Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Truth About Buying Seafood and Mercury

There are two sides to every biological story … sometimes there are even more. In some cases, there are as many different sides to a story as there are people in the world! When it comes to seafood, folks on one side of the fence point to the incredible health of cultures like Japan, where traditionally very little red eat is eaten and most protein comes from their seafood orders. Folks on the other side point to high levels of mercury in some fish, especially those higher up the food chain -- which sometimes happen to be those that are most recommended for health! Today we weigh up both sides of fish debate, and discover whether mercury or general health is more important.
What is mercury?
Mercury is a heavy metal which is toxic to the body, except in very small amounts. Mercury may occur as organic mercury, inorganic mercury, or metallic mercury. Organic mercury, one form of which is methylmercury, is the most dangerous.
How does it get into fish?
The vast majority of the mercury in fish comes from ocean sediment. Microorganisms in the water transform this into methyl mercury, and this either makes its way up the food chain through plankton, or is absorbed through ttheir gills as they swim around.
Mercury in fish can also come from industrial activities, but this represents only a small portion of the mercury to be found in online seafood.
What level of mercury is safe to consume?
Our bodies are wonderful, specially designed toxin-excreting machines. The body is more complicated than pop science would have you believe -- mercury may even play a biological role of which we are not yet aware. Free radicals, after all, that bane of the pop science world, are vital to proper working of our immune system. It is perfectly safe to consume some level of mercury -- there's no need to forego eating online seafood completely.
For example…
Remember the Japanese, their diet high in fish and their incredible health? Well, the ocean sediment has contained just as much mercury or the past several hundred years as it does today, and the Japanese do not seem to suffer any ill effects from this. The key is to balance out your fish consumption between species higher up the food chain with those lower down, which contain less mercury.
How much is enough?
Eating one serving of carnivorous fish a week, like shark, swordfish or barramundi is not considered harmful at all. Other fish typically contain almost no mercury -- there is no restriction placed on the amount of salmon eaten, even by pregnant women, for example. Young children should avoid eating shark, swordfish and marlin, but can safely eat other fish from seafood orders at least twice a week.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

5 Delicious and Traditional Sauces for Your Seafood Order

The beginning of a wonderful meal is a fresh, succulent seafood order. After that, the niceties are negotiable! Seafood is excellent with simple sauces, like a concoction of flour, butter and white wine, but every culture has put its own stamp on local seafood, usually in sauce form! Today we are discussing several traditional sauce recipes for your fresh seafood order from around the globe; easy inspiration for tonight's dinner.
If you’re familiar with making white sauce or b├ęchamel sauce for use in lasagne, vegetable bakes or a hundred other dishes, this sauce will be a snap. Instead of milk, as in white sauce, it uses fish stock and white wine. There is also some salt in this recipe -- white sauce is usually too bland to benefit from salting.
Chimichurri is a traditional sauce from Argentina, and always uses parsley, oregano and garlic, three herbs and flavors that you are likely to have just lying around in the fridge and pantry. The accessibility of the ingredients makes this a popular sauce -- it is great with online seafood like swordfish steaks, salmon and mahi mahi.
The mouth waters … this recipe tastes like saffron and mustard and is used as a dipping sauce for shrimp online seafood orders, mostly. It is also delicious with crabs and scallops, and anything you would eat on a seafood platter.
If you weren't hungry before you started reading this article, I certainly hope you are now! If not, you have tastebuds of stone. Spanish allioli, or simply aioli, is made with heaps of garlic and olive oil, traditionally ground with a mortar and pestle. You can simply buy aioli in a bottle, or take the easy way out and use a blender. Egg yolks provide an amazing richness -- this is wonderful with pasta seafood orders, like lobster or shrimp ravioli.
Fish-based dishes dominate in Thailand, where people traditionally work the land for a living. Many are close to the coast and they often have to actually catch their own food. Lemongrass and ginger create a very distinctive taste accompaniment to your online seafood, and if you have a miniature food processor, it takes almost no time to whip up.