Archive for the ‘fish’ Category

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Swimming Upstream: When it comes to fish, go wild

February 9, 2011

Farm Raised vs. Wild Caught.  Is there a difference?  Hook, line and sinker.

When it comes to fish, go wild.

When you sang Old MacDonald growing up, I bet you $100 one of your answers was never ‘had a fish, eieio’.  Now, how did salmon and tuna trade in their tails for the ranching life? 

Before we jump into that pond, an ode for seafood.

We love fish for its versatility, variety, flavor and health benefits.  Omega-3’s found in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines have been shown to have a variety of benefits ranging from reducing the risk of heart disease to treating the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. We don’t produce these Omega-3’s on our own, so it’s critical we get them from our food.

So, does it matter whether we opt for wild caught or farm raised fish?  The answer is absealutely.
Wild fish swims in the sea where it’s supposed to, and is usually line caught. 

Farm raised salmon are housed within small pens that are set up in the ocean or in small ponds and are fed with food other than what nature intended.

Think free range chicken, beef, etc.  Same philosophy. So herein lies the problem.  Farm raised fish are:

  1. Confined and medicated: Think of it as a CAFO under the sea.  These farms can stretch as far as four football fields and contain over a million fish crammed together in floating pens.  The overcrowding increases their risk of infection and disease and they’re often given antibiotics to help deter this.  Sea lice have been known to infiltrate these pens, killing young salmon.
  2. Fed funky food pellets:  Instead of being allowed to find their own natural food sources, they’re fed dried food pellets made up of fish oil and fish meal. Salmon farmers give farm raised salmon a similar color by feeding them a synthetic pigment called canthaxanthin. It’s since been banned in Great Britain.  To add to the mix, pellets often contain cancer causing agents as PCBS, dioxins, and even flame retardants.
  3. Nearly void of good Omegas:  Lower omega-3 levels have been found in farm raised, but they also have higher omega-6 fatty acid levels, a pro-inflammatory that you want to try and avoid.
  4. Prone to E.coli contamination:  Because of overcrowded conditions, fish excretions accumulate and have no where to go.  They can enter fish gills and become a threat to their health and those that eat them.

The bottom line?

According to statistics, the most common fish species raised by fish farms are salmon, carp, tilapia, European seabass, catfish and cod and it’s estimated that only about 10% of the salmon on the market in the U.S. is wild.  Although wild fish may be a bit more expensive than farm raised, you get what you pay for. 

What’s a seafood loving soul to do? Dive in.

– Ask where your food comes from. Look for ‘wild caught’ or ‘line caught’ fish at the grocery store and request more from your fishmonger.  If you’re at a restaurant or sushi bar, don’t hesitate to ask if they offer wild caught and let them know you prefer those selections. 

Look for the smoked section.  Most Gravlax and smoked salmon is wild caught and because of the strong flavor, a little goes a long way.  It’s not just for bagels, either. Toss it into your pasta, alongside eggs and atop sliced, sprouted wheat bread with a dab of nonfat greek yogurt, lemon and fresh dill.

Wash and cook it good. Clean your seafood fillets and whole fish with Eat Cleaner All Natural Seafood + Poultry Wash to help cleanse away contaminants, bacteria and pesticide residue.  According to the Environmental Working Group, you can also reduce your exposure  by trimming fat from fish before cooking.  If farm raised is your only option, limit consumption to once a month. Learn more at http://www.ewg.org/reports/farmedpcbs.

Seafood WATCH.  The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood WATCH program offers updated resources on sustainable selections by the region you live in.  Consult their site and download their guides and iPhone app here.

It’s Fit February here at the Cleaner Plate Club.  Stay seafood savvy and eat your way to better health with us all month long!

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The Leaner in Cleaner

April 19, 2010

For us, diet is a 4-letter word. It conjures up visions of starvation, sacrifice and self-induced torture and ultimately, sabotage. When you have to find excuses to cheat no other than your own conscience, you know there’s something broken. If you’re a fan of word puzzles then you don’t need to look much further than our very own moniker to shedding unwanted pounds. 

Get Lean by Getting Cleaner. 

Our very own sales and marketing manager extraordinaire Ninfa is living proof. Just like a beautiful banana, she peeled off 15 pounds just by making a few small changes in her diet. Cleaner fruits and vegetables. Fewer chips and soda. Nutrient denser, Less processed foods. She looks great and feels more energetic and she’s getting her family on board. It’s a formula my 4 year-old can recite: Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables + lean protein and plenty of alkaline water = happy, healthy physiques. 

The ‘er’ in the everyday goes a long way to empowering yourself and everyone around you. Lean back, lean back. 

  


 Junk Food Confessions

When you’re about to say something you shouldn’t, you might bite your tongue. The fact is much or your ability to control your entire body lies in that little pink bundle of muscle. Your natural ability to sense sweet, sour, salty and bitter are there but sweet and salty are heightened by your sense of smell, making foods that fall into those categories that much more difficult to resist.   

Don’t despair. For every ‘vice’, there’s a delicious alternative that will satisfy your cravings and your wagging tongue’s need to feed. It may just require a little retraining for your tongue. Even kids have to try something new 8 times before they give them the boot.  

Here’s just a few of our EAT Cleaner solutions that deliver sounder nutrition with every guilt-free bite. Just don’t eat the whole bag.  

POTATO CHIPS
Homemade: Baked whole wheat spelt or pita chips with Chia or Flax seed or Kale brushed with olive oil and dusted with paprika.
Store bought: Annie Chun’s Seaweed strips – Try Wasabi flavored, they’re addictive OR Food Should Taste This Good chips – come in sweet potato and flax seed flavors.
 

 

SODA
Homemade: Sparkling or Ionized water with Fresh Cucumber slices and a squeeze of Lime or a light puree of fresh fruit.
Store bought: Izze Sparkling Juice – Clementine and Pomegranate flavors satisfy your sweet and fizzy cravings with no artificial flavors or sweeteners
 

 

FRENCH FRIES
Homemade French Bean Fries, Carrot Sticks and Zucchini Spears steamed, then lightly brushed with sesame oil and sesame seeds and then baked in the oven until crisp.
Store bought: Trader Joe’s Sweet Potato Fries baked in the oven and coated with fresh garlic and parsley
 

 

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
Homemade: Toasted spelt tortillas with almond butter and honey or oatmeal cookies filled with date. Get The Recipe
Store bought: Kashi Oatmeal Raisin Flax Cookies – try them heated for just a quick minute to soften them up – OR Larabar raw bars in Chocolate Coconut.
 

 

ICE CREAM
Homemade: Blend almond milk with your favorite Greek yogurt and a spoon of honey and a few spoonfuls of raw almonds. Freeze and eat.
Store Bought:Ciao Bella Gelato, made with real ingredients. Just a few bites should do the trick.
 


 


Get a SIGNED Copy of Anna’s EASY GREEN ORGANIC.

An ode to one of our favorite green holidays, we’re found this ANDI-friendly, nutrient dense kale patty that we’re sure you’ll flip for – whether you’re Irish or not. Pinch me, I’m in green heaven!  

 

We love Anna Getty for so many reasons. She’s an heiress, chef, and rock-steady chick with a sustainable vision who happens to be a great friend of Eat Cleaner. Her new book Easy Green Organic is a visual feast with real recipes that will become mainstays for your family.  

To call it a cookbook would not do it justice. Anna takes the concept further, explaining how to shop for organic, seasonal, and local ingredients; how to keep an eco-friendly kitchen; and how to cook meals that are as scrumptious to eat as they are healthful for the earth.  

Our favorites are the Quinoa Croquettes with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce for dipping and the Strawberry Arugula Salad. Sweets like Coconut Custard with Fresh Mango and Mint Chutney and Pear and Blueberry Crisp with Brown Sugar Sour Cream are just two of the functional favorites on our menu.  

Pick up a SPECIAL SIGNED copy of Easy Green Organic on our website HERE. A portion of the proceeds benefits the non-profit Healthy Child Healthy World.





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Protection of Food Supply Faces Problems

February 12, 2010

HOT PLATE UPDATE

By Bill Whitaker

(CBS)  When it comes to agriculture, America is indeed the land of plenty. Foods raised here and imported from around the world provide greater abundance and choice than ever before. But while our foods are bountiful, they’re also inconsistently regulated.

The U.S. has one of the safest food supplies in the world, but the report card is mixed, reports CBS News Correspondent Bill Whitaker. Every year 33 percent of Canadians get sick from what they eat. In the U.S., it’s 25 percent. But in England it’s only 2 percent and in France just 1 percent. In both places food is grown more locally and on a smaller scale than in North America.
For part of the CBS News series “Where America Stands,” a recent poll found that just one in three Americans are very confident that the food they buy is safe although the vast majority are at least somewhat confident that their food is safe.

Special Report: “Where America Stands”

Safety always comes first in 12-year-old Rylee Gustafson’s kitchen.
“I need to wash my hands … I touched my jeans,” Gustafson said in her Henderson, Nev., home recently. She, more than anyone, knows that even good food can hurt you. In 2006, on her 9th birthday, she ate a spinach salad and was infected with a virulent strain of e-coli.
“It felt like killer pain, and my organs started to shut down,” Gustafson told Whitaker.
Kathleen Chrismer, Rylee’s mother, told Whitaker that she panicked when she didn’t know what was hurting her daughter.
“You really didn’t think you were going to pull through?” Whitaker asked Gustafson.
“I really felt that bad,” she said.
She spent 35 days in the hospital on dialysis. Today she’s still wary of fresh fruits and vegetables and has a damaged heart, kidney and vocal chords.

The Problem
Her story is just one example of the problem of food safety. Over the last few years, widespread outbreaks in spinach, tomatoes, peppers and peanut products sickened thousands and killed nearly a dozen Americans. Every year there are 76 million cases of foodborne illness in the United States, resulting in 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths.

Today Americans consume more fresh produce, increasingly from imports from around the world. But imported produce is inspected even less than home-grown harvests. “Ninety-nine percent of the food that you’re buying at the grocery store that comes from foreign coutnries has not been inspected by the FDA,” said Erik Olson, director of food and consumer product safety at the Pew Charitable Trusts.  Olson says the Food and Drug Administration is simply not up to the task. The FDA is responsible for 80 percent of the food supply, which is everything but meat and poultry.

The number of food producers under FDA jurisdiction has increased, but the number of inspections is going down. Between 2001 and 2007, the number of domestic food producers increased from 51,000 to 65,500. At the same time, the number of producers inspected fell from 14,721 to 14,566, according to the Government Accountability Office.  “They simply do not have the tools to really protect our food supply,” Olson told Whitaker. 

Gustafson traveled to Washington to share her story with members of Congress. She’ll probably need a kidney transplant when she’s a teenager. Until then, she just wants to see this bill pass.  “I would love to see that so people don’t have to take the risk,” Gustafson told Whitaker. “They know that it’s probably not gonna have a bacteria that’s gonna kill you or your child.”  Having safe food, she says, is not too much to ask.

This article may be found in full at:  http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/01/09/eveningnews/main6076565.shtml?tag=contentMain;contentBody

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EAT CLEANER LIVING TIP – #9 // 2010

January 13, 2010

#9:  Don’t count on calories:  If you’re looking to lose weight by counting calories, you’ve got one more thing to think about. Yes, it’s great that more and more restaurants are displaying the calorie counts for all the foods they serve but you may be biting off more than you intended to.   The problem is calorie counts may not add up to what’s being put in front of you when you sit down to dig in.  According to the New York Times… Anyone who counts calories by using the figures on menus in fast-food restaurants or on the packages of frozen meals may want to count again. When researchers tested the food served in 29 chain restaurants and 10 frozen meals sold in supermarkets, they found that their calorie content averaged considerably more than the stated values. And according to the FDA, packaged foods are allow to vary up to 20% and the restaurant meals also fell within this guideline, but 20% is still startling to say the list. One example the New York Times uses is, “The label on Lean Cuisine’s shrimp and angel-hair pasta says it has 220 calories, but the researchers measured it at 319”. That can add up to a whole lot of failure if you attempting to lose weight.

 

So what does Eat Cleaner think you should do? Start with less take out.  That means less packaged foods and less food on the go. It’s cleaner for you and cleaner for the planet and it’s getting a lot easier than you might think. Stick to whole grain, one-ingredient fresh foods that let you stay in control of what you put in your mouth.  Here’s one of our favorites, No Take Out, which offers all the tools you need to make no fuss week night meals.

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EAT CLEANER LIVING TIP – #5 // 2010

January 7, 2010

#5: Fish from the right stream.  There are some things that you just can’t clean away from your food, such as mercury in fish.  But you can make better choices and it doesn’t mean you have to give up some of your favorite foods.  Sushi is famous for the spicy tuna roll but tuna is also notorious for its high mercury content.  Mercury consumption is most hazardous for pregnant women and small children but it’s not really good for anyone since it’s a neurotoxin and it’s stored in the fat in our bodies.  This accumulation can lead to memory loss issues to a host of other problems.  It’s just not good a thing.

Not only that, even if you think you may be sitting down to some yellowfin tuna, you could be getting bluefin tuna, a species that is literally on the brink of being fished into extinction.  Overfishing is another major concern for sushi lovers and anyone who loves to eat seafood.  It almost makes it seem like it’s not worth it. 

But never fear, Eat Cleaner has the answer.  You don’ t have to give up your sushi fix, you can eat smarter too.  Sushi can be a great healthy meal since it’s packed with lean protein and high in omega-3 fatty acids when the right choices are made.  And when you have helpful guides like this one, you know what kinds of sushi are low in mercury and sustainably fished.  If you’re making sushi at home, give it a spritz with our Eat Cleaner Seafood + Poultry Wash to help kill bacteria.

 

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