Frank grilled four fabulous swordfish steaks to perfection for dinner last night. I haven’t purchased swordfish in over a decade. The Monterey Bay Aquariam seafood watch program identifies swordfish as significant source of mercury contamination. The recommended servings per month for women and children is zero. Men are allowed one. As I savored every bite of this delicious fish, I felt myself becoming incensed. How did we let our oceans and waterways become so polluted that we have to warn people not to eat?
I didn’t plan on buying swordfish, but I wheeled into Costco’s parking lot at 6:15 PM to learn that they close the entry doors at 6. Drat. We grilled some incredible fresh halibut last week and I had a hankering for more. It was getting late and the baked potatoes were already in the oven. I jumped back on my bike and crossed the street over to Gelson’s, trusting their fish department more than some of the other local markets. Now there’s some sticker shock. When prices are up to 30% more than Whole Foods I tend to pay attention.
THE COST OF SEAFOOD AND FRESH FISH
I perused the fish case, noticing the sales, what was fresh, and what was frozen and defrosted. I noticed country of origin. I finally decided on the Swordfish, the frozen/defrosted option from Singapore on sale at $9.99 a pound, 1/3 of the cost of the fresh version, 35% less the cost of wild caught coho salmon and more than 50% less than other favorites. I am fully aware of swordfish’s reputation–especially foreign caught– but also know I can’t remember the last time we purchased predator fish. I bought four steaks.
Frank grilled the fish, I roasted red peppers, eggplant and summer squash and we prepped our baked potatoes. I forgot how incredible succulent and delicious swordfish could be and I grew even angrier. How do we allow industry to continue to pollute our oceans? How is it that the value of profits trumps human health? I resent having to limit my intake of food so that someone else can abdicate their environmental responsibilities and abandon any measure of morality. I am tired of telling clients what they should and should not eat because good food has been contaminated by the thoughtless, careless, and arrogant actions of others.