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Angling for alternatives

india Updated: Aug 13, 2007 23:26 IST
Hindustan Times
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This is bound to get fish-eaters green around the gills. The green brigade feels that overfarming of fish will soon have an adverse impact on the environment. So it’s boiled down to: our health vs the Earth’s. While more than just the goodness of omega-3 fatty acids prompts most of us to bet on the ‘our health’ horse, we seem to be driving the fish out of water. In study after study, fish has been proved to be a much healthier option to meat. But with more and more doctors prescribing salmon as a good dietary alternative, we seem to be fishing for trouble. The surge in demand for salmon, tuna, mackerel and trout have set alarm bells ringing and activists, as is their wont, seem to smell something fishy. The fear is that increased human consumption of fish will not be ‘sustainable’ in the near future.

Despite such murky waters, the picture that emerges is clear. There is a very real divide between genuine fish-freaks and those who opt for fish as a healthy alternative. As any Bengali and Malayalee worth his brackish-water fish will vouch for, there’s something about fish that is way beyond the virtues of omega-3 fatty acids, which can also be found in wonderful alternatives like flaxseed oil. Sushi might be chic, but the Real Mackerels prefer the whole drill, head, tail et al.

Now we don’t want to upset the balance of nature. But then, we don’t want to tip the fish scales the other way either. So here’s what we’re angling at: let the good doctor prescribe flaxseed and canola oil and leave the real fish for those who find their comfort zone in an eel.

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