Sustainable Seafood


This week in class I have been flooded- sorry- with all things from the sea. Or river. Or ocean. Or alpine lake. Let’s just leave it at water in general, both salt and fresh. From plunging live lobsters head first into boiling water to filleting whole fish with their clear beady fish eyes staring back at me… it has not been a week devoid of challenge. And as I venture in today I’m trying to wrap my head, and my palate, around the multiple varieties of raw oysters that await us for tasting.

crab cakes with fennel orange slaw

Perhaps I’ll muse on that more over the weekend, but this morning I want to provide a little educational resource and offer a bit of a challenge. The beauty of this challenge is that I’ll never know if you choose to accept or to what degree you decide to embrace it. Unless of course you comment to let me know, which always makes my day.

The challenge: sustainable seafood. Whether you’re planning a meal and deciding what to purchase from your local market, or you’re out at your favorite restaurant contemplating the evening’s specials… let’s begin to think about how seafood is sourced: what are the effects on the species, the environment, and cohabitant species.

Resources for this information are much more readily available than you might imagine. Monterey Bay Aquarium has a Seafood Watch section of their website where you can enter any seafood in the search box and it will guide you in what to buy and why. There’s also a handy pocket guide organized by US regions that you can print for quick reference. In a restaurant, don’t hesitate to ask how and where the seafood is sourced. Kitchen management should definitely be able and willing to give you this information.

So, I realize that most likely you’ve either already clicked on the links above and have a pocket guide printing, or you’re thinking “whatever, Deb, if it tastes good I’ll eat it.” There’s also probably quite the spectrum in between, and that’s a good thing. If we’re beginning to think then change can happen. And speaking of change, raw oysters await and I have some metal adjusting to do…


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