Why Seafood?

ackfish - Version 2aI’ve always thought that the question should be, “Why not eat seafood?” Low in fat and rich in nutrients, it has long been a primary source of protein for me. I’m not alone in opting for a diet rich in fish and shellfish. Presently there are 23 million Americans who no longer eat meat and only consume fish. Even more have taken the less radical step of integrating seafood into their weekly menus.

The latest U.S. dietary guidelines advise Americans to consume twice as much fish as they currently do to reduce the risk of heart disease. It’s advice not to be taken lightly. Research has shown that eating two (3-ounce) servings of fish per week lessens the likelihood of dying from heart disease by 36 percent. Studies have also indicated that increased seafood consumption may lower the occurrence of strokes, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer.

What makes fish and shellfish so magical is their richness in omega-3 fatty acids. Especially common in fatty, deep-water fish, these acids are known to lower bad cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein levels, which contribute to cardiovascular disease. Omega-3s may also increase good cholesterol or high-density lipoproteins, which help transport cholesterol through the bloodstream. That’s nothing to sneeze at.

Beyond nutrition and healthfulness seafood offers an alternative to consuming factory-farmed animals. Too often industrialized cows, pigs, and chickens live their short lives in appalling conditions. They lack room to roam, graze, and, in some instances, even breathe. Such is not the case with fish and shellfish. Whether puttering about in the ocean, rivers, or man-made ponds or lakes, they retain their intended lifestyles and exist relatively cruelty-free. If, like me, you’re concerned about animal welfare but you don’t want to give up eating all animal proteins, you can keep seafood in your diet without much guilt.

Another bonus is that sustainably farmed seafood is much richer in flavor than the less-humane alternatives. A fish that has lived in its natural environment, swum freely, and consumed the foods that it’s meant to eat possesses a taste and texture unparalleled to any bland, mass-produced meat or poultry.

Healthy, flavorful, and incredibly easy to prepare, fish and shellfish are a blessing on nights when I’m juggling six different activities and don’t have time to while away hours at the stove. I just season a fish fillet or steak with sea salt and ground black pepper and then plop it on the grill, under the broiler, or on the stovetop. Within minutes of it hitting the heat I have a tasty meal. If I want to dress up the fish, I drizzle a little lemon juice, melted butter, or hot sauce over the top. In a snap dinner is ready.

In Fish Market you’ll learn what seafood will satisfy the diehard meat lovers and finicky fish eaters at your dinner table. The book explains which fish taste rich and beefy or mild and less fishy, offering good choices for those more accustomed to consuming beef and pork. It shows how to please picky diners while providing them with a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients.

Thanks to Fish Market, you’ll no longer worry about what to cook or serve with seafood. Here you’ll find information on flavor affinities, e.g. bay leaves, Dijon mustard and lemon will compliment an oyster’s briny flavor. You’ll receive advice on food pairings, with insights into what textures and tastes go well with each fish. You’ll learn that mussels marry splendidly with pasta, potatoes or spinach while barramundi partners nicely with bok choy or banana leaves. You’ll also have a handy chapter featuring seafood-friendly sides and suggestions for which fish to serve with each dish. anchovies