sustainably.
The super green list includes freshwater coho salmon (U.S. and B.C. Farmed Arctic char, wild-caught Denseness crab (California, Oregon, Washington), farmed mussels and wild-caught long fin squid (U.S. Atlantic) are also good choices, but provides smaller amounts of omega-3s.
The organizations' downloadable seafood and sushi selectors indicate the best choices and ones to avoid. Leslie Beck, a registered dietitian, is the national director of nutrition at Conscience Medical.
She can be seen every Thursday at noon on CTV News Channel's Direct. The Arizona State University study ranked seafood choices as green, red or gray based on health, safety and sustainability data.
Leslie Beck, a registered dietitian, is the national director of nutrition at Conscience Medical. She can be seen every Thursday at noon on CTV News Channel's Direct.
Editor's note: Arizona State University was incorrectly identified in the original version of this article. Those are some substitutions found during a two-year investigation of seafood by the world's largest ocean conservation group.
One-third of the fish purchased in restaurants, supermarkets and sushi counters was mislabeled, the non-profit group Oceana said in a report out today. “Honestly, it was a surprise,” says Beth Lowell, who coordinated the survey for Oceana.
Oceana wasn't able to determine whether the mislabeling occurred at the supplier, distributor or retailer. There are no solid government figures on seafood substitution and fraud overall, says Steve Wilson, chief quality officer with the voluntary Seafood Inspection Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Selling one kind of fish under another name is illegal under FDA regulations, but there is little federal oversight. A 2009 Government Accounting Office report found that about 2% of seafood is inspected specifically for species substitution or fraud.
Some fish are honestly mislabeled, often because once they're filleted, many fish look similar, but outright fraud is common as suppliers or restaurants pass off a cheaper, less tasty species for a more expensive and rare one, Lowell says. Tight supply makes it more expensive, giving unscrupulous operators an opening to swap out one white fillet for another.
One of the most frequently faked fish Oceana found was sushi labeled “white tuna” when it actually was Escobar. Escobar contains a “strong purgative oil,” in the words of the FDA, that can cause diarrhea and gastrointestinal distress for several days.
More recently, Antarctic tooth fish was added to the Chileanseabass umbrella, but the Patagonian variety is much more common. It’s found in the cold, deep waters of the oceans of the Southern Hemisphere, and can live at depths of 12,600 feet and temperatures of 34 degrees.
It can live up to 50 years, reach lengths of more than seven feet, and has an average weight of about 15 to 22 pounds. Chileanseabass is a white, flaky fish, and it actually does taste quite a bit like cod.
Substitutes: grouper (more flavorful) OR monkish OR red snapper (flakier texture) OR sleepyhead OR rock fish (flakier texture) Grouper Notes: This category includes California sea bass, Jewish, and Cabrillo.
Like their shark relatives, skates have cartilage and tough, sandpaper skin. After you peel off the skin, the wing can be further poached, or baked or fried.
Striped bass = stripper Substitutes: grouper OR sea bass (less choice) OR tile fish OR halibut OR salmon OR blackish Tilapia Substitutes: red snapper (flakier texture) OR bass OR flounder OR sole OR orange roughly OR ocean perchCopyright © 1996-2005 Lori Alden.
Harvard School of Public Health: “Fish: Friend or Foe?” National Institute of Health: “A Framework for Assessing Effects of the Food System.
Washington State Department of Health: “Healthy Fish Guide.” Colorado State University College of Health and Human Services: “Wild Caught vs.
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