A seafood meal is the one opportunity most Americans will ever have to eat a wild animal. Given the illegality of selling wild game, only hunters and their lucky friends get to munch the many tasty beasts that roam the boondocks. Eating a wild thing is like walking around on your bare feet. It’s exposure to an ecosystem, and a direct connection with the planet. Eating wild fish is like a swim in the ocean, except in this case the ocean swims inside of you.
Unfortunately, wild seafood is wrought with environmental, ethical, economic, and health implications. Many fish stocks are dwindling. And prices, not surprisingly, are climbing. Certain fishing methods are damaging underwater ecosystems and creating bycatch, whereby the wrong fish are caught, and all too often killed. Big carnivorous fish like tuna and swordfish are known to accumulate dangerous levels of heavy metals from the many fish, great and small, in their diets.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the food chain, the lowly sardine poses a solution to each of these problems. And all we have to do is eat them.