Green Lizard's Blog

The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.

Something very fishy going on

My essential fatty acids have run out. What’s she on about this time? I hear you cry!

Essential fatty acids! EFAs when we were kids EFAs came from Cod Liver Oil. It was vile.

Cod Liver Oil is one of those phrases that to me, has morphed into one word. A word we stop thinking about the meaning of. We never thought about it coming from Cod’s liver.

A cod should be a massive fish. The biggest I’ve seen was about 70 cms long. But in former times this fish was huge. I’ve wondered how big it’s liver is and how many cods livers it takes to fill a bottle with those tiny golden capsules.

These days they don’t necessarily mention fish when you buy EFAs. For one thing they’re commonly called omega 3, 6, 9 for example. Let’s keep anyone from thinking about the fish or it’s liver or it’s other bodily organs.

Now don’t get me wrong EFAs sound very positive.

Research has confirmed that omega-3 fatty acids can have an excellent effect on impacting degenerative diseases, such as heart disease, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and many others. There are anti-inflammatory properties in omega-3 fatty acids and these have shown to have a positive effect for women especially those going through menopause, thus having impact on the preservation of the heart, breast, and bone health, and better yet, it balances their moods.

(according to this website).

However

I’m always keen to explore a non animal option for this type of thing. It goes back to that question How many cod’s livers does it take?

Cod is now commonly found to be endangered. Yes! The humble cod, favoured by customers in UK fish and chip shops for decades. Not just pandas and whale sharks but cod. The simple cod. Heading the way of the dodo, the mammoth, the black rhino.

Some species of cod are already extinct. Some species have been protected under a moratorium for almost fifteen years. But it may not be enough for numbers to improve.

So what then?

I went looking for cod liver oil capsules a vegetarian alternative.

Only to find this

IMG_7687.JPG

And then even worse; this!

IMG_7686.JPG
I know it’s in Dutch but the word krill stands out.

Krill is what Whales eat.

I’m trying to not shout at this point.

It’s what whales eat!

So what this means is that to get EFAs there is now an industry dedicated to stealing food from whales in the ocean.

The endangered blue whale eats four tonnes of krill a day.

Everybody knows that whale populations across the world are threatened but now a western food supplement will be stealing their food too.

Now I started this piece by pointing out that my EFAs are running out.

I don’t use fish based EFAs. There are plenty tonnes (see what I did there) of plant based alternatives.

This website shares a great table that shows some straightforward information.

IMG_7709.PNG

You’ll notice that the fishy ones listed here are not anywhere near as good as the non fishy ones!

So if the fishy ones aren’t very good surely it’s better to eat the non fishy ones!

(That quote above mentions the ‘benefit to balancing moods’. I think I need them more just now!)

The health food store opening times haven’t helped me this week so I haven’t found any yet. The ones in the supermarket weren’t suitable.

I hope this has been informative but more importantly I hope that the vegetarian option might be more popular soon!

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21 comments on “Something very fishy going on

  1. carolinecocker
    September 18, 2014

    I find it odd that so many people are willing to eat something from a cod’s liver. Eew. Also, here in the uk it’s now kind of taboo to eat cod since they’re so endangered, but apparently this doesn’t extend to their liver. People still have the (not necessarily correct) view that animal products pack more of nutritional punch than plants when it comes to EFAs, protein, iron and calcium. I think flax seeds are waaay ahead of the game in all these categories. It’s a shame they don’t taste like ice cream though…x

    Liked by 2 people

    • lizard100
      September 20, 2014

      I’m not sure many people are really avoiding cod. It always surprises me when I see it on the menu in restaurants. Flax seed is my choice too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • carolinecocker
        September 20, 2014

        As kids my parents always encouraged us to have haddock instead of cod (although I think no haddock stocks are depleting) BUT my parents were also way ahead of the bandwagon with eggs (always either free range or from our own hens), bread (homemade wholemeal because it wasn’t in shops 25 years ago) and didn’t have tuna because of the whole dolphin thing. Because I’m veggie I suppose I don’t look in the fish aisle much – it’s sad that cod’s so readily available, I hoped we’d got over it.

        Like

      • lizard100
        September 20, 2014

        I’m the same. But there is some change. In the Netherlands haddock is plentiful but people think of it as cat food. I can’t imagine a cat catching a haddock though : )

        Liked by 1 person

      • carolinecocker
        September 20, 2014

        Yeah, our cat can’t even catch a goldfish – she drinks from the tank and the fish come to the surface because they think it’s feeding time…and she’s gets frightened. Behold the mighty feline predator!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lizard100
        September 20, 2014

        That’s very sweet!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. ladyofthecakes
    September 18, 2014

    Fish-based omega-3s are not the same as plant based ones. The plant based ones need converting into the form which offers most protection from degenerative disease, and some people, especially older ones, do not produce sufficient quantities of the right enzymes required to do this.

    This is a very tricky issue. Like you said, we shouldn’t really eat fish (or krill), because it’s not sustainable. However, from a personal health point of view, it’s advantageous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      September 18, 2014

      I’ve been looking into that too. It seems like the research isn’t necessarily available to me. “Fish EFAs vs. Plant EFAs: what does the research tell us?
      Much of the promotion of fish as heart-friendly has been based on evidence from secondary prevention trials. These trials have investigated whether advising people to eat fish can prevent a second heart attack from occurring. The DART and GISSI trials are the two best known studies and have demonstrated that marine fatty acids significantly reduce mortality in people who already have cardiovascular disease. However, much less publicised are the trials that have looked at the link between plant-derived LNA and the prevention of secondary heart disease. For example, the LYON study has demonstrated that eating plant-derived LNA reduces the risks of secondary heart disease by more than double that found in the fish-based studies! Let’s take a closer look at these studies.”http://udoerasmus.com/articles/misc/oils-EFA-fish-vs-plant-omega.htm

      Liked by 1 person

      • ladyofthecakes
        September 18, 2014

        I’ve got Udo Erasmus’s book somewhere…

        Maybe there is a greater research bias towards fish oils.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lizard100
        September 18, 2014

        It’s potentially because the fish oil dominates the market.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Joanna
    September 18, 2014

    This is great. Like you said, it’s not something we really thing about the meaning of anymore. Love the table too, great to know about alternatives!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lizard100
      September 20, 2014

      I’m always trying to understand why we are influenced by manufacturers.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. lindaswildlifegarden
    September 18, 2014

    Reblogged this on Linda's wildlife garden and commented:
    Awesome Liz thank you for sharing have a blessed day

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Imarunner2012
    September 18, 2014

    My omega-3 comes from flaxseed. I also put walnuts on my icecream. Helps reduce the guilt of enjoying icecream! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • lizard100
      September 18, 2014

      Getting vegetarian flaxseed oil in the Netherlands is proving problematic.

      Like

    • lizard100
      September 20, 2014

      Now that’s another good reason to eat ice cream!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. mjh333
    September 30, 2014

    I’ll be looking out for the flax seed then 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      September 30, 2014

      It’s good stuff. In another post I just wrote am that it’s good for your skin too.

      Like

      • mjh333
        September 30, 2014

        Nice, my girlfriend takes cod liver old for joins and I’m trying to convert her so will get some flax seed oil !

        Like

      • lizard100
        September 30, 2014

        Well done!

        Like

  7. Pingback: No! No fish left in the sea! | Green Lizard's Blog

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