FISH…the natural diet for humans? A “big picture” view


After seeing a big article in USA Today this week all about why fish is so healthy for you, I figured it was about time that I wrote this post that I’ve been thinking about for some time.

Widely regarded a health food -- particularly if you compare it to beef or pork

While millions of Americans have given up red meat, chicken and turkey — rare is the person who has completely given up fish. Even Bill Clinton, who credits Dr. Esselstyn with perhaps saving his life, does not take his advice when it comes to fish – saying that he still eats a piece of fish “occasionally, but not very often.”

Part of our reluctance to give up fish completely is more than likely due to our lifetime of brainwashing about the importance of animal protein in our diet. Most dieticians continue to recommend seafood in the diet, even though Dr. Colin Campbell and many “enlightened M.D.’s” have reported that the animal protein from fish is just as damaging to the human body as the animal protein from cattle, pigs, chickens, sheep and turkeys – they all are associated with heart disease and all forms of cancer.

So why doesn’t Bill Clinton and millions of others believe them? One hyphenated word – “Omega-3.” Another successful brainwashing campaign has most Americans believing that they truly “need” to eat fish for the healthy omega-3’s that they contain. It’s true that they contain omega-3s, but they also contain high levels of fat, cholesterol, pollutants, not to mention the animal protein mentioned earlier. We do need omega-3s, but we can get plenty from healthy plant sources like flax seeds and walnuts.

So forget about your health for a minute. What about sustainability? What about biodiversity? While researching for our book, here are a few factoids we uncovered that you might want to consider the next time you order that occasional piece of fish:

The last commercial fishing fleet in CT -- right here in my home town of Stonington

  • 4.5 million sea animals are killed (accidentally) as by-catch in long-line fishing every year, including 3.3 million sharks, 1 million marlin, 60,000 sea turtles, 75,000 albatross and 20,000 dolphin and whales.
  • For every pound of shrimp that we consume, there are 26 pounds of other sea creatures caught as by-catch and simply killed in the process. 26 to 1; how efficient and humane is that?
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN estimates that nearly two-thirds of ocean fisheries are exploited at or beyond capacity.
  • Since 1950, fish catches have increased five fold — from 18 to 100 million metric tons per year.
  • Thousands of factory ships are depleting the oceans; 3/4 of fishing grounds are exhausted or in danger of being so.  Most large fish have been fished out of existence since they have no time to reproduce.
  • The drastic decline in world fisheries has led to the practice of fish farming. Fish farms are incredibly inefficient, hazardous to the environment, and cruel to the sea creatures being farmed.
  • As for the efficiency of these farms, large amounts of wild fish like shrimp, salmon, trout, bass, and yellowtail tuna are fed to the farmed fish. The ratio for salmon, the most common farmed fish is three pounds of fish eaten for every single pound of salmon.

Simply said, we humans are destroying a cycle of life that was given to us.  At the current rate, ALL fish stocks are threatened with exhaustion. And with a growing population, more people choosing fish instead of red meat – it is abundantly clear that this fish-eating frenzy cannot go on much longer. Since most of us are going to be forced to give up fish at some point in the future; why not do it now and help save the planet?

Sadly, my guess is that the average American adult truly feels that fish were put on this planet by the creator as a source of food for humans. We forget that there were fish in the sea millions of years before there were humans. Fish, and all other creatures are a key part of the biodiversity that humankind is bent on destroying.

The human race, the smartest of all the species -- this is what happened when we stopped living in harmony with nature. Graphics courtesy of VegSource.com, where I am a featured blogger. Check it out and attend their Lifestyle Expo in October.

You see, the human race is the only species in the history of the world that has not lived in harmony with Nature – yet we consider ourselves the smartest of all the species. In fact, we have been running roughshod over this beautiful planet for the past 100 years. In the powerful 2009 movie Home (see Video tab), it was revealed that humankind – in just the last fifty years — has inflicted more damage to the fragile harmony of the planet than all of the previous generations of humans for the past 200,000 years. They went on to say that we must reverse this deadly trend within the next ten years or possibly pass the point of no return.

Sobering for sure. And time is running out. When will more responsible citizens step forward and lead the movement to end this madness and destruction that we have all created together? As for the natural diet for our species; the animals in the wild with DNA closest to ours (chimps and gorillas) eat nothing but raw plants. That should give us a pretty good idea what we should be eating.

If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

If you’d like to order our book on Amazon,  visit our BookStore now.

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com

PS: Occasionally an unauthorized ad may appear beneath a blog post. It is controlled by WordPress (a totally free hosting service). I do not approve or personally benefit whatsoever from any ad that might ever appear on this site. I apologize and urge you to please disregard. 

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
This entry was posted in Big Picture, Biodiversity, Environment, Sustainability. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s