The End of the Line for Omega 3?

June 22, 2009 at 4:55 pm Leave a comment

The website for the film “The End of the Line” asks you to imagine an ocean without fish. A very scary thought. The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival looks at the devastating affects of over-fishing. It has become big news, with chains such as Pret a Manger taking action by swapping their normal net caught tuna for pole and line caught tuna.

According to the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), 69 types of seafood available in the UK are being fished in an unsustainable way, meaning that if we don’t change our eating habits they could soon be extinct. Yet fish is good for us, we all know that – and one of the main reasons is because of its Omega 3 content.

Various studies have shown that omega-3 can decrease heart disease, help prevent arthritis and promote healthy brain functions. The government recommend having 2 portions of oily fish every week. The dilemma is that you want to get your Omega-3 but you don’t want to encourage reckless over-fishing and endanger almost 70 types of fish. There are options open to you, such as non fish based sources of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), and this is what has not been getting as much press attention as it should (in fact, an article in the Daily Mail completely ignored their own expert by editing out her advice about Omega-3 rich seed oils). Fish is a great source of EFAs, with DHA and EPA there is no question over that. The things is, other foods, such as hemp-seed oil, flaxseed oil and to a lesser extent rapeseed oil have Omega-3 too, and they all have ALA which the body can convert into DHA and EPA (hemp seed oil also has SDA which the body can covert more efficiently). The major difference is that a good hemp seed oil like Good Oil is completely sustainable.

If eating less fish is the way to make sure we don’t create an empty ocean, just make sure you get enough Omega-3 through other sources.

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