Thought For Food on CNN’s Eatocracy

A picture of Scott E. Nichols

By Scott E. Nichols

March 5, 2012

Sustainable aquaculture has many dimensions, each of which is a topic of rich discussion. We’re fortunate that people across the country—and worldwide—are simultaneously addressing each dimension to create a more cohesive, comprehensive definition of sustainability for our industry. It takes many perspectives to show the wide-ranging value of what we’re doing. “Thought for Food: A Discussion on Sustainable Seafood" was an opportunity for chefs, NGOs, members of the food industry, and journalists to come together and share their thoughts on seafood sustainability as a practice. The days’ conversations are nicely summarized by CNN on their Eatocracy blog. In brief, culinary experts explained that Sustainable farming has benefits beyond the health of the salmon and the environment. “Sustainable” has become a standard of quality for many chefs. The care taken at every stage of the fish’s life is evident in its flavor and texture—“all indicators of a fish that has led a great life,” says Chef Yousef Ghalaini of New York’s Imperial No. Nine seafood restaurant. The health and happiness of the fish is passed on to diners; doing the right thing for the environment has a positive impact on everyone along the way. That is the real power of sustainability. Below is an excerpt from the Eatocracy piece:

"Participants came from a variety of backgrounds: chefs, NGO leaders, journalists and other members of the food industry vanguard.  Each brought a different perspective to the buzz-worthy subject of "conscious cuisine," an idea brought to the forefront by New York Times journalist and author Mark Bittman. In his book, "Food Matters, Guide to Conscious Eating," he explains conscious cuisine as the idea that one deliberately chooses deliciously prepared food that is not just good for you but is also produced with a keen appreciation for the health of and respect for the planet.

Today, consumers are more naturally curious about the provenance of their food and its method of production, and retailers have found a way to make these types of conversations part of the every day. More and more people want to know where their tomatoes were grown and who picked them. They also genuinely care about the quality of life of the cow that yielded that T-bone. But fewer customers think about the sustainability and origin of the seafood on the menu, otherthan perhaps where the fish were raised.

While some chefs are leading the charge and embracing sustainability at every level, others have been slower to come around on the subject.

As Scott Nichols, PhD of aquaculture innovator, Verlasso, said, “We can’t keep depleting our oceans. To continue to eat fish, we need to raise them in an ecologically responsible manner, benefitting both the consumer and the species - not just capture them. With a current worldwide population exceeding seven billion people - estimates for 2050 push that number to nine billion - effectively sourcing quality fish has come to the forefront of the international discussion on sustainability.”"

Read the entire post here.

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