Go Fish-Free in National Seafood Week

| 10 May 2006
minute reading time
No fishing

Leading health charity the Viva Health is urging people to celebrate National Seafood Week (October 6th-13th) with a healthier, kinder fish-free seafood supper. Seafood does not have to be fish and shellfish; there are many fish-free alternatives that are better for you and the environment. The VVF suggest trying sea vegetables instead of fish. Sea vegetables are commonly referred to as superfoods as they provide a rich source of valuable vitamins (especially the B vitamin folate) and minerals including calcium, iron and iodine, which is essential for thyroid function.

They also contain lignans which can protect against cancer. Dr Justine Butler, Viva Health’s health campaigner says: “Try a tasty fish-free seafood paella with the seaweed arame, this seaweed has a mild taste and blends very well with other flavours. It can be steamed, sautaed, added to soups and stews, or sprinkled on salads. It is very good with grated carrots, unsalted peanuts and raisins with a raspberry vinegar. Make homemade vegetable sushi by wrapping rice and your favourite vegetables in sheets of nori or chop up some wakame and add to a stir-fry with courgettes, peppers, shitake mushrooms and bean shoots. Sprinkle sesame seeds on towards the end of cooking for an extra boost of calcium. And of course don’t forget the laverbread or “Welsh caviar’ (seaweed from Wales).” Dr Butler states that: “These fish-free meals are healthier as they do not contain fish contaminated with mercury, dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls – found in all the world’s oceans. These toxic pollutants accumulate (especially in fatty fish) as you move up the food chain. Some governments warn that pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under 16 should not eat shark, marlin or swordfish because of the levels of mercury present. Others have voiced concerns about the levels of dioxins in herring, salmon and mackerel. Fish is not a popular food in the UK, people eat only a third of a portion of oily fish per week with seven out of ten people consuming none whatsoever. By avoiding fish you can help stop the destruction of the oceans caused by over-fishing and protect your health.”

For recipes and more information contact Dr Justine Butler at the VVF on 0117 970 5190 or email justine@vegetarian.org.uk

Notes for editors – see Fish-Free Paella recipe below. Viva Health is a charity established to monitor and interpret the increasing amount of scientific research linking diet to health. Viva Health communicates this information to the public, health professionals, schools and food manufacturers and provides accurate information on which to make informed choices. It is a vital – and almost solitary – source of accurate and unbiased information and advice on diet and health and is free from any commercial or vested interests.

About the author
Dr. Justine Butler
Justine joined Viva! in 2005 after graduating from Bristol University with a PhD in molecular biology. After working as a campaigner, then researcher and writer, she is now Viva!’s head of research and her work focuses on animals, the environment and health. Justine’s scientific training helps her research and write both in-depth scientific reports, such as White Lies and the Meat Report, as well as easy-to-read factsheets and myth-busting articles for consumer magazines and updates on the latest research. Justine also recently wrote the Vegan for the Planet guide for Viva!’s Vegan Now campaign.

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