Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday: Spanish leftovers

Broiled Spanish mackerel with leftover Tuscan kale and quinoa-millet-chickpea-squash salad (leftover from Monday's stuffed squash).

At this point, you may have noticed that we are not strictly vegetarians. We are what you might call "flexitarians," or maybe "pesca-flexitarians," or perhaps "flexitarian-locavores," or...well, why put a label on it?

Suffice it to say, we cook fish about once a week. This is supposedly quite good for you, if you can dodge the twin bullets of mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), but it's a struggle to eat fish responsibly. Many fish species are overfished, or farmed in environmentally devastating ways. Mark Bittman recently wrote a great column in the Times on this very subject.

We're trying to be more responsible about what fish we purchase, even though our options at local stores are pretty limited. This week we went for Spanish Mackerel, which is sustainably caught, but moderately high in mercury. The two leading resources for fish consumers are probably the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch (which focuses on environmental impact and sustainability) and Environmental Defense's Seafood Selector (which also includes information about health effects). We're going to try to follow their recommendations going forward, even if that means eating a little less fish.

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