Thursday, May 14, 2009

Something's Fishy Around Here!

I have another blog called Balance Within where I write about trying to get more fit and healthy and this morning I wrote this article for it and decided to publish it here as well.

Buying Fish

I found this article by Dr. Andrew Weil very good although annoying at the same time. I wish I was more of a "foodie" that I loved cooking and thinking about food. But in actuality, I don't. I don't like thinking about food planning, shopping or preparing food much at all. I don't mind the eating part, I just don't have a passion for the process. (I do love pretty dishes, table settings and creating ambiance though, if that counts??)

A case in point..the other day we were standing in our nearly completed remodeled kitchen and Jim said, "Wow, it makes me want to cook!" I love the new kitchen for how it makes me feel when I am in it...but the thought that I WANTED to cook there never entered my mind. Here I have to add that I love to cook for people because I like to be a nurturing person, not for the joy of the act of cooking itself. Does that make any sense at all? Anyway...sorry for that little diversion from the point of this post.

What annoys me about the article quoted below is all the things we have to think about in addition to the fact that fish is good for then have to think about the bad things about fish and make thought provoking choices continually at the market. It just makes me tired. Everything has to be muddled up by man's desire to make the almighty dollar. Lean meat is good, fish is good, fruit and vegetables are good, whole grains are excellent but the human component always adds that little twist...the added hormones, pesticides, the processing, preservatives, etc.

Sometimes the added knowledge is so angst-producing that it makes me crazy. I cannot eat a strawberry anymore without wondering how much pesticide is left sitting in the little seed pockets after washing it. I cannot eat a tuna sandwich without wondering how much mercury I am consuming. Or eat a steak without wondering if the poor creature was tortured thoughtlessly in the slaughtering house. There is too much information afloat sometimes.

You cannot just eat salmon and feel good about it~you have to think about how and where it was raised. And now we have to be concerned about tilipia.

The evils and designs of conspiring men really bother me. But being informed and listening to the voices of people that are respected and trustworthy in their field of expertise is important. I do trust Dr. Weil and have found him to be right on for several years. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say. So here is what he has to say on the fish dilemma...

"I have long recommended fish as part of a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet. Last Thursday's Daily Tip covered my first choices for healthy fish - those rich in omega-3 fatty acids. However, not all fish provide the same benefits, and some species should be limited or avoided altogether. I suggest minimizing your consumption of the following:

  1. Large predatory fish. Shark, swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, and white (albacore) tuna may have high levels of mercury. Pregnant women and children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of contaminants, and should avoid these species. (Small-catch tuna is OK, as it has high levels of omega-3s.)
  2. Omega-6 rich fish. Farm-raised tilapia is one of the most highly consumed fish in America, yet it has very low levels of beneficial omega-3s and very high levels of potentially detrimental omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory, and inflammation is known to cause damage to blood vessels, the heart, lung and joint tissues, skin, and the digestive tract.
  3. Farmed salmon. Avoid farmed salmon (also called Atlantic salmon), which is what you typically find in supermarkets, restaurants and fish markets. While less expensive than wild salmon, farmed salmon is lower in omega-3s and may contain residues of antibiotics and other drugs used to treat diseases in fish farming pens. What's more, levels of PCBs and other contaminants in some farmed salmon have been found to be much higher than those found in wild salmon."
God must just look down from heaven and shake his head. He must be eager for the millennium to come as much as we are, if not more so. He must long for the day when all things will be made right and Satan will be bound.

In the meantime, I think I'll just keep praying with real intent each time I eat something that I did not grow myself, or make myself from scratch with pure motivation. Maybe it is time for us to think about praying that our food will not only strengthen and nourish our bodies but that our bodies will also be protected from any unknown danger that may come to us by eating it.

Just food for thought anyway...the best kind of calories, chemicals, or cash involved.


Shaun at Oak Den said...

ha ha! You are so like me! I LOVE pretty dishes and setting a pretty table. I love cooking for family and friends. I do not enjoy meal planning, shopping or preparing! Except I always feel so good when I've prepared a healthful meal for my family. *sigh*

Marie said...

It's so difficult today to make wise choices and smart choices with what we want to eat. There are so many mine fields out there. In the old days it was easy, you either grew it yourself or you hunted, etc. I love the idea of no calorie food. sigh . . . wouldn't that be great!