A healthy lifestyle is bogged down by a misconstrued idea of health. Where “living your best life,” consists of: weekly trips to Whole Foods, Bikram yoga in Lululemon leggings, a bowl of quinoa with raw kale, a juice cleanse, or spending a Saturday night drinking that last, most-likely-dreaded Cayenne pepper-flavored juice while wearing a Lush face mask and reading a self-help book entitled, I don’t know, maybe, “You Are A Badass.” Then, on that said night, #wellness is truly achieved once a face mask selfie is posted on Instagram.
This arbitrary person’s IG post adds to the 20 million other photos branded with the ambiguous hash tagged noun, and begs the question of: Where is this health trend heading towards?
Actually living a truly healthy (mental and physical) lifestyle gets lost in translation when health fads focus more on quick solutions to lose weight. Yet losing weight through different fads have an environmental cost.
Switching to healthier alternatives, like quinoa and almond milk, withhold such impacts. The high demand for quinoa in first-world countries, lead to the higher prices for the staple crop in the home countries, Peru and Bolivia. In these countries, what once was a staple crop for disadvantaged communities, is now an unattainable luxury item, because it is so highly exported to countries that wastes the crop. On the other hand, producing one almond takes 1.1 gallons of water.
Sure, it is tough to eat healthy and be environmentally-cautious, but with companies like Five Way Foods, they make sustainable-healthy eating possible through the repurposed use of fish bones and carcasses.
Fish bones and carcasses withhold a duality where it is both overlooked and seen as a threat. The threatening part rings a bell whenever I think of each Filipino aunt/uncle/grandpa/mom that warned against accidentally eating a small, translucent fish bone that, “you will choke on anak (child),” while consuming fried tilapia. Yet after cleaning all the meat off of that fried fish, the threat becomes a nuisance and it is thrown away.
Five Way Foods, a Boston-based company, views fish bones and carcasses as neither a threat or a nuisance since it serves as the main ingredient in their newest product, fish bone broth. Although there are many variations of fish bone broth, what distinguishes Five Way Foods is their sustainable sourcing methods. By partnering with Boston-based Red’s Best, they have locally-sourced white-flesh fish caught by a network of fisherman striving for open traceability– minimizing the distance between the fishermen, distributor and consumer. The open traceability tracks where and how the fisherman caught the fish, setting a crucial precedence for transparency.
The end result of these locally-sourced fish bones and carcasses is a highly nutritional and sustainable product. The head, tail and fish rack of Red’s cod, pollock, haddock and hake are brewed in ginger, creating a broth that serves as a base for another dish or stands alone as a drink.
It does sound odd to drink fish bone broth, however, the amount of omega 3’s and iodine is beneficial for immunity, digestion and inflammation. The versatility of this fishy broth, and the health factors that come along with it, poses another question: Why isn’t this posted and hash tagged with #wellness? At this point, fish bone broth is new to the health game, and the hype is not quite there. I suppose the idea of drinking brewed fish bones sounds off-putting, but in this time — where humanity’s environmental impact is evident — utilizing every resource is vital.
Investing in such sustainable health trends and companies, brings the phrase, “vote with your dollar,” to life. Legislation on the fishing industry can only do so much, however as consumers, instilling the sustainable practices embedded in the legislation begins where our transactions end. If you decide to purchase Five Way Food’s fish bone broth, feel assured that in each step of the process, it was sustainably made.
So, continue to post about how much you’re thriving, and living your best life. Drink your fermented booch and capture your smoothie breakfast bowl in the right, morning-light, yet consider shifting towards transparent companies guiding the health trend towards a sustainable path.