Tuesday, October 2, 2018

National Seafood Month: Eat Seafood Twice A Week

In 1990, Congress designated that October would become National Seafood Month, to highlight the role of seafood in a healthy diet. In addition, the month is intended to honor and celebrate everyone associated with the seafood and fishing industry. Seafood may be one of the healthiest foods you can eat, with thousands of scientific studies indicating that eating seafood twice a week can reduce your chances of heart disease by 36%. As heart disease kills almost 600,000 people each year, reducing your chances by eating seafood is a wise choice.

Eating seafood twice a week should translate into an annual consumption of 26 pounds of seafood. However, most Americans significantly fail to meet this standard. In the last 18 years, the highest annual seafood consumption was in 2005 with 16.6 pounds, dropping to a low of 14.4 pounds in 2012. A positive increase occurred in 2015 when annual consumption actually increased nearly a pound to 15.5 pounds but 2016 saw that figure fall, down to 14.9 pounds. I haven't yet seen figures for 2017.

For comparison, in 2018, it is predicted that Americans will eat an annual average of 222 pounds of red meat and poultry. Annual average seafood consumption is less than 7% of this amount, indicative of how little seafood Americans actually eat. There is so much room for the growth of seafood consumption, with only a relatively minimal decrease in meat and poultry consumption. With all of the health benefit of seafood, why can't you increase your consumption?

The Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP), a non-profit organization dedicated to raising public awareness about the health benefits of seafood, is a leader in seafood education. They have a number of ways that everyone can help celebrate National Seafood Month. First, you can take their Seafood Pledge, vowing to eat seafood twice a week. You can then tell everyone on social media, using the hashtag #Seafood2XWk, that you've taken and the pledge and encourage others to do the same as well. Second, the SNP is always seeking inspiration, recipe ideas, and general tips about buying, cooking, and eating seafood. So, they would like you to share on social what seafood dishes you are eating this month, using the same hashtag as above. Third, they would like people to share their message, to talk about SNP, on social media, making more people aware of their mission.

For more educational information on seafood consumption, you should check out the SNP Resources page, which has plenty of valuable info. You find topics such as Which Fish Is The Richest In Omega-3 to Seafood Food Safety. They also offer a myriad of Seafood Recipes, from Sweet & Sour Scallop Kabobs to Salmon Dip. Check out the entire Seafood Nutrition Partnership and educate yourself about the wonders and health benefits of seafood.

You might also be interested in checking out Dish on Fish, an initiative sponsored by the National Fisheries Institute to encourage Americans to eat more seafood. At Dish on Fish, you'll find numerous seafood recipes, monthly meal plans, and advice on seafood & health

Please also peruse my myriad seafood articles for more information about all the reasons why you should eat more seafood, as well as information on buying and cooking seafood. My new post, All About Seafood, collects all of the links to my seafood articles, compiling them under various subjects.

Eat seafood at least twice a week. Eat more sustainable seafood. Eat more local seafood. Eat more diverse seafood, and not just the usual suspects.

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