From the Ocean to Your Plate: How Local Seafood Can Boost Your Health in Three Ways
Do you know what’s shocking? You’re not always getting what you paid for when you buy seafood at the supermarket or grocery store. This means the salmon on your plate sometimes isn’t the superfood you think it is.
Approximately one-third of all seafood consumed globally is mislabelled or fraudulent (just check out this study conducted by The National Library of Medicine). Of what’s been surveyed, in 2023, the international fish trade is still dealing with rampant seafood mislabelling, making it hard for people like you to make healthy, informed choices when buying seafood in a grocery store.
But don’t fret—to maximize seafood’s health benefits, you only need to assess the supply chain.
The shorter the supply chain, AKA the more local your seafood is, the more confident you can be that your seafood is labelled correctly and that the fish on your plate is nutrient dense. Buying seafood from a local fishmonger or only purchasing locally caught fish will ensure that your meal is packed with the health benefits you’re looking for.
So, what are the benefits of eating local seafood? Let’s dive in.
1. Natural Immune System Booster
In this post-pandemic world, “immune booster” has become a bit of a buzzword. But a balanced diet with multiple servings of wild seafood caught along our coast can’t be overstated. Sustainably sourced seafood is a powerhouse when it comes to the bioavailable omega-3 fatty acids your body needs to support a healthy immune system. What’s more, the more local (fresh) the seafood is, the less opportunity there is for the nutrient profile to degrade, which translates to more health benefits for your body.
The nutrient content will vary based on what type of fish you’re eating and how you prepare it, so eat different types of fish to enjoy all the benefits of this amazing immune system booster!
2. Nutrient Profile
Didn’t we just talk about this? Tangentially. Omega 3s boost your immune system, but that’s not the only nutrient seafood offers. Fish, shellfish, and cephalopods are full of protein, vitamins, and minerals, all of which have different benefits for your body. Eating fish, rather than taking supplements, will increase the bioavailability of the nutrients, giving you all the health benefits you’re looking for when eating local seafood.
3. Freshness and Flavour
There is nothing fresher than a local catch—well, if you put some waders on and venture out to one of Vancouver Island’s beautiful fishing spots, you might be lucky enough to catch something even fresher. If you’re not out there yourself, your local fishmonger will have wonderfully delicious, sustainable, and nutritious options waiting for you. Because the supply chain is so short, the flavour profile stays intact–there’s no freezing, storing, and transporting. How do we put this…you don’t want to taste the sea, but you should be able to taste the sea.
We can’t talk about local fishing without discussing the sustainability regulations to keep the fish populations in our waters healthy. These regulations are extensive, and prevent pollution and overfishing, to name a few.
We want to talk about this because a robust fish population translates to more fish in the sea for years to come, and a cleaner, near pollutant-free catch. Sustainable fishing helps more than the fish in the sea—it supports local communities, reduces the consumption of contaminants, and protects marine ecosystems. Interested in learning about sustainable fishing practices? The Marine Stewardship Council has some great resources.
Want to learn more?
This is just an intro to the health benefits of eating seafood! Sign up for our newsletter (we’ll be sharing recipes from our chef too!) or follow us on social media, where we’ll chat even more about why we should all be eating locally caught fish. From its delicious taste to its positive impact on our health and environment, there are so many reasons to choose local seafood. Join us as we shine a spotlight on the bountiful treasures of the sea and explore why it’s an excellent choice for all of us.