National Seafood Month is coming up and while it doesn’t attract much attention in Alaska, it’s a big deal across the nation.

The nonprofit Seafood Nutrition Partnership uses October to ramp up its goal of getting more Americans to include seafood in their diets. The partnership operates grassroots programs in large cities in nine mostly landlocked states.

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On Saturday, 250 fans will hold interactive house parties to launch seafood month and get more people to pledge to eat more fish.

During October, a series of Heart Healthy Summits will convene in five states. Linda Cornish is president of the SNP.

 “We’re in our third year of our public health campaign helping Americans understand the need to eat seafood and taking enough omega 3s, DHA, BPA and so this year we are celebrating with the community coming together for a half day session to learn about the progress that’s been made in each city and how we can continue the movement of how we can help everyone  understand the need to eat sustainable seafood. “

The message is getting across, based on annual tracking in the target cities.

 “We’re happy to share that one in three Americans over the past year has intentionally added seafood to their diets. That’s not to say they are eating it twice a week, but they’ve added more seafood to make sure they are eating healthier.”  

Cornish said 60 percent of the survey respondents signed a pledge to eat seafood twice a week, bringing the total to over 38,000 over three years.

U.S. dietary guidelines recommend eating seafood two times a week, a suggestion followed by only one in 10 Americans.   

The SNP also is taking its ‘eat more fish’ messages directly to America’s kids during seafood month. For the first time, districts in West Virginia and Oklahoma will feature seafood on school lunch menus during October.

“It takes time to build this awareness and also figure out how the food service can incorporate seafood into their menus more. But it’s working.”

To boost the healthy fish message, the Partnership now provide classroom sized aquaponics systems and a curriculum to schools

“This is to help students in elementary and middle schools understand how fish is grown and can co exist with growing vegetables so they can see it living and breathing in their classrooms.”  

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