Quantcast

4 Fish We're Overeating and What to Eat Instead

Food

Paul Greenberg loved to fish growing up in Connecticut. But by the time he was an adult, he noticed there were far fewer varieties of fish than when he was a young boy. So, as he explained in his TED Talk below, he started going to fish markets to investigate. No matter where I went, Greenberg said, whether it was North Carolina, London or Paris, I would find the same four fish everywhere: shrimp, tuna, salmon and cod.

Shrimp, tuna, salmon and cod are some of the most popular fish consumed in the U.S. and the Western world, Greenberg said.

Greenberg is the author of The New York Times bestseller Four Fish and a regular contributor to The Times. His most recent book, American Catch, details how the U.S. lost and how it might regain local seafood.

Technological advances in the latter half of the 20th century allowed for a tremendous build up in fishing capacity, Greenberg explained. The number of fish caught has quadrupled from 20 million metric tons at the end of World War II to 80 million metric tons today. To put that in perspective, Greenberg said, that's the equivalent of the human weight of China taken out of the sea every year.

And now that aquaculture (raising fish and other seafood in a controlled environment) has exploded in recent years the equivalent to the human weight of two Chinas is stripped from the ocean every year, according to Greenberg.

"Aquaculture is the fastest growing food system on the planet, growing at something like 7 percent per year," Greenberg said.

Greenberg explained in his TED Talk why fishing and farming shrimp, tuna, salmon and cod are not sustainable for the environment nor for the people working in the industry. He cited problems such as slave-like conditions for workers, bycatch, the displacement of mangrove forests and the high energy use required to harvest these fish. Lastly, Greenberg offered an alternative way forward.

Watch his TED Talk here:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

These California Nuns Grow Medical Marijuana, But Their City Wants to Shut Them Down

14 Edible Plants You Can Grow Indoors

How One Man Plans to Make Billions Selling Water From Mojave Desert to Drought-Stricken California

Outraged Republican Senator Vows to Block Appointment of FDA Commissioner Over GMO Salmon

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Juvenile hatchery salmon flushed from a tanker truck in San Francisco Bay, California. Ben Moon

That salmon sitting in your neighborhood grocery store's fish counter won't look the same to you after watching Artifishal, a new film from Patagonia.

Read More Show Less
Natdanai Pankong / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD

Coconut meat is the white flesh inside a coconut.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Arx0nt / Moment / Getty Images

By Taylor Jones, RD

Oats are a highly nutritious grain with many health benefits.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

Get ready to toast bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. National Pollinator Week is June 17-23 and it's a perfect time to celebrate the birds, bugs and lizards that are so essential to the crops we grow, the flowers we smell, and the plants that produce the air we breathe.

Read More Show Less
Alexander Spatari / Moment / Getty Images

It seems like every day a new diet is declared the healthiest — paleo, ketogenic, Atkins, to name a few — while government agencies regularly release their own recommended dietary guidelines. But there may not be an ideal one-size-fits-all diet, according to a new study.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Logging shown as part of a thinning and restoration effort in the Deschutes National Forest in Oregon on Oct. 22, 2014. Oregon Department of Forestry / CC BY 2.0

The U.S Forest Service unveiled a new plan to skirt a major environmental law that requires extensive review for new logging, road building, and mining projects on its nearly 200 million acres of public land. The proposal set off alarm bells for environmental groups, according to Reuters.

Read More Show Less
Maskot / Getty Images

By Kris Gunnars, BSc

It's easy to wonder which foods are healthiest.

Read More Show Less
Homes in Washington, DC's Brookland neighborhood were condemned to clear room for a highway in the 1960s. The community fought back. Brig Cabe / DC Public Library

By Teju Adisa-Farrar & Raul Garcia

In the summer of 1969 a banner hung over a set of condemned homes in what was then the predominantly black and brown Brookland neighborhood in Washington, DC. It read, "White man's roads through black men's homes."

Earlier in the year, the District attempted to condemn the houses to make space for a proposed freeway. The plans proposed a 10-lane freeway, a behemoth of a project that would divide the nation's capital end-to-end and sever iconic Black neighborhoods like Shaw and the U Street Corridor from the rest of the city.

Read More Show Less