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Every food choice you make has a ripple effect across your own health and the planet. Kate boils down the key things you need to know to tread more lightly and deliciously. Here in Kate's Corner, she'll share easy tips, her favorite recipes and some of her own adventures, too!
If you have a specific question for Kate, feel free to submit it here. We'll update this section reguarly and share her answers to your most frequently asked questions about how to adopt a leaner, greener, more delicious, nutritious diet!
Kate recently chatted with ocean advocate and visionary seafood chef Barton Seaver, whose new cookbook For Cod and Country dishes up sustainable seafood recipes organized by season. Barton's dishes somehow manage to be tantalizing and delicious, yet with his easy-to-follow instructions, purchasing recommendations, and helpful tips for preparation and seasonings - they're totally doable for the environmentally minded home cook, too! Kate wrote a guest blog post summarizing her chat with Barton and debunking the 7 Sustainable Seafood Myths. Give it a read. You'll be hooked!
When it comes to sustainable seafood, don't shy away from big box chains. Support Target, Safeway, Wegmans and Whole Foods. A new Greenpeace report ranked them in that order for being the top retail outlets in the country for sustainable seafood.
Buy seafood in the frozen aisle. Due to the highly perishable nature of seafood, retailers end up throwing away about 30% of the product that enters the store! Pull frozen fish from your freezer in the morning and by the time you get home in the evening, the fish will be thawed, pristinely fresh and ready to cook!
Ban the bottled water. Liquids are one of the heaviest items to ship, and there’s perfectly good water coming out of your tap (invest in a good filter if you’re concerned).
Start snacking sustainably--for your waist as well as your waste. Ditch the processed snack foods and choose whole, real foods instead.
Become a Locavore: eat locally (or regionally) and seasonally to the extent that you can.
Get Dirty. The greenest food is something you grow yourself. Plant an herb pot, a windowsill of lettuce, a garden, or whatever you can manage. Click here for some great beginner’s gardening tips.
Pack a PB&J for Lunch. Make your own lunch and bring it to work in reusable containers—and if it’s PB&J, or almond butter, with local jam on whole grain bread, it’s fast, easy, healthy and green, and it saves you green too.
An award winning registered dietitian, Kate is a nationally known nutrition and health expert when it comes to smart eating for busy people. Kate is the author of Go Green Get Lean: Trim Your Waistline with the Ultimate Low-Carbon Footprint Diet. As America’s Green Nutritionist™ Kate has been on the leading edge of helping America recognize the connections between our diet and its impact on our climate crisis. She’s passionate about helping consumers and companies alike understand a host of green issues, why they matter, and how they can maximize health and flavor while minimizing their carbon footprint.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids: They are necessary for human health but the body can't make them -- you have to get them through food. Omega-3 and Omega-6’s are important structural components of cell membranes. They affect cell membrane properties such as flexibility, permeability and the activity of membrane bound enzymes. Omega-3’s are required for the normal development and function of the retina and brain and play a crucial role in brain function.
It is estimated that the ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids in the diet of early humans was 1:1, but the ratio in the typical Western diet is now almost 10:1 due to increased use of vegetable oils and reduced fish consumption.
A large body of scientific research suggests that increasing the relative abundance of dietary Omega-3 fatty acids may have a number of health benefits, including lower risk of heart disease, cancer, asthma and arthritis. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least 2 times a week.
The lipid composition of farmed fish is generally more constant and less affected by seasonal variations than that of wild fish because it is largely dependent on the fatty acid composition of their feed, which can be tailored to achieve specific targets, depeding on the species and environment.
Promising news about Omega-3 fatty acids just keeps rolling in. The following provides an overview of research on how Omega-3 fatty acids may affect disease and aging.
A large body of scientific research suggests that higher dietary Omega-3 fatty acid intake is associated with reductions in cardiovascular disease risk. In one large study that followed more than 20,000 men for 11 years, those who ate fish at least once a week had a risk of sudden cardiac death that was 52% lower than those who ate fish less than once a month.
Scientists investigated the effect of Omega-3s on telomere length. Telomeres are the strings of DNA at the ends of chromosomes that are thought to keep them from fraying during cell division. Telomeres are thought to be a major determinant of aging. After five years, participants who started the study with higher levels of Omega-3’s in their blood experienced substantially less telomere shortening than those with lower Omega-3 levels. The investigators believe that these findings may explains the potentially protective effects of Omega-3 fatty acids on aging related disease.
Observational studies have found that lower DHA status is associated with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease as well as other types of dementia, but it is not yet known whether DHA supplementation can help prevent or treat such cognitive disorders.
People who follow a Mediterranean-style diet tend to have higher HDL or “good” cholesterol levels, which help promote heart health. Inuit Eskimos, who get high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids from eating fatty fish, also tend to have increased HDL cholesterol and decreased triglycerides (fats in the blood). Several studies have shown that fish oil supplements reduce triglyceride levels.
Several clinical studies suggest that diets rich in Omega-3 fatty acids lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. An analysis of 17 clinical studies using fish oil supplements found that taking 3 or more grams of fish oil daily may reduce blood pressure in people with untreated hypertension.
Increasing EPA and DHA intake may be beneficial in individuals with type 2 diabetes, especially those with elevated serum triglycerides. Omega-3 fatty acids can help lower triglycerides and apoproteins (markers of diabetes), and raise HDL, so eating foods or taking fish oil supplements may help people with diabetes.
Three meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials in rheumatoid arthritis patients found that fish oil supplementation significantly decreased the number of painful and/or tender joints on physical examination.
Some studies suggest that consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids may help increase levels of calcium in the body and improve bone strength, although not all results were positive. Some studies also suggest that people who don' t get enough of some essential fatty acids (particularly EPA and gamma-linolenic acid [GLA], an Omega-6 fatty acid) are more likely to have bone loss than those with normal levels of these fatty acids. In a study of women over 65 with osteoporosis, those who took EPA and GLA supplements had less bone loss over 3 years than those who took placebo and some of the women experienced an increase in bone density.
Joseph Hibbeln, a psychiatrist from the National Institutes of Health, has found a correlation between the amount of fish a country eats and the rate of depression. Studies have found mixed results as to whether taking Omega-3 fatty acids can help alleviate the symptoms on depression. Several studies have found that people who took Omega-3 fatty acids in addition to prescription antidepressants had a greater improvement than those who took antidepressants alone. Other studies were mixed on whether Omega-3 fatty acids alone have an effect on depression. Depression is a serious illness and you should not try to treat it on your own. See a doctor for help.
In a clinical study of 30 people with bipolar disorder, those who took fish oil in addition to standard prescription treatments for bipolar disorder for 4 months experienced fewer mood swings and relapse than those who received placebo. But another 4-month long clinical study treating people with bipolar depression and rapid cycling bipolar disorder did not find that EPA helped reduce symptoms.
Children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have low levels of certain essential fatty acids (including EPA and DHA). In a clinical study of nearly 100 boys, those with lower levels of Omega-3 fatty acids had more learning and behavioral problems (such as temper tantrums and sleep disturbances) than boys with normal Omega-3 fatty acid levels. Studies examining whether Omega-3 fatty acids help improve symptoms of ADHD have found mixed results. A few studies have found that Omega-3 fatty acids helped improve behavioral symptoms. More research is needed, but eating foods that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids is a reasonable approach for someone with ADHD.
Studies examining Omega-3 fatty acids for asthma are mixed. In one small, well-designed clinical study of 29 children with asthma, those who took fish oil supplements rich in EPA and DHA for 10 months reduced their symptoms compared to children who took placebo. However, other studies have shown no effect.
A questionnaire given to more than 3,000 people over the age of 49 found that those who ate more fish were less likely to have macular degeneration (a serious age-related eye condition that can progress to blindness) than those who ate less fish. Similarly, a clinical study comparing 350 people with macular degeneration to 500 without the eye disease found that those with a healthy dietary balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and more fish in their diets were less likely to have macular degeneration.
In one study of 42 women, they had less menstrual pain when they took fish oil supplements than when they took placebo.
Eating foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids seems to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. For example, Eskimos, who tend to have a high-fat diet but eat significant amounts of fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, have a low rate of colorectal cancer. Animal studies and laboratory studies have found that Omega-3 fatty acids prevent worsening of colon cancer. Preliminary studies suggest that taking fish oil daily may help slow the progression of colon cancer in people with early stages of the disease. If you have colorectal cancer, ask your doctor before taking any supplements.
Although not all experts agree, women who eat foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids over many years may be less likely to develop breast cancer. More research is needed to understand the effect that Omega-3 fatty acids may have on the prevention of breast cancer.
Population based studies of groups of men suggest that a low-fat diet including Omega-3 fatty acids from fish or fish oil help prevent the development of prostate cancer.
*The information provided here, is at best, of a general nature and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional. Please consult your physician if you feel you have any of the above conditions.
Our Barramundi is available in both the fresh and frozen sections of an increasing number of grocery stores nationwide. Visit our Where To Buy section to locate a store near you and enjoy our mild, versatile fish with any of your favorite fish recipes or try one of ours.
Barramundi, Fresh Seafood Case
The majority of our fish sold in the fresh case were produced in our farm in the pristine waters of Central Vietnam and were processed within hours of harvest. Whether fresh or frozen the quality is always top notch. Our previously frozen barramundi is flash frozen at the source, locking in their natural freshness and flavor, while dramatically reducing the carbon footprint that it takes to get our fish to you.
Barramundi, Frozen Fillets
Our original hand-cut Barramundi fillets are delicious, moist and versatile. Each fillet is flash frozen within hours of harvest and individually vacuum packed to lock in its natural freshness and flavor. Enjoy them with any of your favorite fish recipes or try one of ours. 100% natural.
Barramundi with Lemon Herb Butter
We use only the highest quality ingredients which are delicately seasoned with zesty lemon, garlic, basil, and oregano. Our seasoned fillets are flash frozen within hours of harvest, guaranteeing a fresh, gourmet taste every time.
Tuscan Herb Encrusted Barramundi
Australis Tuscan Herb is a rustic panko encrused barramundi loaded with parmesan, herbs and spices. Portions are individually wrapped and can be cooked from a frozen state and ready to serve in just 20 minutes. Naturally low in saturated fat and cholesterol, it’s perfect for anyone looking for healthy ways to enjoy more seafood at home.
Some of our retail partners feature our Barramundi in their store-brand private label packaging. If you shop at Safeway (Carrs, Dominicks, Genuardi's, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Vons), Stop & Shop or Giant, be sure to look for these store-brand packages in the frozen seafood aisle!
Stop & Shop & Giant
Australis Barramundi is featured in Ahold stores throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic under their private label store brand.
Whether fresh or frozen, the quality of Australis Barramundi is consistently top notch. Available skin-on or skin-off as either fillets or controlled weight portions, Australis Barramundi is available year-round to meet the expectations of even the most demanding chefs.
“Fresh” is a powerful adjective and most chefs and consumers pay a premium for fresh fish. But is fresh fish really superior to frozen?
Consider these facts: The quality of fish begins to deteriorate immediately after harvest. Most fresh fish spends one to two weeks in the cold chain before it reaches your plate. Wild caught seafood can easily be 7-10 days old by the time it reaches the harbor; 2-6 days traveling to and from the fishing grounds, 3-5 days fishing, plus another 2-4 days to be processed and distributed. If the demand is lethargic or the price isn't right, the seafood waits. At the store, it may be several more days before it is purchased. Hopefully your refrigerator isn’t adding to the problem, but in many busy homes it may well be.
In contrast, modern freezing methods retain quality, nutritional benefits and seals in the fresh flavor until you’re ready to cook.
Taste tests have shown that if fish is frozen immediately after harvest using modern techniques trained panelists generally prefer it to fresh fish which is 3 or more days old. For most of us, it impossible to tell frozen fish apart from fresh fish that was caught only hours before!
We’ve put our heart and soul into growing the best fish possible and we carry that philosophy through our processing and freezing process. Our frozen barramundi are usually processed within 4 hours of harvest and frozen using state-of-the-art Japanese belt freezing systems that takes less than 10 minutes to chill the fillets to 30°F below zero. The fillets are then dipped in water to provide additional protection against dehydration and individually vacuum packed.
“Go local. Eat Organic. Buy Fresh." Those food mantras continue to make wave among environmentally conscious consumers. But – as is often the case in these climate-conscious times – if the motivation is to truly make our diets more earth-friendly, then perhaps we need a new mantra: Buy frozen.
Several years ago, a group of economists teamed up to understand how sustainable food systems could be developed to feed nine billion people. They compared wild and farmed salmon and came to a rather surprising conclusion: “When it comes to salmon, the question of organic versus conventional and wild versus farmed matter less than whether the fish is frozen or fresh.” Fillets that are flown from far away lands add an enormous climate burden that swamps the potential benefits of organic farming or sustainable fishing. Considering that over two-thirds of the seafood consumed in the US is imported, choosing frozen may be one of the best ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your diet. For more information on this study, see ecotrust study.
“Fast In, Slow Out” is the best way to maximize the quality of frozen seafood. We freeze fast which eliminates the formation of ice crystals. At home, the best method of defrosting fish is to cut the vacuum pack, place the opened pack on a plate in your refrigerator for 24 hours before cooking. If you’re in a hurry, defrost in cold water and give one of our quick and easy recipes a try!
All the benefits of frozen seafood -- at-a-glance
Long ago in the dream time there were no fish, so the people lived on animals, roots and berries. They were all content. That is, except for Boodi and Yalima; young lovers who wanted to marry but were forbidden because their tribe required Yalima to marry an elder so she could take care of him. Determined to be together, Boodi and Yalima ran away, knowing that to go against the Elders was punishable by death.
They ran far and wide, but were relentlessly chased by the tribal elders. Eventually, they came to the edge of the land where the water began, and they knew that in order to survive, they would have to stand their ground.
With the angry tribe descending upon them, they gathered wood and made as many spears as they could. But the tribesmen were too numerous, and soon the lover’s spears were all spent. Boodi turned to his beloved Yalima and said, "For us to be together, we must go into the sea to live." And so they jumped off the cliff and descended into the water.
Boodi and Yalima are still there, in the shape of the Barramundi hiding amongst the mangroves. And the spines on the fin of the barramundi are said to be the spears thrown at them by the tribe.
Those who believe in the folk tale say barramundi has special aphrodisiac qualities and call it by its other name: 'Passion Fish'.
Seafood has been called ‘the health food of the century’, and for good reason. A single serving of fish provides up to 60% of your daily protein needs, it’s lower in fat and calories than meat or poultry and can be a great source of omega-3’s. The American Heart Association and the new USDA guidelines both recommend eating fish at least twice a week, and health experts from around the world tout the benefits of a seafood-rich diet.
At Australis, we never use synthetic chemicals such as hormones or colorants. We don’t have to. Barramundi are naturally hardy and when raised using our Smart Aquaculture™ practices are a pure and natural "Superfood".
View the Nutrition Facts for all of our barramundi products on our retail products page.
One of the reasons fish is a ‘health hero’ is because it's a great source of omega-3 fatty acids - an essential nutrient that offers a broad range of health benefits. Australis Barramundi has 600 – 800 mg of omega-3s per 5-oz serving. That’s comparable to wild Coho salmon, and unheard of in a mild-flavored, white fish!
The average American diet is considered to be deficient in omega-3's and has more than ten times the ideal amount of omega-6's, which are considered inflamitory. Scientists recommend an optimal omega-6 to 3 ratio not more than 3:1. Australis Barramundi has the ideal ratio of 1:1, so it is one of the healthiest foods you can eat.
“Toss barramundi instead of steak on the grill to literally slash calories and environmental impact in half (and it’s better than salmon too--from a slimming and eco-friendly standpoint)”
– Kate Geagan, America’s Green Nutritionist
“Free of mercury, but full of heart--and brain--healthy omega-3s, barramundi is a shoe-in for one of my top 5 superfoods. Bonus: the white meat is light, flaky and delicious."
– Dr. Oz
"Sick of salmon? Grill some barramundi. It has a mild, sweet flavor and a hearty 500 mg of omega-3s per 3-ounce”
– Prevention, June 2010
“Turn to barramundi: One of our top 5 go-to species that’s low in mercury, packed with nutrients, sustainable, and cinch to prepare. Go fish!”
– Women's Health, April 2011
Hear why nutritionists recommend Australis Barramundi at the American Dietetic Association’s Food & Nutrition conference. And visit "Ask Kate" for healthy eating tips and answers to your nutrition questions from American’s Green Nutritionist™.
"Fish should swim, not fly. Container ships are by far the most efficient and carbon-friendly way to transport food"