Something fishy about your seafood dinner?

Do you know what you had for dinner last night? Are you sure? If you had sushi, it might not have been the fish listed on the label.

According to a recent article in the Sun Sentinel and a study by Nova University, sushi restaurants often serve escolar as white tuna (albacore). Escolar is an ugly fish that often causes diarrhea. What else did you have? Was it grouper, crab or snapper? According to the Sun Sentinel story, “The problem most frequently cited by the state was labeling imitation crab meat, usually pollock, as real crab, while other common substitutions include less costly tilapia in place of red snapper and panga for grouper.”

What was it that you ate again? We may never find out. So pick your seafood carefully.

In the interest of preserving our marine environment, also consider choosing sustainable seafood the next time you’re planning a meal. Some popular species of fish – Atlantic cod, haddock and imported shrimp among them – have been overfished or caught in ways that harm other marine life, and you should try not to eat them, because lowering the market demand would give commercial fishermen less of an incentive to keep pulling these endangered species out of the sea.

Other species remain sustainable, which means as long as we fish responsibly (using circle hooks to avoid mutilating fish we could otherwise throw back, and keeping only what we plan to eat), we should be able to preserve that species for generations to come. The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation has developed a guide to help us choose our fish wisely and responsibly. Click here to check out the guide, and keep it handy on your next grocery store trip.

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