Fishing for a fix

by Amber Hildebrandt, CBCNews.ca

All too often I stumble upon an article that makes me aware of how very damaging my appetite is to the environment, and I sigh.

Because I know that the next time I go to the grocery store I'm going to be standing in yet another aisle, paralyzed by ethical, nutritional and environmental choices.

Do I buy the free-range eggs in the plastic packaging or the regular eggs in cardboard cartons? Is my lettuce local and organic? Should I buy the oh-so-heavy but environmentally-friendly glass milk bottles or just get the organic, local milk in cartons?

A recent Mark Bittman article in the New York Times added to my grocery store woes. The influential food writer details the plight of one of the final food frontiers, our oceans.

We are heading toward the collapse of major commercial wild fish stocks in the coming decades, he warns. But the solution posed by the self-proclaimed 'wild-fish snob' may not be appetizing to everyone: look upon wild fish as a rare treat and instead eat more of the small bottomfeeders like wild sardines, anchovies and herring.

It's not the first time we've heard this. Taras Grescoe's book Bottomfeeders documents the effect of global warming and overfishing on our oceans. It also notes what to buy at the fish counter, which fish have more mercury and what purchases are better for the environment.

But when I'm dashing around the store on my way home, I can't remember all the dos and don'ts, and I find my mind racing to weigh all the options.

How do you decide what groceries to buy? And where do you draw the line?