Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fish Confusion

These days when I find myself standing in front of the fish market, I find myself overwhelmed with so many questions. What is safe to consume? What wild fish has high levels of mercury? Is farm raised fish really sustainable? If agricultural run off water is used for farm raised fish, do I need to worry about fertilizers and pesticides? What wild fish is over fished? With all these questions plus more, I really struggle with buying fish for consumption. There's so much to think about when it comes to fish, not only our health, but our environment and the politics as well. And now that I think about what I feed my kids as well as myself, these questions seem to weigh on my mind even more.

With all that said, I bought farm raised tilapia for the first time. I bought it with much uncertainty, but the purchase came as a result of elimination. I eliminated the large ocean fish due to mercury and over fishing, eliminated other farm raised fish due to pollutants and political reasons, which left me with no other choice that day but tilapia. I could have walked away from the fish counter all together but for some reason I had a hankering for fish. So I walked away with my tilapia, which by the way, may be potentially worse for you than bacon due to it's high levels of omega-6 fatty acids. That's just great, I'd rather be eating bacon if that's the case. Oh well, I guess you can't win them all.

So what did I make with that tilapia, you ask? I wanted to make something the boys would eat. Of course, it would need to be fried with some yummy bread like crust if they were going to consider it at all. So, I simply coated the fish with cornmeal that I seasoned with garlic powder, paprika, pepper and salt, and just pan fried it in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Served it with black beans and cornbread drizzled with honey. Adults got salsa too. I would have to file it away as a hit since all 3 boys ate it. I'm always happy when I make something everyone eats. If only one eats it's a failure, 2 eats then it was OK, all 3 makes it a real winner! So the tilapia was a winner but I have to admit, I'm still not certain whether to buy it again.

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