According to Seafood Health Facts, U.S. consumers spend about two thirds of their annual expenditures on seafood in restaurants, cafeterias or other types of foodservice businesses. As we’ve transitioned to working, learning and cooking from home, the 2 million person seafood community made up of fishermen and seafood supply chain workers is struggling as most of the restaurant demand for seafood has vanished.
We know that consuming seafood, full of omega-3 fats, provides many health benefits, particularly for maintaining a strong immune system, so why aren’t folks rushing to the seafood counter?
Consumer research suggests that many of us simply don’t know how to purchase and prepare seafood, so we largely leave it up to the expert restaurant chefs. According to Nielsen research, nearly 20% of US consumers say they want to add more fish to their diets. But, there are three main barriers which prevent them from doing so: concern about quality and freshness, sustainability and the desire to purchase seafood that is responsibly sourced and finally uncertainty about how to prepare and cook seafood (beyond shrimp and salmon). Here are some tips to overcome these barriers:
Seafood freshness and quality
The FDA has a great checklist that can help you determine freshness and quality of the seafood you purchase. Purchasing from a reputable store or seafood vendor where the fish always meets this freshness criteria is a good first step. Doing your grocery shopping online? Here are recommended resources for ordering fresh seafood online.
Are you confused about how to identify whether farmed or wild seafood is more sustainable? There are both wild and farmed seafood options that are not only good for you but also sustainable. You can make ocean-friendly choices when purchasing seafood with just a little bit of knowledge. Download the Seafood Watch app or visit their website to find sustainable seafood recommendations.
Preparation and Cooking
Seafood doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, most seafood cooks quickly making it a perfect choice for busy nights. Try some of our favorite seafood recipes below to get started. Many of the techniques in these recipes can be used on other types of fish, so we encourage experimenting with swapping in different fish.
National Seafood Month // Heart Health // Planetary Health Diet
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