Why I AM Pescatarian
About one year ago I became fully Pescatarian. First lets define what a "pescatarian" diet is - it is someone who abstains from eating any kind of meat except fish and seafood. So to make it simpler, it is basically a vegetarian diet that includes fish and seafood! I didn't go cold turkey on a pescatarian diet at first. Being someone who was so used to eating meat, it took me a few years on and off to transition into this diet and fully cut out meat.
Everyone always asks me "why I AM pescatarian?... and what even is pescatarian?" Personally, I think it is a great introductory of becoming fully vegetarian. I'm always trying to eat a sustainable diet, a diet that requires a lower carbon footprint. Currently, livestock farming produces 20%-50% of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. The hidden environmental cost of emissions from farms, factories, packaging, transportation and in stores are commonly forgotten, yet so harmful to our environment. In comparison, vegetables, fruits, beans and nuts which have a much lower man-made green house gas emission.
In addition, the cruelty that is involved in the meat industry is unethical. The majority of meats you find in the grocery store are from factory farms. The animals are raised in a cruel and abusive environment as a product of food for profit. This is something I try to be mindful of when I put food in my body - where it came from and how it was produced?
I chose a pescatarian diet over a vegetarian diet because it offers a broader range of option for meeting my daily protein requirements and it also has healthy benefits for my body. Fish and seafood are great sources of protein and fatty acid, and they are considered healthy fats and lean protein in comparison to meat. Red meat contains high levels of saturated fat and over consuming it can lead to cardiac health problems. In particular, fish species like salmon and tuna are rich in in omega-3 fatty acids - which can reduce cholesterol levels, improve brain function and lower blood pressure. In addition, fish and seafood is an excellent source of nutrients and vitamins such as potassium, , zinc, iron, B-complex vitamins, vitamin A and vitamin D. However, keep in mind some species are at risk of being overfished and raised in ways that harm the marine environment. Here's a list that tells you the seafood to avoid eating.
Again not all diets are suitable for everyone, I encourage you to find a diet that is healthy and nutrient balanced to your body type, while maintaining sustainable consumption. Even being a "flexitarian" is a great start of becoming a more sustainable eater. If you can be flexitarian, a semi-vegetarian who eats meat occasionally, you are off to a great start! For those who are vegan or vegetarian, I admire your courage to eat so healthy, ethically and sustainably! The decision of the food you choose to eat can impact your carbon footprint, the environment and the global food system. I hope we can all be part of the process of making the world a sustainable food system - that plants and livestocks use farming methods that protects the environment, communities, public health and animal welfare.
For now, I choose to be pescatarian, and practice mindful eating, reduce food waste and not over consume by resizing my meals accordingly. I think it is so important to eat with our own health as well as the health of our planet. I have a few delicious pescatarian recipes I will share with you on this blog - guarantee you will fall in love with this diet! It isn't hard to be a pesca, you'd be surprised there are so many delicious pesca options out there! :)