What pisses me off about forums like Longecity is how many of them are trying to optimize when so many people (yo!) rely on prescription medications just to get themselves up to baseline.
Absolutely. I take modafinil so that I can be a functional adult. Without it, things degrade fast. The longest I’ve been unmedicated was about a week. I lost a lot of stuff and got in a lot of trouble. I’d expect if I went off for two weeks, I’d end up homeless and running from the law or something.
Yep. One of my former partners now takes modfanil for her narcolepsy. She has high ambitions of being a champion for women’s rights and has armed herself with dual degrees in public policy and law to do so. And she’s not going to let anything stand in her way.
I hear ya on the fish farming. I buy only wild-caught fish and shellfish for this reason (also it tastes better). Though from what I’ve read, even these populations will have dwindled by 2050.
Which is a shame, because I’ve gotten some genuine benefits from some versions of the racetams. And not subtle, “I think it did something” benefits, I mean “When I looked up again it was four hours later and I’d plowed through a ton of work” benefits. But in order to figure that out I had to buy a supplement and try it while going about my work or creative tasks, then another, then another, etc… And there were a lot of duds or counterproductive testing (e.g. “Huh, I do believe I’m going to nod off here at 2PM and get absolutely nothing done.”)
But yeah…the whole, “At T1:00 I still wasn’t noticing anything so I snorted 20mg of Adderall” thing is irritating.
(Not that it changes your argument; I’m just being picky.)
Not necessarily the best call either, as its not nearly that simple. Most fisheries for larger, well known fish species are in deep shit. Few of them are sustainable. I try to limit myself to those wild fisheries that are clearly sustainable. Or at least fish pulled from smaller, independent fishing operations and coops. These are typically the operations that are most environmentally benign. And for the most part I attempt to stick to fish caught, distributed, etc in my region. Asside from that not all farmed fish is bad. But your farmed Salmon, stripped bass, trout, and especially South East Asian and South Asian farmed shrimp are among the worst, and the most responsible for over fishing of wild stocks for feed. You’re better off making a decision on a fish by fish basis. Frankly I’d say wild caught Atlantic Tuna of nearly any sort is a terrible choice, fisheries nearly dead. Pacific Tuna? Even if its the same species? Much better. Pacific Blue Fin stocks are actually pretty good, but they’re less valuable at market because they don’t produce “giants”. Farmed Tuna? Worse than either (see below). Farmed Tilapa, not that bad. They’re non-predatory and can be used to clean up the pollution from other species. Its why I don’t eat them, many are fed on fish poop/the resulting algae so they taste muddy and have poor texture. But its far more often sustainable!
Mariculture products tend to be better. If only because they are so often shellfish. Farmed shellfish, particularly oysters are not only sustainable and environmentally benign, but actively improve the environments they’re grown in. Shellfish aquaculture has been one of the single most important factors in improving water quality where I’m at. And on top of that its gangbusters business that’s saving a hell of a lot of the baymen here. Stuff like farmed tuna on the other hand is an out and out disaster. Its almost impossible to breed tuna in a mariculture setting. Those few places that can do it do so using hormonal implants and see mixed results. So the rare amounts of farmed Tuna you hear about are almost invariably raised from wild caught juveniles raised in pens, and fed on the same sort of wild caught feed that’s so problematic. So not only are you depopulating bait fish to raise them, but you’re removing wild fish from the breeding pool as surely as if you just fished them. The sole goal of these operations is often a steadier supply of large, high quality fish to take advantage of the Asian market, nothing to do with sustainability. (And seriously I could SLAP the Japanese for what they do to fisheries, everywhere, always.)
But there’s an increasing number of (often research level) inshore open water fish farms. Effectively a chunk of wetlands gets marked off. And the focus is on stocking and breeding on site: baitfish, grasses, shellfish and other bellwether species. Basically fostering the necessary environment for more valuable fish to breed and feed themselves naturally. Stocking or tweaking to insure populations that are viable for sale. Penning them in or releasing them into the broader environment as needed. That if you ask me is the future (and honestly the historic form) for fish farming. It restores and protects wetlands, its environmentally benign at worst, it raises populations of species from the top of the ecological ladder to the bottom through out the entire area. And its a viable replacement/supplement to cratering fishing business. They’re talking about setting one up here. But Nimby says it’ll ruin his private beach. They’re also going after shellfish farming, apparently it ruins the character of the area if they can’t water ski in that exact quarter mile of bay. I mean water skiing is fun, but there’s a couple million square miles of bay around these parts.
I’ve developed a taste for “smoked oysters”, in tins. I’ve also seen the same marketed as “smoked mussels”. Do you know what species these are, and where they are primarily produced?
Phenylpiracetam, l-theanine, caffeine, and very small amounts of That Which Shall Not Be Named. Very small. They go into my Shame Shakes every morning.
I have also been taking mackeral fish oil, cause food can still be a little challenging.
Properly speaking these should be two different products. The oysters should be of these two species (even in Europe their native oyster is comparatively rare as opposed to American/Asian oysters that have been introduced via aquaculture):
The mussels are going to vary by where they are caught, but traditionally in the US/Canada and much of Europe they should be:
Canned seafood is tricky. Most of the species involved (discounting Tuna) should be fairly sustainable as there are often very healthy fisheries. But over exploitation of specific fisheries for the canning business causes problems with sourcing. Shellfish skips a lot of that. But the issue with wild shellfish from less controlled waters is they can be quite dangerous/bad for you. They’re keystone species, involved in filtering the water column. So they’re the first thing to accumulate and react to pollutants and dangerous bacteria or algae. In Europe, the US, and parts of Asia the majority of shellfish on the market is farmed (especially mussels). And colder water sources tend to be safer.
Generally speaking with canned seafood the major good areas to look for are Canada, the Pacific Northwest of the US (often explicitly marketed as eco-friendly), and the northern part of the Mediterranean. Spain, Portugal,France, and Italy. Morocco is kind of a wash, some fisheries are bad, some good, and product quality can be very good. Asia, South America and most of Africa are usually warned against. Weak fisheries, low quality fish. But that’s largely for fin fish. For shellfish you’ll have to look specifics up, even checking by brand. Tins should be labeled by where they are packaged, though that doesn’t always match up with where the contents were caught. But I would think anything labeled “Product of Canada” or “Product of the USA” should be fine. Even if wild caught. Given its oysters and mussels we’re talking about there’s probably a bunch on the market from Northern Europe (British Isles, and Scandinavia, maybe France) as well. And those should be fine.
But if you’re seeing the exact same bivalve labeled as both mussels and oysters I don’t know what to tell you. There’s a shit ton of mislabeling in the fish business. Particularly in Asia. And there are bivalve species without common names in English that are frequently labeled as mussels or oysters without technically being part of those groups. I can’t tell you what species they are, or if they’re a wise choice. You’ll have to look into it. But all things considered I think its best to avoid Asian seafood in almost all cases. Especially commodity product like canned or frozen fish.
Thanks. All I can say is that I couldn’t distinguish the mussels from the oysters. In looking for information, I remember the mussels as marked ‘product of USA’, but oyster brand I have on hand (Pacific Pearl) is marked ‘product of China’.
[Here’s a list of several canned oysters brands, with some information about their sources.]
While we’re on the topic (and how!): what about ‘greenshell’ mussels? I buy them in 1kg boxes, but I can’t recall whether they’re farmed or wild-caught.
ETA: Ah, what a little googling will do. From Wikipedia:
“The New Zealand greenshell mussel industry operates within some of the strictest quality standards in the world. Both the mussels and seawater around the farms are tested for biotoxins, bacteria, and heavy metals. The water quality is constantly monitored with tests carried out to the standards set by the U.S Food and Drug Administration, European Union, and NZ Food Safety Authority.”
Yeah its confusing. The major Asian species is still the pacific oyster. But product can be collected one place, shipped elsewhere for packaging, then labeled as originating in the country they’re packed in. Japan does this a lot. We buy a lot of our own fish back from Japan at heavy markup. nearly all the US production of high end tuna is snatched up by Japan. Its then re-imported since the Tuna on the US market is not all that great in terms of quality. And some nations (Japan and Russia most notoriously, but also Norway and China) do a hell of a lot of fishing in International Waters off other nations fishing grounds (which lets them skip those quota things). The nation of Origin is the nation of the port/market they were off loaded too. So if you have a Japanese Boat fishing for Atlantic fish off the Canadian side of the Grand Banks. It can be labeled a product of Japan.
Part of why I don’t trust Asian seafood.
Seafood watch has them as best choice:
And most mussels will be. Easily farmed, fast growing. The closest thing I have to expertise on these things is in the fisheries and species from the North East US and Canadian Maritimes (same fisheries/grounds and species largely). Since that’s where I grew up, and most of my family or neighbors in the business were doing their thing.
I think green mussels are farmed, as most of those on the market are. Personally I just prefer blue mussels, local ones if I can get them (usually pull them up myself). But the PEI ones are often good. The Greens and far too many of the PEI ones tend towards the big and flabby too often for me. Shinnecock Bay mussels (our local ones) are almost always of the small, firm, and sweet sort. But we gots brown tied so I don’t see them much. The PEIs are more available and more consistent once you find a decent place to pick up good ones (which is not the supermarket).
Wow, this Seafood Watch site is great. Thanks for sharing!
PEI* greenshell mussels that I’ve seen are ridiculously large compared to the blues. I wish I still lived on the coast. Inland, blue mussels are much more expensive. Which is why I buy the greenshells. At $14/kg, it’s a pretty good deal.
*A goof caused by my misreading of your reply; thought it was a synonym for greenshells
Alternative strategy: Buy $1 worth of fish and eat it.
The PEI ones vary (and are blue mussels, just farmed of Prince Edward Island), people who care about their sourcing tend to stock or find a supplier where they get mussels that aren’t huge and flabby, but also aren’t tiny and shriveled (some times a problem with our local ones and mussels out of Massachusetts). So at a decent fish monger or a restaurant that knows what they’re doing you find excellent ones. I suppose the same is probably true for the greens, they’re just much less common in and around NY so I run into good ones much less often. You seen the PEI and Greens as often as you do (so far as I’m aware) because they offer consistent supply. Once you dial in on ones you want to sell/serve you can always get those mussels. With mussels out of the North East US (even farmed) its less simple. Water closings and seasonal variations can have one supplier go dry, just as another’s mussels shift in quality. I’ve worked restaurants that used 3 different shellfish distributors and a fisherman or two to ensure they always had good local mussels. And they still had to patch with Mass or PEI product occasionally. Much less of a pain in the ass to just go PEI or green.
I can get you butterfish for less than $1/lb. There are like 3 of the fuckers in a half pound. Little oily guys loaded with omega threes. Taste like fresh sardine. Typically used as fish bait, but local old heads know better. Its a lot of omega three for your loose change (please don’t start turning them into fish oil pills!).
And now I see that my beloved bluefish is green-listed. Used to be able to get that for $4/lb at the Italian Market in Philly. I can still get it on special order, but it’s $10-12. Damn, this conversation is making me miss the coast.
That is absurd for Bluefish. I don’t pay that for high falutin’ fish like flounder/fluke. I think smoked blue fish house made at the fish market goes for that, or from the recently arrived “artisanal” smoked fish place (i just found out about it and am excited).
Hatch’s legacy of quackery and Mormon scams/MLMs.
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