The Dirty (Fishy) Dozen


You’ve heard of the dirty dozen fruits and vegetables that are best to buy organic due to their high pesticide levels—now, meet the top 12 fish you should avoid feeding your family, according to the nonprofit Food and Water Watch. Check out the seafaring creatures that miss the mark on safety and sustainability, plus, some healthier alternatives.

Instead of… Try
Imported catfish U.S. farmed catfish or tilapia. Because the U.S. tends to have higher health, labor, and environmental standards than other countries, buying U.S. seafood is usually the best choice. Plus, less than 2 percent of imported seafood is inspected for antibiotics, harmful chemicals, or other contaminants. The good news is that country-of-origin labeling is required for fresh fish, making it easy to determine where your catch is from.
Caviar from beluga or wild sturgeon Currently, Food and Water Watch does not recommend caviar from any source.
Atlantic cod Atlantic mackerel, which has a similar flavor and texture. Pacific cod that wasn’t trawl-caught (trawl-catching uses giant nets that unintentionally catch any sea creature in their path, plus this method damages the seabed) is another option, but your fishmonger might not know how the fish was caught.
American eel Smoked Pacific U.S. black cod, which has a similar taste and texture
Atlantic flatfish U.S. hook-and-line-caught haddock. Hook-and-line catching relies on a standard fishing rod, meaning unintentionally caught fish are thrown back, and the seabed isn’t damaged.
Imported king crab U.S. crab (except for blue crab, which can be high in contaminants)
Imported shrimp U.S. farmed or wild-caught shrimp
Orange roughy Mahi-mahi or yellowtail snapper, which are other mild-tasting, white fish
Farmed or Atlantic salmon U.S. wild-caught Alaskan salmon
Chilean seabass U.S. hook-and-line-caught haddock or Pacific halibut, both of which are other mild-tasting white fish
Shark Pacific halibut or mahi-mahi
Atlantic bluefin tuna Pacific albacore tuna

Reprinted from KIWI Magazine

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