Jul 22 2011

Why Sardines Should Be at the Top of Your Grocery List

Note – California’s sardine fishery reopens September 15.

By Owen Burke

The truth about sardines is that they are probably one of the healthiest finfish you can eat from the sea. They are hardly ever farm-raised, which means that they swim and eat as they please and are rich in vitamin D3, your Omega-3′s and purines. Large apex predators like tuna and swordfish and salmon are known to accumulate excessive levels of heavy metals, while sardines may contain up to 8 million times less mercury than even salmon.

 

Do you ever wonder why it is that, especially in the United States, many people avoid eating sardines? Aside from the fact that they are usually associated with a tin can on a grocery shelf, sardines, or pilchards, are quite oily and bony. The sardine is, however, a very healthy option. Sardines feed on photosynthetic plankton, so as lighter consumers, they acquire very minuscule concentrations of heavy metals than most larger, more commercially sought predators do. Because of their diet, sardines are rich in omega-3 oils, protein, good cholesterol, selenium, and calcium and fluoride if you eat the soft bones.

Often sold at around $2.00 USD a pound, they are certainly cheap enough for most of us, too.

There are about 21 different species of sardines, all belonging to the Clupeidae family, but they can all be prepared the same way. The best way to have sardines is fresh, of course, and this will thoroughly reduce the “fishy” smell left behind. If your fish aren’t scaled, do so carefully with a knife, removing the entrails afterwards. As with most fish, the best marinade is simply olive oil, lemon and parsley. If you toss them on the grill afterwards, you’ll add a nice charred flavor to the fish, while also keeping the smell out of the house.

Read the rest of the story here.

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