NPR

What Fish Is Good For Me And The Planet? New Documentary Explores

In order to investigate how eating fish affects our health as well as the oceans, author and fisherman Paul Greenberg spent a year eating fish every day.
Paul Greenberg looks out at an anchoveta fleet in Peru. The fish is mostly ground up for use as feed on animal and fish farms. Source: Courtesy of FRONTLINE

Facts about the virtues of eating fish can be slippery. On the one hand, fish provide protein and omega-3 fatty acids, the substance in fish oil supplements, which is thought to boost cognitive health. Plus, unlike cows, fish don't belch vast amounts of the greenhouse gas methane into the air. So, fish should be good for your health and the environment. But the science of omega-3 benefits is far from settled, and as fish farming grows to keep up with global demand, the industry is raising new questions about environmental sustainability.

New York Times bestselling author and avid fisherman Paul Greenberg wanted to learn more about how eating fish can change human health and the world's marine environments. He ate fish every day for a year to see how it would affect his health and traveled around the world to learn more about the challenges of fish farming. His experience is captured in a FRONTLINE documentary called The Fish on My Plate airing Tuesday. (You can also watch it online.)

We watched the film and talked with Greenberg about what he learned while making this documentary. The conversation is edited for clarity and concision.

As a fisherman who enjoys catching food from

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR3 min read
Pain Drives The Creation Of A Sanctuary In 'Remembrance'
Rita Woods' ambitious novel spans 200 years and multiple storylines — it's a complex story of loss and survival that doesn't always work. But Woods creates memorable characters readers can relate to.
NPR5 min readWellness
A History Of Quarantines, From Bubonic Plague To Typhoid Mary
China's efforts to build a quarantine center for suspected Wuhan coronavirus patients is the latest chapter about a practice that's as old as the Bible.
NPR2 min read
Opera For Newbies: Busting Myths And Belting High Notes
A listener's guide for the opera-curious includes a little history, a little trash-talk and some gorgeous singing.