When I was 12 years old, I was at the mall with my best friend at the time, Carolyn, and we each bought two gold fish. I named mine Casey and Finnigan (a la Mr. Dressup) and Carolyn named hers Jerry and Garcia- she was clearly way cooler than me. By the time we got home, one of Carolyn's fish had already died. Mine wouldn't die. After the fish bowl filled up with poop, I gave the the fish to my parents to take care of. There the goldfish had their home on our kitchen counter- a little glass bowl with a few marbles at the bottom.
Apparently goldfish get cannibalistic and eventually one ate the tail and fins of the other and so we flushed the amputee. The one originally named Casey who later had his name removed as punishment for eating Finnigan, just wouldn't die. I used to have parties in high school and people would play catch the fish, drop chips into the bowl or see how long the little guy could handle a beer bath. When we would go on holidays, we had fish sitters take care of it. At long last, ten years after that fateful mall purchase, the fish blew it's last bubble and was found floating at the top of the bowl. He had grown too big to flush and so into a cigar box he went. All the neighbours came out for the burial. There were some balloons, a little gravestone and some gold fish crackers at the burial site near the fire hydrant (my dad thought he'd want to be close to water). That was the first and last pet I ever owned.
It is very rare these days that I eat fish. The fish that I have an appetite for continue to become fewer as the selection process becomes more complicated. Do we want wild or organic? Pacific or Atlantic? Is eating tuna worse for our health or worse on the sustainability factor? Do we choose fish that are less healthy but caught closer to home or choose fish that are less at risk but come from further away?
I avoid farmed fish, though if for whatever reason I had no choice, I'd go with organically farmed versus conventionally farmed as the latter are often fed fishmeal (see cannibal fish story above) or given colouring to make, for example, pink salmon pinker. Organically farmed fish may still be fed a diet that is not natural to them, but at least there would be less synthetic stuff used. Ideally, I'll choose a sustainable, health supportive, wild variety caught as close to home as possible. This is why I end up eating lentils and squash. So much simpler.
Here is a guide and link to help you out in making mindful fish choices. SeaChoice.org
- 2 tilapia filets
- ½ onion, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup tomato, coarsely chopped
- 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbs grapeseed oil or olive oil
- 1 Tbs dried basil (or 2 Tbs fresh chopped)
- 1 Tbs dried parsley (or 2 Tbs fresh chopped)
- Sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Use either a baking dish like a pyrex with a lid, cover a dish in foil or line a dish with foil which you will cover with another piece. Avoiding the foil is ideal.
- Lay the fish fillets in the center, in a single layer.
- Mix together the onion, tomato, balsamic, oil, parsley, basil, and salt
- Spoon mixture over fish and allow excessive to pool beside fish. We’ll be steaming the fish with this cooking method so the extra liquid is helpful.
- Cover the dish either with the lid, or secure foil around it.
- Place in oven for about 20-25 minutes until fish flakes apart easily.