Healthy Child often talks about the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen fruits and vegetables to avoid due to pesticide residues, but here’s another terrible twelve to remember.
Food & Water Watch, another fantastic non-profit, has come out with their own Dirty Dozen list for fish. They selected fish that fail at least two of their criteria for safe and sustainable seafood:
- The fish contains mercury or PCBs that can cause serious health problems.
- The fish is imported from countries where health, environmental or safety standards for growing or catching fish are weak and/or non-existent.
- Many wild fish are managed poorly, are caught using gear that can hurt habitat and other wildlife, and/or the stocks are becoming depleted.
- Less than 2% of imported fish to the U.S. is tested for contamination.
Here’s their Dirty Dozen Fish List (the order listed does not reflect a ranking):
- Atlantic Cod
- Atlantic Flatfish, e.g. Atlantic halibut, flounders and sole
- Caviar, especially from beluga and other wild-caught sturgeon
- Chilean Seabass
- Farmed Salmon, often called “Atlantic salmon.” (Tip: don’t be fooled by “organic” salmon – it’s usually farmed internationally and not certified by U.S. standards.)
- Imported Basa/Swai/Tra: (Tip: These are often called “catfish” — ask where it is from and check country of origin labels.)
- Imported farmed shrimp
- Imported King Crab
- Orange Roughy
- Tuna, especially Atlantic Bluefin (Pacific albacore and Atlantic skipjack are exempted)
Check out their amazing Smart Seafood Guide.
Find Out More:
- Not a Fish Tale: EPA to Regulate Mercury Emissions
- Fishing for Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Find more tips, tools, shopping guides and recipes for eating safe and healthy