I absolutely love fish and eat it as often as I can. But I do get a lot of questions when it comes to finding healthy fish from sustainable sources.
Regardless of the type of diet you follow, there’s almost no debate out there challenging the health benefits of fish. There aren’t many foods that can compete with the fish’s nutrient density. It’s a great source of protein, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids (specifically docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which is good for the brain and the skin), iodine and selenium to name a few. Selenium is extra important because one of its many functions is to guard against mercury toxicity, which is often cited as a concern of fish consumption.
Additionally, science shows fish has cardio protective benefits, aids with depression and has been associated with slowing rates of cognitive decline. All of this explains why American’s spend over $1 billion annually on fish oil supplements. But, as in most cases, eating the whole food is much better than taking a supplement, so if you don’t have a boat, where should you get your fish?
I’m sure you know about the unsustainable methods used by most buy farmed fisheries. But what about wild caught fish? Which specific fish do we buy? What’s a confused consumer to do?
Trust that some companies out there, are doing the right thing and putting out a product that is not only responsibly fished, but also nutritionally superior. The fish of Alaska Gold are caught by members of the Seafood Producers Cooperative (SPC), which is the oldest and most successful fishing co-op in North America. Why is this important? Because it means the fishermen can control the quality of the fish using methods like hook and line (rather than long-lining or drift netting). Because of its nature, hook and line is more selective than these other types of fishing because it can control the species and size of fish caught. Fish lines are set out for a short time so that any unwanted species that is caught, can be returned to the sea (alive). This yields a higher quality of fish, which is then packaged and delivered frozen to the consumer.
Fresh vs. Frozen Fish?
When I’m looking at frozen fish, two factors come into play; sustainability and taste. As it is, there is a lot of demand for fish because it’s considered such a great health food, and coupled with the connotation of “fresh” being even healthier, demand grows higher. From a sustainability viewpoint, this is a problem. Studies show that fresh fish has a much bigger carbon footprint than frozen fish because of all the rushed travel needed to bring fresh fish quickly from point A to point B. Frozen fish, however, can afford to take the time to travel via much more energy efficient methods like barge shipments. Fish should swim, not fly!
Now, let’s talk about taste. Living close to the ocean, and knowing a few fishermen, I’m used to having really fresh fish. That being said, I was absolutely blown away by the freshness of fish from Alaska Gold. Opening the package (so far, I’ve had the king salmon, sablefish, and some of the smoked salmon), there’s no trace of any fishy smell, and the taste is just about the cleanest tasting fish I’ve ever had. And this makes sense given Alaska Gold’s motto of “One Hook One Fish at a Time.” Because the fish are caught on hook and line, fisherman aren’t catching huge amounts of fish, which means they can clean, bleed, and gut the fish quickly to get them on ice as soon as possible. Once they are on ice, this locks in the freshness, so the frozen fish arriving to your house tastes as though it was just caught.
What about the nutrition of their fish? Here’s a breakdown of some of their best selling fish:
Coho Salmon, 3oz has 120 calories, 19g protein, 340mg omega-3’s and 45% of the daily value of Vitamin D
King Salmon, 3oz has 220 calories, 21g protein, 1.1g omega-3’s and 35% daily value of Vitamin D
Sablefish, 3oz has 220 calories, 14g protein, 1.5g omega-3’s and 45% daily value of Vitamin D
Halibut, 3oz has 100 calories, 19g protein, 200mg omega-3’s and 20% daily value of Vitamin D
Fish truly is a “super” food! Companies like Alaska Gold aren’t only delivering a fresh and healthier product, but they are helping to keep our fisheries sustainable.
Want to try their fish for yourself? Follow this link and use code: sustainabledish1sttime to save 10% off your first order! They even offer bulk fish orders if you want to do a group order with your friends or buying club.