Homemade baby food isn’t just good for your baby… it’s good for the environment, too.
The most obvious benefit is that there is no need for all the packaging that comes along with commercially prepared baby food – not all of which can be recycled. Plus – if you buy organic produce – you’re also contributing to reducing the amount of toxic chemicals entering our soil, air and water. And by controlling the portion sizes of the meals you preare for your baby, you’re cutting down on food waste, too.
Another way in which you can help protect our natural resources is by selecting only sustainable fish to cook for your little one and the rest of the family.
Sustainable fish are those that are responsibly harvested to minimize impact to the environment – this includes using preferred methods to catch the fish, avoiding catching other fish than those targeted (which leads to waste, as the ‘bycatch’ is simply thrown overboard) and only catching fish with a population abundant enough to support their harvesting.
Although many of us understand the principle behind the need to cook with only sustainable fish, many of us are not quite sure exactly which types of fish are the best to buy… and which ones we should be avoiding.
So we’ve put together this simple list of sustainable fish to help you make the best choices for your family AND for the environment in which your little one is growing up!
Please note: This list is intended only to provide a guide to the ideal fish to buy for your family’s meals and not all these types of fish may be suitable throughout your baby’s first year.
Sustainable fish – the best fish to buy
- Atlantic/Spanish mackerel
- Atlantic herring
- Arctic char
- Pacific cod
- Pacific black cod
- Pacific halibut
- Alaskan pollock (also known as pollack)
- US farmed catfish
- Wild Alaskan salmon
- Pacific sardines
- Pacific albacore tuna
- US farmed tilapia
- Farmed rainbow trout
- Mahi-mahi (also known as dolphin fish)
- Alaskan plaice
Fish to avoid…
- Atlantic cod
- Atlantic halibut
- Atlantic haddock
- Atlantic pollack (pollock)
- Bluefin tuna
- Rock cod
- Red snapper
- Farmed salmon
- Chilean seabass
- Yellowtail flounder
Unfortunately, many supermarkets and grocery stores continue to sell species from the ‘Fish to avoid’ list, although Greenpeace say that some leading chains (including Whole Foods, Ahold USA and Target) are becoming more environmentally responsible in their fish purchasing choices.
Nevertheless, it’s down to US – the consumers – to be aware of the types of fish we should be shunning in the stores and markets – and to make our opinions known to those who continue to stock them!
If you’ like to learn more about sustainable seafood, then visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch section, which is packed with useful information and tips for helping increase awareness of these issues within your community.