3 Big Seafood Myths You Can Forget About

By Ruth Tobias  |  March 6, 2014

Yesterday, we attended a seafood luncheon at Elway’s Cherry Creek hosted by Seattle Fish Co. COO Derek Figueroa. While our attention was admittedly divided, thanks to the stellar meal cooked by Denver FIVE, we managed to get just enough learning in to help you get over the 3 of the Biggest Seafood Myths out there. Here goes:

Myth #1: Farmed fish is inferior to wild-caught. In its infancy, it’s true the industry of farmed fish was headed in a negative direction. But with tighter regulations that prioritize reduced environmental impact and health concerns about pollution, responsible aquaculture is on the rise. In fact, farming can even help counteract over-fishing. By the way, that notorious “color-added” salmon at the supermarket isn’t dyed - its hue is the result of carotenes in the fish feed.
Where to Try: For those excellent bento boxes we mentioned the other day, Linger culinary director Daniel Asher sources cobia from Open Blue, a sustainable farming operation in Panama. 2030 W. 30th Ave.; 303-993-3120

Myth #2: Imported seafood is less safe than domestic seafood. Mercury poisoning, Fukushima radiation - it’s all so scary! But unless you’re pregnant, the health benefits of eating fish twice a week outweigh the risks of trace amounts of mercury, whose levels are safety-tested. What about that Entourage guy? In Figueroa’s words, “There was a whole mess of Jeremy Piven going on.” As for the natural disaster in Japan, lunch guest Yasu Kizaki of Sushi Den and Izakaya Den admitted “it’s not an easy subject to discuss with my customers,” so he’s designing a poster that shows the direction of the currents around Fukushima. Of course, the fish he and his brother Toshi source through a third brother from Fukuoka's Nagahama fish market originates far beyond the 18-mile radius of seawater that remains unsafe for drinking - 830 miles away, in fact, from places like Kumamoto, the northern part of the East China Sea and the southern part of the Sea of Japan. Besides, all Japanese imports are being tested by the FDA. 
Where to Try: After nearly 30 years, the Kizakis continue to pack their restaurants on Old South Pearl nightly for good reason, be it the incredible uni at Sushi Den or creations like the lobster patatas bravas at Izakaya Den. 1487 South Pearl St. 303-777-0826; 1487A South Pearl St. 303-777-0691

Myth #3: Don’t order seafood on Mondays. Anthony Bourdain popularized the idea in Kitchen Confidential, but the truth is much simpler: just don’t order seafood from a restaurant you don’t trust. Pros like Kizaki know that “some fish even taste better the next day” - and this is from a guy who moved an entire restaurant across the street simply to streamline his deliveries to the two Dens.
Where to Try: To underscore its commitment to doing things right, Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar recently became a partner in the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. On that note, it's Oyster Month at all four locations: don't miss all sorts of daily specials or the High West Oyster Fest on March 20. 1539 17th St.; 303-292-5767928 Pearl St., Boulder; 303-444-1811650 S. Colorado Blvd., Glendale; 303-756-6449123 N. College Ave., Fort Collins; 970-682-2275