NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

Seafood: Worth the catch or better off under the sea?


Overrated – By Isaac Scafe

Life under the sea is better than the human world. The seaweed is greener and the fish are happier under the sea. Quite frankly, everything under the sea should just stay there. 

According to data from the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, the consumption of seafood has nearly quadrupled over the last 50 years. Despite this growth, seafood isn’t even that good. 

People rave about how rich and flavorful their seafood tastes. Seafood can be seasoned with lemon and pepper, smoked or grilled to add flavor or prepared with a buttery sauce. But no matter how seafood is cooked, it still isn’t good. Most freshwater fish are too light, both in texture and in flavor. No matter how fish is prepared, it will still taste more like water than anything appetizing. Muscles, oysters, squid and octopus all have a rubbery and slimy texture. Crabs and lobsters don’t taste terrible, but both require more effort than needed to get to its contents. Imagine needing an entirely separate utensil just to enjoy a small portion of crab or lobster. No matter how popular seafood is, the experience of eating it is overwhelmingly bland. 

Unlike domesticated animals like cattle and sheep, much seafood is also largely inaccessible. Instead, fishermen would have to go out to sea and catch the fish or farm them under very particular conditions. Fishermen also have to consider the effects their hunts have on fish populations and how it affects the rest of the aquatic ecosystem, and by and large, they are failing. Paired with the cost of transporting the fish inland, deboning, descaling and cleaning, seafood can become relatively expensive. As the demand for seafood increases every year, suppliers struggle to keep their products in stock. When demand becomes more than the supply, prices continue to rise. Why should anyone pay a high price for a piece of fish when there’s other food available at affordable prices? The taste of seafood, whether one enjoys it or not, is simply not worth the prices that will only continue to rise as demand grows. 

Sure, seafood does provide its benefits. In particular, seafood is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which can help prevent cardiovascular issues. However, there are plenty of other foods that supplement this nutrient sufficiently, including broccoli, walnuts, edamame and a number of seeds. With other healthy, tastier and less expensive options, why would anyone want to continue eating seafood? Evidently, seafood is better left under the sea than on the mainland.  

Underrated – By Daniil Ivanov

I’m on a seafood diet. I see food, and I eat it. I also eat a ton of sushi, calamari, shrimp, lobster, crab, salmon, trout, tilapia and other seafood on the menu and in the store.  

First, although it’s hard to quantify since seafood is a very wide range of animals, fish and other ocean animals tend to be more sustainable than land dwelling animals. If you accept that people will continue to eat animals, then eating a fish is more environmentally friendly than eating a cow.  

The Mediterranean diet is well known for being one of the healthiest dietary trends to follow, with the healthiest and oldest populations in the world following a fish, fruit and vegetable diet. The fish, alongside the greens, helps to provide all of the nutrients you need. 

Seafood also feels lighter. A steak or burger makes me feel greasy and bloated (which is great sometimes paired with a beer and a nap), but on a day-to-day basis, having some grilled fish or even fish and chips won’t make you feel like you have lead feet and a bubble gut.  

Finally, the surf side of the menu just has more options than the turf. Usually, the land animals are reserved to beef, pork, chicken and sheep. Just the categories of seafood (freshwater fish, saltwater fish, crustaceans and mollusks) match the diversity of the common land animals eaten in America. For the most diverse taste and the biggest palate to sample from, you have to look to the sea.  

Don’t get me wrong, I like a good steak for dinner or eggs for breakfast. I grew up drinking milk, eating bacon, having turkey on Thanksgiving and eating all of the dishes that give land animals the huge amount of usage that they get. However, as I got older I started to appreciate the taste of good sushi, and I’d go spend a day fishing in the summer and throw a smallmouth bass or a trout onto a skillet. I realized from getting calamari as an appetizer and lobster for dinner that there’s more to a meal than beef and chicken, and there’s plenty of fish in the sea.  

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