Progressive Grocer

MAR 2017

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24 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | March 2017 A pproximately 500 types of seafood are sold annually in the global market. In the United States, just 10 fish and shellfish species account for 90 percent of seafood consumed: shrimp, salmon, tuna, tilapia, Alaska pollock, pangasius (basa or swai), cod, catfish, crab and clams. Seafood, which includes fish and shellfish, is an important source of protein, minerals, micronutri- ents and essential fatty acids in a healthy diet. For the general adult population, consump- tion of about 8 ounces per week of a variety of seafood, including adequate sources of EPA and DHA omega-3s, is associated with reduced risk of cardiac disease and other health benefits. Unfortunately, fewer than one in five Americans reaches this goal, with one-third eating seafood once a week and nearly half eating it occasionally or not at all. Experts typi- cally recommend 3,500 milligrams of EPA/DHA omega-3 fatty acids per week. is level can be achieved naturally by eating two to three servings of oily fish like salmon, halibut, sardines and anchovies per week. Fish oil supplements are also available. Is Seafood Recommended for Women and Children? Yes. Consumption of seafood choices that are sources of DHA omega-3s while pregnant or breastfeeding is associ- ated with improved infant health outcomes. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should con- sume at least 8 and up to 12 ounces of a variety of seafood per week, from choices that are lower in methyl mercury. is can be a point of confusion, leading some women to unnecessarily avoid seafood altogether. Children also benefit from eating seafood that is lower in mercury one to two times a week, with a recommended serving size of 1 ounce for ages 2 to 3 years, 2 ounces for ages 4 to 7 years, 3 ounces for ages 8 to 10 years, and 4 ounces for children 11 years and older. In January 2017, FDA released a new printable advice chart specifically to address these populations. It sorts 62 types of seafood into best choices, good choices and choices to avoid. All's By Karen Buch All in all, consumers want help finding the freshest, healthiest, safest, most sustainable seafood choices they can afford. What About Aquaculture? Globally, aquaculture (fish or shellfish farming) supplies more than 50 percent of all seafood produced for human consumption, and it's grow- ing. Experts predict that we'll need another 40 million tons of seafood worldwide by 2030 just to meet current consumption rates. Today, U.S.-grown farmed fish and shellfish represent just 5 percent to 7 percent of U.S. demand for seafood. As responsibly practiced aquaculture grows, concerns about wild popula- tions of fish and seafood being overfished can be reduced. U.S. farm-raised seafood is subject to some of the most stringent food safety and environmental regulations in the world. What Do Consumers Want to Know? Be prepared to talk in detail with today's inquisitive con- sumers. Common questions include the following: Is the seafood sourced domes- tically or internationally? What can you tell me about sea- food safety and sustainability? Was it farmed or wild-caught? If it was farmed, tell me about the fish feed and use of antibiotics or vaccines. Was it genetically modified? How can I eat more seafood while minimizing exposure to mercury, PCBs, dioxins or other chemicals? Look to your seafood suppliers for answers, along with various seafood programs and resources such as Marine Stewardship Council, Global Aquaculture Alliance, Mon- terey Bay Aquarium, National Fisheries Institute, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Fishwatch. All in all, consumers want help finding the freshest, healthiest, safest, most sustainable seafood choices they can afford, along with recipes and suggestions for the best cooking methods to turn their seafood investment into a stellar meal. PG Karen Buch, RDN, LDN, is a registered dietitian/nutritionist who specializes in retail dietetics and food and nutrition communications. One of the first supermarket dietitians, she is now founder and principal consultant at Nutrition Connections LLC, providing consulting services nationwide. You can connect with her on Twitter @karenbuch and at Wellness From the Deep Seafood can be part of a healthy diet.

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