Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

To Reduce Emissions, Choose Frozen Fish Over Fresh

If you’re an eco-conscious seafood fan, you are probably aware of the complex sustainability issues around buying fish and other seafood.

Fish on display at a grocery store seafood counter.

Photo: swanksalot

When it comes to buying seafood sustainably, Is wild caught better than farmed? Does "organic" make a difference?

salmon

Photo: swanksalot (flickr)

If you’re an eco-conscious seafood fan, you are probably aware of the complex sustainability issues around buying fish and other seafood. Is wild caught better than farmed? Does “organic” make a difference?

The Daily Green published an article that said opting for frozen fish over fresh is one of the most important choices a consumer can make for the environment.

The Real Cost Of Fresh Seafood

Peter Tyedmers, an ecological economist at Dalhousie University, said that if you live inland – far from the source of your seafood – buying fresh almost guarantees the use of air freight transport.

“We’ve measurde greenhouse gas emissions up to the point of production. A lot of those tend to be swept away if you’re having to ship this thing by air a great distance,” Tyedmers explained. “You are much better off to have it frozen at source move through the in refrigerated containerized ships and have relatively few greenhouse gas emissions.”

Tyedmers also gently reminded us that the best form of transport for the environment is no transport at all. So buying locally is the best way to go – even if that means buying freshwater fish instead of salmon.

Megan Meyer

Megan Meyer was in the company of foodies for most of her formative years. She spent all of her teens working at her town's natural food co-op in South Dakota, and later when she moved to Minneapolis, worked as a produce maven for the nation's longest running collectively-managed food co-op. In 2006, she had the distinct pleasure (and pain) of participating the vendanges, or grape harvest, in the Beaujolais terroire of France, where she developed her compulsion to snip off grape clusters wherever they may hang. In the spring of 2008, Megan interned on NPR's Science Desk in Washington, D.C., where she aided in the coverage of science, health and food policy stories. She joined Indiana Public Media in June, 2009.

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