Making healthy choices when eating out can be challenging, but many diners find that sushi fits the bill nicely. But many diners worry about the environmental impact of this delicious snack, which is why it's important to choose your fish wisely.
There are many species of fish and seafood popular in sushi that are not being fished responsibly, but you don't need PhDs to tell which are worth buying—just the menu. Here are a few to avoid, with both their Japanese and English names:
1. Freshwater eel, or “unagi”
2. Red Snapper, or “tai”
3. Bluefin tuna, or “hon maguro”
4. Yellowtail, or “hamachi,” that has been farmed in Australia or Japan
5. Shrimp, or “ebi,” caught in the wild
It's important to know what kind of fish you're eating and where it comes from. This information may not be on the menu, but a reputable sushi restaurant should be happy to tell you if you ask.
Good fish to order include:
1. Sea urchin row, or “uni,” caught in Canada
2. Striped bass, or “suzuki,” which is fine both farmed and caught in the wild
3. Black cod, or “gindara,” from Alaska or British Columbia
4. Abalone, or “awabi,” from a U.S. farm
5. Spot prawn, or “amaebi,” wild caught in British Columbia
Choosing fish caught locally is another way to help the environment. Fish that doesn't need to be shipped has a smaller carbon footprint. And you don't have to go to a sushi bar to eat sustainably; the next time you go to the deli, see if they carry these:
1. Farmed channel catfish
2. Pacific cod from Alaska
3. Pacific halibut from Alaska
4. Mahi mahi from the U.S. Atlantic
5. Wild Pacific salmon from Alaska
To find out more about what fish to eat, and what to avoid, take a look at Seachoice.org's helpful Seafood Search. By making responsible choices, you can eat fish without hurting the environment.