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Prairie Fare: How Often Do You Eat Seafood?
North Dakota Ag Connection - 09/22/2023

Let’s do an activity. Think back to your food choices during the past week.

How many times did you eat seafood, including any type of fish or shellfish?

Did you have seafood two times, or enjoy about 8 ounces of seafood last week? That’s the current recommendation from the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

However, if you are allergic to fish or shellfish, I hope you avoided it completely.

According to most definitions, “seafood” includes any edible marine life, including fresh and saltwater fish, crustaceans (shrimp, lobster) and molluscan shellfish (oysters, scallops, mussels).

I grew up calling marine life such as walleye from Midwestern lakes “fish.” It all counts toward the 8-ounce weekly recommendation.

Recently I was at a conference in Rhode Island, so I was right by the Atlantic Ocean. Actually, I was closer to a hurricane than I have ever wanted to be.

I enjoyed a type of seafood every day, including fish and chips, clam chowder, lobster mac and cheese, lobster bisque, sautéed shrimp and cod fish tacos.

I think I am growing fins or a shell.

Growing up in the Midwest, we did not have seafood at home very often. In the summer, we had fresh fish if a fishing expedition was successful. We had tuna noodle hotdish or tuna salad now and then. Fish sticks with mashed potatoes and creamed peas showed up on our school menu on a rotation.

If my mother was preparing food to impress guests, a can of pink salmon would appear on the counter for some sort of recipe.

We all need variety in our diets throughout all of our food choices. Fish and seafood are within the protein group, along with meat, poultry, eggs, beans, peas, lentils, soy products, nuts and seeds.


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