(NaturalNews) According to a new study carried out by the ocean conservation group Oceana, nearly 40 percent of the seafood sold in New York's restaurants and grocery stores is mislabeled, with cheap fish being often substituted for more expensive varieties. What's worse is that some of the substitutes are downright unhealthy and could cause serious problems for consumers.
Unhealthy fish sold as "safe"
An example is substituting the food poisoning-inducing Escolar for White Tuna, and the mercury-laden Blueline Tilefish for Halibut or Red Snapper. Both Escolar and Tilefish are not recommended for consumption, since the former can induce yellow diarrhea, and the latter can cause mercury poisoning, especially in children.
"It's unacceptable that New York seafood lovers are being duped more than one-third of the time when purchasing certain types of fish", said Kimberly Warner, one of the scientists involved in the study.
On the upside, ocean fish abounds in plenty of nutrients, primarily the Omega-3 rich fish oil, which is brain healthy, heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory, and may also have anti-cancer properties.
Unfortunately, seafood is not currently subjected to labeling standards like other foods in many countries, so it can be hard to determine which type of fish is organic, and which isn't. Since the environment in which wild fish grow cannot be controlled, and carnivorous fish may consume other fish that aren't organic, wild fish such as salmon cannot be considered organic.
Plant-based alternatives to eating fish
The good news is that Omega-3 can be derived from plant sources as well, like walnuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and most importantly, flax seed oil. Thanks to its nutty flavor and unique texture, flaxseed can be added in small quantities to nearly any kind of food. In fact, flaxseed is so rich in healthy fats, that it can be used to partially replace other fats in baked goods, and it can also be added to fillings instead of eggs, to help hold the ingredients together.
Flax seed oil can be incorporated into smoothies and purees, drizzled over salads, or added to marinades and oatmeal. A simple recipe idea for a flaxseed oil-based nutritious salad dressing would include four tablespoons of sesame oil, four tablespoons of flax seed oil, one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, three tablespoons of rice vinegar, two tablespoons of black currant syrup, a pinch of salt and pepper, as well as additional herbs to taste (for example, dill, thyme, marjoram or tarragon).
Chia seeds are laden with other precious nutrients, aside from Omega-3, including calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Like flaxseed, they are also a versatile ingredient that can be worked into an assortment of recipes. For example, half a cups of chia seeds can be mixed with two cups of coconut milk, two tablespoons of cocoa powder, a pinch of vanilla, and a tablespoon of honey to prepare a quick and delicious homemade pudding.
About the author: Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general.