Even though 32% of Americans have never tried sushi, the majority of the country has such as great love for the little rolls of happiness that they have made the Japanese-inspired specialty a staple of their weekly meal. If you love fish, it’s impossible not to melt of satisfaction the first time you try a nigiri – usually a prawn or raw fish on top of sushi rice – or a salmon maki. If you’re already salivating and checking on Google Maps where the closest sushi restaurant is, you need to reconsider your unhealthy obsession for sushi. Indeed, even though nutritionists agree that traditional sushi dishes that are made with quality ingredients are a healthy meal in your diet, eating sushi has proven increasingly unhealthy for the planet. In other words, it’s time to pack the chopsticks and the wasabi cream away; here’s how every day millions of Americans are putting the environment at risk:
Why you need to eat less sushi
We’re far away from the small fishing communities of the past
The ocean’s (and river’s) supplies are becoming scarce, and specific fish populations are profoundly affected by a pescetarian diet. While wild-caught fish is the natural way fishing villages developed in the past – you can have a glimpse of the scale of real fishing villages when you visit coastal places such as Copenhagen, which was founded by fishing Vikings. In those communities, fishing was a natural and necessary approach. However, the consumption of fish has exploded to the point where you can find a variety of products in modern towns. Even someone who lives away from the sea can find a box of sushi in the shops. Needless to say, the constant demand for products that are not local to mass produce sushi boxes is affecting fish sustainability. If you need to indulge in a few rolls, make sure at least to grab a box that claims to use farming fish. Indeed, the farming salmon benefits are evident. Not only does the farming initiative protects the species but it also provides a valuable alternative for fish lovers.
Vegetarian sushi, an alternative?
You can’t continue to buy your sushi box
The rise of sushi popularity comes from the fact that it is one of the healthiest takeaway food you can find around. As a result, busy Millennials can enjoy a quick meal without worrying about their health. However, your favorite sushi comes in plastic packaging. For many, that little box could end up floating in the oceans forever, which is a serious concern for the environment – unfortunately most takeaway plastic waste finds its way into our waterways. One sushi today, several seabirds killed as they swallow your box tomorrow. Or seals injured as the plastic cut into their flesh, if you prefer a different image. Ultimately, your sushi box is killing the wildlife.
Sushi purists are law-breakers too
Additionally, enthusiastic pescetarians among sushi lovers insist that you shouldn’t eat sushi that isn’t prepared with wild fish. The consequences of it, however, can be disastrous, as endangered species are targeted by fishers. Is wild fish sushi sustainable? The answer is no. Your favorite quick meal is killing the Pacific bluefin.
Is it time to bring your love affair with sushi to an end? Maybe the solution is to be mindful of what you eat, its origin and how it will continue to affect the environment. Ultimately, the question is: Is your maki roll worth killing for?