5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
Seafood lovers are between a rockfish and a hard place: More than 80% of the world’s fisheries are being harvested at capacity or are in decline.
In honor of Earth Day, April 22, what can consumers do to make sure their seafood choices aren’t further depleting the oceans?
Chef Takao Iinuma brings a ray of light to the matter. Iiunuma is the executive chef at Genji Sushi, the purveyors of sushi and Japanese cuisine to Whole Foods Markets.
Selecting Sustainable Fish Options for Earth Month: Takao Iinuma
2. Which fish are most sustainable?
Small fish are lower on the food chain, so there are usually more of them. They also don’t live as long, so they replenish their own stocks more quickly.
Shellfish, specifically mollusks like oysters and clams, actually filter water and make the environment cleaner, so farming them doesn’t have the environmental issues that many kinds of aquaculture have.
In Japan, we traditionally celebrate seasonality and consume foods when they are at their peak. Not only does food that is in season taste better, but it naturally controls the supply because we are not taking something from the environment at the wrong time. A good way to eat seasonally is to eat locally since what is being caught in your area is what is in season where you live.
Many silver fish are also small, such as sardines and anchovies, so they have two things in their favor. Mackerel (saba), Pacific saury (Sanma), and Spanish mackerel (sawara) are examples of larger silver-skinned fish that are plentiful, healthy and delicious."
3. What should every seafood lover know about responsible consumption?
4. What are sustainability standards when it comes to fish?
5. What are your favorite dishes that incorporate sustainable fish?
Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.
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