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Is That Fish Fresh?

By Sara Butler

Fish and other seafood can be a healthy part of a balanced diet. Most options are packed full of heart-healthy fats and important nutrients your body needs to be healthy. Yet one of the dangers of fish is buying fish that isn’t so fresh or may not even be the kind of fish it’s labeled as! In order to ensure you’re getting the healthiest and freshest seafood, you need to follow these tips.

Find Out Where It’s From

The FDA requires that the country the fish has come from is disclosed, so try to stick with seafood from the United States. That’s not because Chilean sea bass isn’t delicious, but because the storage methods and processing conditions in some countries are a little subpar. Also look for fish that says it has been processed in the United States, because Alaskan salmon can be sent for processing to China, and then sent back here. Meaning it’s a couple of weeks old by the time it makes it to your table.

Eat the Skin

Fish and seafood such as mackerel, salmon, and lake trout have edible skin that packs a punch of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Just make sure the skin is properly scaled so you can enjoy it fully. Fresh fish should have healthy looking skin that isn’t slimy or dull. Be on the lookout for it!

Watch Out for Mislabeled Fish

Many seafood advocacy groups have found deceptive practices in the seafood industry. This means that some fish labeled as expensive cod, for example, is no more than your run-of-the-mill tilapia. Commonly mislabeled fish are: 

  • Escolar
  • Asian catfish
  • Hake

Make sure to ask where the fish is from and the methods used to catch it. If they can’t answer the questions, then release the fish back to its place behind the counter.

Shop for the Senses

When you’re shopping for fish, use your senses. Look at the fish first, noting the condition of the skin and the eyes. If the skin is dull, dry, and dehydrated and if the eyes are cloudy, then the fish is probably not that fresh. Then give the fish a good whiff. Fresh seafood should have a briny or salty smell, like the ocean. Fish that isn’t so fresh will smell funky and fishy.

Chill Out

Fish will spoil if you don’t store it at the right temperature. So, when you know you’re going to be out shopping for fish, bring along a cooler stocked with ice to store it until you can get it home. When you get it home, you should put the wrapped fish in a container of ice to store in your refrigerator.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.


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