What is…. Pescetarianism and the Pescetarian Diet?

Pescetarianism food pyramid

Pescetarianism (also spelled pescatarianism) is the practice of a diet that includes seafood, but not the flesh of other animals. A pescetarian diet typically shares many of its components with a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet and includes vegetables, fruit, nuts, grains, beans, eggs, dairy, and insect byproducts (such as honey, carmine, or shellac), but unlike a vegetarian diet it also includes fish and shellfish. The Merriam-Webster dictionary dates the origin of the term “pescetarian” to 1993 and defines it as: “one whose diet includes fish but no other meat.” – WIKI

This is the one for me I think…. or I will be like a 95% pescatarian going forward. Honestly speaking, I am already probably 50% of the way there, because I definitely eat more fish than I do read meat already, but the goal I think that I have set for myself is to be just about all the way with this in 2014. Really, there are a lot of really good reasons to do this and the concerns raised about consuming some fish varieties containing toxins such as mercury and PCBs seems like they can be avoided. There are plenty of fishes out there that are not harmful at all and if you select the right ones that are wild caught and not farmed, you will be ok… plus any fears with getting too much mercury can be avoided by just not eating fish with EVERY meal.

I think that going this route, will definitely get one closer to a vegetarian diet, and eating better to the point where you will probably be able to get by with maybe three or four servings a week with a fish protein and the rest of week going all vegetables and fruits. Not that it matters, but there are a lot of our favorite celebs out there that have been or are currently pescatarians:

Some notable pescatarians out there : Nicole Anderson, Common, Ted Danson, David Duchovny, Ariana Grande (there will be a Beautiful… post), Steve Jobs, Kristin Kreuk (there will be a Beautiful… post), Queen Sofía of Spain (there will be a Beautiful… post), Howard Stern and Ben Stiller.

What I like most about this lifestyle change the most, probably like a lot of people, is that once you become a pescatarian, its pretty much open season on getting sushi! annnnd I’ve never met a yellowtail sashimi that I didn’t like.

yellowtail jalapeno sashimi

Many cultures tend to lean toward a pescatarian diet such as in India or Japan or in the Mediterranean areas or a lot of places like that who either just never got into the whole eating of cows and stuff or are in areas that are close to the sea and / or oceans. you eat what it close to you and the interesting thing is that when you look at a lot of those cultures, the people are fit, they are slim, they are relatively healthy.

We know how much of a Japanophile that I am, and a lot of what they eat is heavy on the fish as the main source of animal protein. And they also live longer than most generally, even though they have a lot of the western factors such as tobacco ingestion and alcohol consumption, but not the corresponding heart health issues that we have here in the US and Western Europe. There has to be something to that.

Now, if you are a religious type, there are actually some compelling things in the bible that talk specifically to eating fish and what you should and should not eat, what are clean and unclean animals to consume:

Obviously there is that story of Jesus feeding everyone a meal of fish and bread.

But also, in the book of Leviticus, God speaking tells us that salt and freshwater fish with fins and scales “may be eaten,” but water creatures without those characteristics (catfish, lobsters, crabs, shrimp, mussels, clams, oysters, squid, octopi, etc.) should not be eaten.

The way one scholar describes it, “When it comes to sea creatures, bottom dwellers such as lobsters and crabs scavenge for dead animals on the sea floor. Shellfish such as oysters, clams and mussels similarly consume decaying organic matter that sinks to the sea floor, including sewage. A common denominator of many of the animals God designates as unclean is that they routinely eat flesh that would sicken or kill human beings. When we eat such animals we partake of a food chain that includes things harmful to people.” …. which is interesting when you think about it.

The wisdom back then, if you believe in God and creationism, that “God, in His wisdom, created certain creatures whose sole purpose is to clean up after the others? Their entire ‘calling’ may be to act exclusively as the sanitation workers of our ecology. God may simply be telling us that it’s better for us believers not to consume the meat of these trash collectors” – “Eating by the Book pub. 1999”

Hmph… something to think about.

Religiously speaking, and with a little bit of help from the internets, this is a pretty good list of “Fish With Fins and Scales”

Anchovy, Barracuda, Bass, Black pomfret (or monchong), Bluefish, Bluegill, Carp, Cod, Crappie, Drum, Flounder, Grouper, Grunt, Haddock, Hake, Halibut, Hardhead, Herring (or alewife), Kingfish, Mackerel (or corbia), Mahimahi (or dorado, dolphinfish [not to be confused with the mammal dolphin]), Minnow, Mullet, Perch (or bream), Pike (or pickerel or jack), Pollack (or pollock or Boston bluefish), Rockfish, Salmon, Sardine (or pilchard), Shad, Silver hake (or whiting), Smelt (or frost fish or ice fish), Snapper (or ebu, jobfish, lehi, onaga, opakapaka or uku), Sole, Steelhead, Sucker, Sunfish, Tarpon, Trout (or weakfish), Tuna (or ahi, aku, albacore, bonito, or tombo), Turbot (except European turbot), Whitefish

Plenty of that can be made into plenty of meals for a pescatarian to consume…. My only issue is the fact that I can’t have scrimps or scallops or lobsters!!!! Dammit man. Cutting out shellfish knocks out a whoooooole lotta cajun dishes that I like to cook.

I’m a big fan of fish anyways, so I think this is something that I can roll with, but then again, a lot of the fish that I eat is in that scallops and scrimp range so I will have to up my cod game, up my salmon game and get used to crushing things like anchovy and herring and things like that. Easy breezy though. There is a great fish market relatively close to where I live and also a SEAFOOD CITY close by and I’m never mad at getting to roll to a Phillipino market on the weekend….

If you need some video help, youtube is a great resource and I just found this chick, The Posh Pescatarian, who has an idea for a pesco focused television show:

I just saw this recipe on PINTEREST, and I might need to make this…. now.

creamed chipped salmon jerky

Its a “Creamed Chipped Salmon Jerky on Toast” and I don’t know how healthy it is for a broth but immmm, it looks so right where it needs to be. To get the recipe, go to www.pescatarianjournal.com – she’s got A TON of great looking recipes and meals on there. I might need to bookmark her site and do all of her recipes!

Which Animals Does the Bible Designate as ‘Clean’ and ‘Unclean’? – www.UCG.org
Pescatarian food pyramid – tumblr

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