The Hemp Connection + women's health

Paiche--another Amazonian gift with hormone-friendly goodness

I've been pretty vocal about the fact that we need to diversify our recommendations for seafood so that we don't deplete entire species in our quest for omega-3 fatty acids. In a search for options to replace the ever-popular salmon, I've learned some interesting things that we'll share on the blog. Today, I'd like to introduce you to a prehistoric Amazonian fish called paiche (pronounced pie-EE-chay). This fish is so new to culinary tables, the first one only appeared in the United States in the summer of 2010.

Fully grown, this fish can reach lengths of almost 7 feet and weights of over 200 lbs. Once overfished by natives to the point of near-extinction, the Peruvian government had placed a ban on its harvest. However, aquaculture specialists have been working to develop a means to sustainably raise this fish. Not only is this effort creating an industry beneficial to a financially disadvantaged part of the world, it is helping to replenish local waters with a vital component of the food chain that had been depleted with non-sustainable practices.

This fish is low in fat, and marketers are promoting it as a high omega-3 fish. I am working to find the exact values; this fish is so new on the market that data is not readily available. I'll update you here when the numbers actually do come in. One additional selling point of paiche is that it is farmed in the rainforest, in water that is free of mercury, antibiotics, and other toxic compounds.

Paiche's flavor has been described as subtle, like Chilean sea bass (on the Monterey Bay Aquarium's overfished list) or Atlantic cod.

Bottom line, it's good for you, it's good for the people who work to bring it to you, and it's good for the planet. When you see it in you store or on a menu, give it a try!

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Paiche--another Amazonian gift with hormone-friendly goodness + women's health