Posts Tagged ‘mercury’

Wild Salmon Salad (mayo-free)

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Fish, and its magical omega-3 fatty acids, is really important for pregnant women and young kids alike.  But it’s important to eat the right fish, and canned wild salmon is both an affordable and sustainable alternative to some other types (looking at you, tuna). According to KidSafe Seafood, canned wild salmon contains four times the amount of omega-3s as tuna, as well as a generous dose of calcium and protein.

I made this simple salmon salad to top homemade bagels (stay tuned!). I can’t stand the taste of mayonnaise, so instead this gets its creaminess from sour cream and a little kick from horseradish and mustard. It’d be great atop salad greens, in tea sandwiches (for spring baby showers, perhaps), or rolled up in crispy romaine leaves.

Recipe: Mayo-Free Wild Salmon Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 7.5-ounce can wild Alaskan salmon
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup organic sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon stone ground mustard
  • 1-2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: Drain salmon of excess oil (makes an excellent treat for any cats in the home). Empty can into a medium bowl and use a fork to break apart large chunks. Add remaining ingredients, tossing with the fork to combine. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to a day before serving. Makes enough to top 6 bagels. Enjoy!

Sustainable Fish Soundbites

Friday, June 12th, 2009

New here? Please pull up a chair (okay, odds are you’re already sitting) and let me point you towards some kid-friendly recipes, farm visits or local farmers market reports. If you like what you see, you may be interested in subscribing to the feed or signing up for free e-mail updates. And please leave a note to say hello!

There’s been a lot of press lately about top sushi Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s refusal to stop serving critically-endangered bluefin tuna in his celebrity-frequented, highly-lauded Nobu restaurants. Greenpeace and those barton seaver food and wine national harborsame celebrities have recently launched a boycott in hopes of forcing a menu change.

Meanwhile, here in the District, sustainable seafood ambassador Barton Seaver has just opened Blue Ridge, where he describes his mission as, “making broccoli sexy so you’ll have less room for the shrimp on your plate.” He’s not out to tell you what not to eat, he says, just as long as you’re not eating more than 4-5 ounces of a sustainably-harvested seafood species at a time.

At last weekend’s Food & Wine Festival at National Harbor, where Seaver gave a cooking demo, I was amused to see the Alaska seafood industry handing out sustainable seafood guides that just happened to be the same size and format as the Seafood Watch guides by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The difference? The industry-produced brochures assert that environmental contaminants like PCBs that are highly-publicized are not actually a problem in the US. (Really? Then what’s with this new warning about dangerous PCB levels in Atlantic rockfish, eh?) Alaskan seafood is generally one of the more sustainable options, as event speaker Dan Shapley of The Daily Green poinwild natural sustainable fishted out, so it’s unclear why they felt the need to spread misinformation.

Word Oceans Day was earlier this week, but you can still take a moment to sign a message to your legislators asking them to ban mercury-producing chlorine manufacturing processes; yes, the same mercury that gets into our soil, water, and fish…

Making smart seafood choices is complicated enough without having to try to discern which guides are scientific and which are just clever marketing. Here’s a look back at a “Sustainable Seafood 101″ post I wrote earlier this year, part of the FoodieTot’s Sustainable Family Supper series. (And my contribution to this week’s Fight Back Friday, hosted by Food Renegade.)

Mercury, Salmonella and Nitrates, Oh My

Friday, January 30th, 2009

It’s been quite a week for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). I had planned to write about organic farming as the next installment of our Sustainable Family Supper Project, but got waylaid reading everything I could get my hands (or mouse) on about the latest high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) shocker. (Check back Monday for the kick-off of Save Our Farms week.) I wanted to find something constructive to write about that would not encourage you all to just throw up your hands and give up, which frankly I have been tempted to do myself.

Just to review, the nation’s largest recall, of peanut products from a plant who knowingly shipped contaminated products, has evoked this encouraging response from the FDA: “‘I don’t think we can determine how many more’ products will be recalled, [said] Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the Center for Food Safety.” Even worse, Sandlof doesn’t see the flaw in a system that puts responsibility on producers to essentially police themselves, asserting,

“[I]t is the responsibility of the industry to produce safe product. The FDA is not in plants on a continuous basis. We do rely on inspections to find problems when they exist. … We expect individual citizens to obey the law. And occasionally people don’t obey the law. And when they don’t obey the law then the responsibility of the regulatory authorities to take the appropriate enforcement action.”

In outside studies – goodness knows the FDA doesn’t have the resources or inclination to proactively study the toxicity of our food supply – measurable levels of mercury were found in name-brand, HFCS-containing products ranging from ketchup to chocolate syrup and yogurt, and a Taiwanese study showed a significant increase in the risk of childhood leukemia in children who consumed more than one nitrate-preserved meat product per week (e.g., bacon, hot dogs, deli meat).

The thing about the HFCS-mercury link, which the corn industry was predictably quick to claim was insignificant, is that it is entirely avoidable and unnecessary. Manufacturing technology exists, and is already widely used in Europe and the US, that does not impart a touch of mercury into our food products. Mercury gets into our bodies and environment from many sources, and it is the cumulative effect of the toxin over our lifetime that is of concern. There is no point quibbling over whether the amounts in HFCS are themselves significant, when it is a preventable increase in our lifetime of exposure. (You will, no doubt, be relieved to know that mercury is naturally-occurring, so the fact that it is introduced to those natural genetically-modified corn kernels as they are processed by genetically-engineered enzymes to produce all-natural high fructose corn syrup shouldn’t jeopardize the corn refiners’ FDA approval to market HFCS as “natural.”) As other concerned parents have noted, it’s virtually impossible to avoid HFCS if you don’t have the time or resources to buy only organic products and cook every meal from scratch. Shouldn’t the FDA at the very least require that manufacturers notify consumers what they may be consuming?

What can concerned parents and foodies do in the face of constant alarming news reports?

A. Eat less processed foods. Yogurt, fruit juice, bread – none of these need HFCS. Consumer demand switching to organics/natural sweeteners has the corn industry panicked; let’s keep it that way.

B. Ask your legislators to join Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) in calling for a new Food Safety Administration. Food & Water Watch has a webform set up to email your representatives to ask them to cosponsor DeLauro’s “Food Safety Modernization Act,” which would streamline food safety oversight and increase inspections. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s a significant step in the right direction — a safer food supply for all.

Alright, enough doom and gloom for one day. Check out The Green Parent’s “Green and Healthy Super Bowl Snacks,” and enjoy the weekend!

[Update: I noticed in reading the blogs that pro-HFCS Google ads were popping up, and sure enough there's one on my post. I'm torn between blocking it and letting them waste more of their marketing money, so for now it's up.]