Chickpea Salad Sammiches and the dangers of eating fish

I have to admit I love tuna salad sandwiches, I always have. Tuna was always the sandwich I would make at home when I wanted a sandwich. I still sometimes will eat tuna, like the mediterranean tuna salad at Feast here in Charlottesville, it’s so good. But I’m very concerned about eating fish now, not to mention how unsustainable it is. Eating fish is potentially dangerous because of the widespread, ever-increasing pollution of the waters in the world. The biggest water contaminants are the PCBs and mercury, along with dioxin, DDT, and dieldrin which are among the most toxic of chemicals on the planet.

Because there do not seem to be any fish available that are not potentially filled with toxins, we should really consider carefully whether or not it’s worth it. The sanitation problem associated with fish and shellfish must also be considered. Once the fish and shellfish are caught in the trawler nets, the crushing pressure on the fish causes the intestinal contents to be squeezed out, contaminating the rest of the catch. The fishing net is dragged across the bottom of the ocean where the sediment is is highly contaminated with toxins and bacteria.

The taking of ocean shrimp causes more by-catch than any other fishing. Shrimp are bottom -dwellers, caught by dragging nets across the sea floor. The animals who escape this dredging usually don’t get much of a reprieve. The nets dragged across the sea floor breaks up fragile coral and otherwise destroys habitat. Fishing is the leading cause of death for some of the rarest animals in the ocean, including turtles and whales. More than 20 thousand sea turtles die each year after getting hooked on long lines. And more than eight hundred dolphins and whales die every day as a result of getting tangled in fishing nets.

Here is another picture of a whale being caught in the net.

I feel I can’t ignore this any longer, I love fish, but something has to be done about this. Here is a kind recipe for chickpea- salad sammiches that in my opinion tastes even better than tuna. This recipe is from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, my favorite cookbook author.

1 tablespoon dried hijiki ( hijiki, like other seaweeds, is a rich source of iron, protein, calcium,zinc, and iodine)
boiling water
1(15 ounce) can chickpeas drained ( I use BPA free cans by Eden organics)
3 tablespoons veganaise
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tabespoons minced onion ( I used local green onions)
1/2 cup peeled shredded carrot
salt/pepper to taste
Sammich fixings( lettuce, tomato, onion)
bread of choice ( I used udis gluten free hamburger buns)

Place the hijiki in a small bowl and cover with boiling water, place a plate on top and let sit for 15 minutes.Meanwhile mash chickpeas with potato masher until no whole beans are left. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. When hijiki is done, drain and mix in with salad. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes and serve on buns with favorite fixings. They are so delicious!

This information was gathered by:

Conscious Eating by Gabriel Cousens, MD

Meat Market by Erik Marcus

Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

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