We were surprised to see Mark Bittman's recipe yesterday for Monkfish and Mashed Potatoes. The dish looks great, but the choice of fish? Not so much. Monkfish is high on the list of fish to avoid - high in mercury, overfished, and fished in a way that damages the ocean floor.
We've talked about Blue Ocean Institute's Guide to Ocean Friendly Seafood, and this is a reminder to us to check it frequently. This is one very important area of our food choices, and we're revisiting it. Link to guide and a best and worst of mercury in fish below!
The Blue Ocean Institute PDF is updated regularly with developments in the world of seafood, with flags on high-mercury fish and an easy guide to the most ocean friendly seafood to support with your food dollars. Download the guide and put a copy in your wallet or with your shopping list - it's a great resource.
Here are a few more links to guides and resources.
&bull Seafood Watch Program at Monterey Bay Aquarium
&bull Blue Ocean
&bull Mercury at Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
&bull Oceans Alive: Seafood and Your Health
&bull Marine Stewardship Council
From the NRDC, a quick rundown on the best and worst of mercury levels in fish:
Tuna (Bigeye, Ahi)
Lowest Mercury (and fewer other environmental issues)
Mackerel (N. Atlantic, Chub)
Wild Salmon (Canned)
Wild Salmon (Fresh)
And the Minimalist's recipe? We still think it looks really good - but we suggest making it with one of the alternate fish varieties that he offers. Farmed catfish is a good option, since it ranks decently well on the Guide's list and suits the recipe too.