…to fish or not to fish?

I’ve almost completed my certificate in plant-based nutrition from Cornell University, and my assignment today was to reflect on two lectures and a video presented to us. One of the lectures highlighted the seafood industry, including farming and wild-caught varieties. The assignment was to either write a few short paragraphs (a PSA, if you will) or post a 1-minute video on your ‘Ah-Ha!’ moment, or the moment where you wanted to either lose your shit or vomit on the computer after learning how terribly and quickly we have and are depleting our entire Earth for its resources to feed our insatiable greed.

Anyway, here’s my post. Thought it’d be a great first post for my rant page, ‘the spice’. If you have comments or questions about this topic, please let me know by posting one below. If you’d like me to possibly post on a topic of your choice, I’d love to hear what you have on your mind. No promises, though!

In the United States, most of our communities have abundant access to a variety of food options. Whether it be at the local grocery store, restaurant or fast food joint, Americans have the ability to choose what they want to eat, when they want to eat it. Unfortunately, not all countries are so lucky when it comes to availability and diversity of food.

In 2009, Americans consumed 4.8 billion pounds of seafood, including fish and shellfish, at a rate of only one meal a week. Shockingly, the USDA recommendation is to consume twice that. In developing countries, namely coastal communities, seafood is relied on heavily and makes up approximately 20% of protein intake. Having an increased recommendation of seafood consumption in areas not heavily dependent on it as a primary source of protein directly impacts the livelihood of those that do.

What can you do to ensure you don’t contribute to the instability and depletion of our ocean and the environments that depend on it? Limit your consumption of seafood, including farmed varieties. Not only do farmed fisheries exploit valuable resources in creating their housing for fish, but the excrement of farmed fish is so high in nitrogen that, like fertilizer on land, it creates excessive algae that is consumed by organisms and eventually dies, depleting the polluted area of essential oxygen required for organisms to survive. The future of our oceans and Earth depends on you to make a change. Our future begins now.

1. http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/aquaculture/faqs/faq_aq_101.html

2. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/ten-tips-eat-seafood

3. http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/3_foodconsumption/en/index5.html

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