Contrary to belief, fish has been considered a more safe meat to consume, compared to poultry. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—which monitors infectious illness—a consumer is likely to become ill; chicken eaters may be subjected to illness every 1 in 25,000 servings. In other words, when properly prepared, seafood is 200 times safer than poultry. Judgments like those can highly influence a New Year’s resolution. FDA <http://www.fda.gov/Food/PopularTopics/ucm341987.htm>
MAKE GOOD-QUALITY JUDGMENTS
Be Able to Identify the Fish/Seafood
In many instances, certain fish are mistaken as another type of fish. In fact, these selective instances occur when consumers present a fish as one thing; hence, naming the fish as a more expensive kind that is popularly in demand (mislabeled); and risks could occur, as a result (e.g. improper diet predictions or allergic reactions). To that effect, use a fish identifying reference (i.e. a fish glossary, encyclopedia, etc.).
Be aware of labels on packaged foods before adding to recipes—as an ingredient.
Imitation Products vs. Fresh Seafood
Imitation products are common in most grocery store outlets. Surprisingly, imitation foods come as dairy products, simulated meats, and also as seafood parts (e.g. not so real crab meat). In relation to creating a great seafood dish, sometimes chefs should pay attention to what the product is, compared to what type of taste and texture is desired for their specific entrée. Also, the demand in nutrients could be a factor, as well (i.e. more protein and less sodium). Some diets may mandate type the nutrients that only simulated foods can offer (visa-versa).
SEAFOOD POINTER: A GREAT START TO A SOUND RECIPE
Buy Seafood from Well Established, Reputable Sources. Contrary to belief, all seafood vendors are not the same. Some seafood market vendors order seafood products from unknown (unpopular) distributors, while others request deliveries from seafood distributors that are well known for ‘that fresh catch.’ Those factors are very important to notice from the seafood market that you plan on trusting with your health and the others' that you serve. With that said, please do your research.
Eat a Variety of Seafood. Although it is healthy to begin the task of focusing on fish or lobster, it is also advised to spread your horizons a bit and eat a variety of seafood. Frankly, there are health benefits related to eating more than one type of seafood. Just think about it, more variety: shrimp; mussels; oysters; scallop; bluefish; salmon; catfish; and lobster; the health benefits come from the different amounts of nutrient intake that each seafood portion offers. Keep an open mind for the sake of your palate.
- Smell the product, before you buy it (no bad seafood allowed)
- Look for the healthy sheen (unhealthy look: distasteful—literally)
- Proper storage (store seafood in the freezer, if you are not planning to immediately put it to the flame)
- Never eat the livers, brains, eyes, gills, or intestines (viscera); as toxic substances have accumulated in those areas.
- Do not under-cook seafood—ever; this is not a beef entrée by far.
- Don’t mess with raw or under-cooked fish and shellfish. Sushi is different.