Think of Eating Seafood Like Wearing Your Seat Belt

When it comes to seafood consumption in the United States, more than 50 percent of what we eat is one of three types: shrimp, canned tuna and salmon. And it’s been that way for quite some time so this week, when the National Fisheries Institute (Nov. 2., 2017) released its updated numbers of the top consumed species, it came as no surprise that the top three—let alone the top ten—remained the same.

American’s Seafood Consumption is Stagnant 
As for overall consumption, unfortunately there hasn’t been a big change even though many industry groups and companies alike have tried to up American’s seafood intake by influencing consumers with savvy marketing and grassroots education. In 2016, Americans consumed 14.9 pounds of seafood (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Still, some industry folks are saying our overall consumption is on an upward trend to which I disagree. Wholeheartedly … just look at the numbers for seafood consumption over the past decade (numbers are per-person average consumption in America by poundage):

2006: 16.5      2011: 15.0
2007: 16.3      2012: 14.4
2008: 16.0      2013: 14.5
2009: 16.0      2014: 14.6
2010: 15.8      2015 15.5

That’s hardly an upward trend. Quite frankly, it’s not much of a swing at all. Yes, the mid- to late-2000s saw numbers in the 16-pound range, but even that’s nowhere near where it should be … not, that is, if your concerned about heart health.

For comparisons sake, the average American consumes

• just over 50 pounds of beef
• more than 40 pounds of pork
• nearly 60 pounds of chicken
• and over 600 pounds of dairy each year.

Recall, we ate less than 17 pounds of seafood a year even when consumption was touted as high.

Why the Disparity?
There’re plenty of reasons that go into the disparity—I could write a book on it but then I’d lose your attention—but given all the reasons, the largest is quite simply this: most people don’t consider seafood in the same context as other proteins. And that needs to change. For the sake of our hearts. For the sake of our health and that of future generations.

So what are you afraid of? Why aren’t you eating your seafood? Drop me a line … I’d like to hear from you (and your friends). Maybe I can help you discover something fabulous from under the sea ; ) Because eating seafood should be like wearing your seat belt … it’s something you do because you want to live longer! EAT MORE FISH!  PHOTO: Coho salmon with lightly fried yucca root … nope, not french fries—but it could be … so next time you plan to cook burgers and fries, make it salmon and fries instead … baby steps my friends, baby steps.


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Hey there. I’m Shauna—a West Coast transplant in the landlocked state of Indiana … when I moved here I missed the beaches, the mountains, the desert, the rivers … and it took me a while to find places nearby that paralleled my old stomping grounds. BUT. Now that I’ve lived here for over 15 years, I’ve had time to explore the region and you know what? It’s amazing. There’s so much to do—from skiing in northern Michigan to relaxing lakeside in southern Kentucky to rocking the nightlife in one of the many metropolitan areas. And I love it here. I really do. BUT. I do miss the sea … and the sand and the rush of the waves … the smell of seawater … even the sting of too much sun after a day spent lollygagging at the beach. And I miss the constant supply of seafood and shellfish and riverfish? About that … since I’ve moved to the Midwest I’ve noticed that a lot of people here don’t consider fish that come from the river seafood … I’m not sure I agree, but hence the new word I’ve created, “riverfish” … time will tell if Webster picks it up ; ) So my blog, Seafood is The New Black, is my way of bringing a little bit of sea life (or is it sealife?) to the Midwest. And over on Seafood in the Circle City, you can read up on my favorite Indianapolis restaurants that serve seafood, and serve it well. As you read along, you’ll find all kinds of information … some that you might find more useful than others—and some, you might just find amusing … or not. Either way, and if nothing else, I hope you leave my little space here on the world wide web a little refreshed and maybe even a little inspired to bring a little bit of the ocean home with you. (Yes, I did use the word “little” four times in one sentence … it’s OK … mermaids like to repeat themselves.) Cheers! The Midwest Mermaid Oh, and if your curious, yes, I do actually write for a living … if you want to know about the organizations I work with and the publications where you can find my land legs, swim on over to the “Portfolio” tab … and thanks for visiting.

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