Commentary: A Fishy Story
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One of my new year’s resolutions is to add more fish to my families diet.  I have done a couple of shows in the past about fish and shellfish, so that information is readily available on the Cooking Show Index.

I have done quite a bit of research on the benefits of fish in our diet and the controversial wild vs. farm/ocean raised fish. The following information is a brief review of the many websites that I have viewed.  For me and my family, I have decided that fish and seafood is very good for us, but we will eat only wild caught fish and seafood.  I know that it can be a bit more expensive, so I will simply watch for sales and stock up when I can. There is a great fish recipe at the bottom of the page that is so simple to make, yet has lots of flavor.  The best part of the recipe is that you can use any fish/seafood and any vegetable! Enjoy!

I hope this information is helpful to you on making the right decisions for your family concerning fish and seafood:

Fish is generally low in calories, saturated fat and cholesterol, making it a good overall substitute for poultry and meat. It's also a good source of protein and several vitamins and minerals. Some types of fish, particularly fatty, cold-water fish — such as salmon, mackerel and herring — are also high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s appear to decrease the risk of coronary artery disease. They may also protect against irregular heartbeats and help lower blood pressure levels.

The fish you buy in the grocery store is either caught in the wild — an ocean, river or freshwater lake — or raised on a fish farm. The location may pose some slight differences in health benefits and risks. Though farm-raised (also called ocean-raised) fish have similar amounts of omega-3 fatty acids as wild fish, they tend to have more total fat and calories. They may also have higher levels of contaminants due to toxins present in the feed given to fish. However, farm-raised fish are more readily available and often cost less.

Farm raised salmon is fed a limited diet and doesn’t eat the food that normally would turn their flesh that nice pink color we’ve come to expect. Instead the company who raises the salmon also feeds it a dye that turns the flesh pink.

Farm raised fish, and animals in general, are fed antibiotics to ensure their survival. Unfortunately, these antibiotics can linger in their systems for a long time, until the fish we eat at dinner contains certain levels of antibiotics. Just as we’re now learning the possible dangers of hormones in beef and chicken, the levels of antibiotics in fish may be a risk too. Another risk is that these chemicals can spill out into the ocean at large and enter into the systems of other animals and plants.

What can you do at home to ensure food safety?

  • Don't consume raw seafood, particularly raw shellfish.
  • Securely wrap fresh fish in a plastic bag or moisture-proof paper and store in your refrigerator.
  • Use fresh fish within two days, but preferably the day of purchase. Store frozen seafood no more than six months.
  • Defrost frozen seafood in the refrigerator just before cooking. For quicker thawing, place frozen fish in a sealed bag and immerse in cold water. Don't refreeze fish.
  • Wash hands, cutting boards and utensils with soap and water after coming in contact with fish.
  • Allow 10 minutes of cooking time for every inch of thickness for medium-cooked fish. To see if it's done, use a fork or the tip of a knife to cut into the flesh. The fish should separate into flakes and appear opaque throughout.

Hot Garlic Fish and Sugar Snap Peas
Yield: 4 servings 

8- ½ inch thick slices crusty bread (i.e. French baguette)

1 ½ lbs cod (or shrimp or fish of choice)

2 ½ c sugar snap peas (or whatever fresh veggie you want)

2 T olive oil (Canola or veggie is ok)
2 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp crushed red peppers (can be omitted if don’t like spicy)
¼ tsp pepper
1 c clam juice or vegetable stock (original recipe calls for white wine)
2 T fresh lemon juice (about ½ lemon-fresh is best over bottled concentrate)

Toast bread in a 400 degree oven for up to 6 minutes.

Place fish in a 2” deep roasting pan.  Top with peas.  Mix rest of ingredients together and pour over fish and peas.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes*, basting every couple of minutes.

Serve fish, vegetables and broth in a wide shallow bowl with a side of toast for dipping.




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