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Fish as "The Food of the People"

Accessible, affordable, and beneficial to all, fish is internationally considered to be “the food of the people.”

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Once upon a time not everyone ate fish because fish was considered a luxury item only to be enjoyed by the rich and powerful. Fish were few and far between because the fishing industry was still in its infancy. Today, the situation is very different, as fish are widely available and affordable for almost all: a donkey laden with delicious white bait smelling of seaweed can clamber up to the most inaccessible villages of rural Greece. In urban areas, fish markets are overflowing with fish of all varieties.

Fish is an enjoyable, fortifying, and valuable food source. It contains practically all the nutrients found in meat, but is lighter and healthier than meat. It can be cooked quickly and with minimum fuss in any number of ways. When it’s very fresh it can be char-grilled like chestnuts, without the necessity of scaling and cleaning, and is superb. Fishermen often cook fish in this way, as do those on deserted beaches.

No one could speak against the benefits of eating fish. Physicians, dietitians, chemists, chefs, and gourmet eaters would all agree that fish is an excellent food- unique, delicate, fortifying, and easily digested. Fish is ideal for weak stomachs, while also perfect for tired minds and bodies. Fish provides albumen, fat, calcium, iodine, phosphorus and iron, in addition to a wealth of vitamins. In other words, eating fish is the equivalent of eating a combination of meat, and pulses, in addition to fruit and vegetables, since fish contains elements of all these foods. Fish is beneficial for arthritics, the highly strung, those with heart conditions, those suffering from arteriosclerosis or rickets, asthmatics, as well as writers, intellectuals and generally anyone whose work requires much thought. So, whether you suffer from asthma or are about to write a play, eat plenty of fish.

In addition, fish has other virtues: it doesn’t require much chewing, so it’s ideal for the dentally challenged. It is easily cooked, but can also be enjoyed salted, smoked, sun-dried, or tinned. Regardless of how it is prepared, it retains all of its nutrients and vitamins. It is particularly convenient in situations where other solids cannot be consumed, for instance, fresh cod is often served in hospitals, as it is so light on the stomach, yet invigorating.

Naturally, there are also fish that are heavier on the stomach, with bonito being perhaps the heaviest of all. But even these fish make an excellent meal when cooked well. In any case, there are millions of people who don’t have delicate stomachs. As a general rule however, heavy fish should be avoided in the summers.

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