Conference To Focus On Benefits, Risks Of Eating Seafood
November 7, 2007
Keywords such as farm-raised, wild-caught, omega-3 fatty acids, mercury and
PCBs conjure up mixed emotions for consumers who simply want to eat healthy
seafood. But an upcoming conference sponsored by NH Sea Grant and UNH Cooperative
Extension will allow dietitians, healthcare professionals, and the general
public to better understand what seafood they should eat and what they should
The conference, “Seafood — Exploring Benefits and Risks,” will
be held on Nov. 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Courtyard by Marriott and
Grappone Conference Center in Concord. It will address the health issues surrounding
seafood consumption, including nutritional benefits and risks, microbial contaminants,
risk communication, farm-raised vs. wild harvest, the global need for seafood
and media influence on consumer choices.
The $45 fee covers breakfast, lunch, breaks, and all conference materials.
For more information or to register, visit http://extension.unh.edu/Marine/Seafood.htm or contact Deb Stevens at 1-800-248-6672.
“It seems like everywhere I go, as soon as people find out I work in
the fisheries field, the first thing they want to know is what seafood is safe
to eat,” says Rollie Barnaby, NH Sea Grant extension educator. “There’s
just so much confusion about it.”
Part of this confusion may occur when consumers receive their health information
from many sources other than health care providers, he explains.
The need to disseminate accurate information prompted Barnaby to team up with
Cooperative Extension specialists Catherine Violette and Ken La Valley to help
inform health officials and consumers about what seafood is safe to eat and
what should be avoided.
Speakers at the conference include renowned scientists in the fields of food
safety, nutrition and risk analysis from Harvard School of Public Health, Tufts-New
England Medical Center and the University of Rhode Island.
Keynote speaker Charles Santerre, a professor of foods and nutrition from
Purdue University, will discuss balancing the risks and benefits of fish for
sensitive populations. The conference will conclude with a panel discussion
and a question and answer period.
“This is a health issue,” Barnaby adds. “People are afraid
to eat seafood and that’s a shame. We need to educate them about the
value of seafood and provide research-based information to help them make wise