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Seafood – A Step Towards Good Health
Clarence Birdseye was the first person to invent, develop and commercialize the method of quick freezing food products in convenient packages without changing the original taste. In the year 1923, he invested $7 to acquire an electric fan, a bucket of brine and cakes of ice. With this, he wished to invent and perfect a system through which fresh food packed in waxed cardboard boxes could be flash frozen under high pressure. He later sold his patents and trademarks for $22 million in the year 1929. A year later in 1930 the world saw the arrival of the first quick-frozen vegetables, fruits, sea-food and meat in Springfield, Massachusetts. What Clarence Birdseye started way back in 1923 is now a global multi-billion dollar industry. Over the decades among the variety of fresh frozen seafood available in the markets, there has been a considerable increase in the demand for frozen sea-food as fish food consumption has increased globally. According to a report by the World Watch Institute, the global fish production reached an all time high of 154 million tons in 2011. From the total harvest, human consumption is estimated at 130.8 million ton in 2011 which is an increase of 14.4 percent over the last five years. The major factor in such an increasing demand is the growing awareness among consumers of the numerous health benefits that are associated with sea-food consumption. As is the case of any other perishable food, there is food safety risks associated with sea-food that needs consideration as well. As a consumer, let us take a balanced look at the benefits and risks associated with sea-food consumption. Sea food is a healthy choice for people of all age groups. It is a rich source of a key nutrient which is essential for the overall growth of infants and children. It is also a rich source of proteins for adults and is low in saturated fats. Seafood is also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA. These are essential nutrients which promote healthy brain and eye development in children and reduce the risk of heart attacks in adults. Oily fish like salmon, sardines etc. are rich sources of DHA and EPA which are essential for pregnant and breastfeeding women. The most common food safety risk associated with frozen seafood is a food borne illness caused due to microorganisms or naturally occurring toxins. This is caused mainly due to improper methods used in harvesting, handling, storage or preparation of seafood. Apart from this, the growing pollution of our seas is another factor that makes seafood consumption risky, especially if it’s a wild-caught fish rather than a farm fish. Buying seafood from reputed dealers should considerably reduce these risks. Apart from that, ensure that you handle your seafood well after your purchase. You can find a lot of helpful tips online in regards to handling, storing and cooking seafood. Freezing sea-food contributes largely in eliminating the risks of decay and build up of toxins. The many health benefits associated with seafood outweighs the risks associated with them. Excluding seafood in your diet can have a negative effect on your health and deprive you of the many health benefits associated with it. If proper care is taken, then you can considerably reduce the risks associate with seafood. So, albeit requiring a few precautions, find your way to good health with seafood.