A Fishy Story

As life would have it, a few weeks after first watching this TED presentation, I found myself standing next to Dan Barber, plating small dishes for a private party at his famed Blue Hill at Stone Barns.  I was nervous.  I was one of many interns he randomly chose to help on the line and I wanted to tell him I thought his presentation was brilliant and that he was funny.  The words stayed trapped in my mouth.  I was far too busy concentrating on plating!

I bring this presentation to you today because fish is, well it’s kind of fishy.  There are no real standards for seafood so we’re not exactly sure what we’re getting.  Our waters are in much worse condition than our soil is.  The key word here is runoff.  Everything industrial agriculture uses such as pesticides (including arsenic and agent Orange among other toxins), antibiotics, hormones, etc., animal waste, industrial garbage and pharmaceutical trash, they have all found a home in our lakes, rivers, seas and oceans.  (Air pollution plays a role here, too.)  Have you heard of the aquatic dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico?  It sounds serious because it is.

So, we think farm-raised fish is sustainable, healthier, and better for the fish.  It isn’t.  Now, we may not even be able to tell if our salmon is even a real salmon or a product of Genetic Engineering, aka frankenfish.  We can thank the FDA for that.  (And this brings us back to the importance of LABELING!)

I realize how precious your time is.  I do.  But I posted this 19+minute presentation anyway because aquaculture or fish farming will be a necessary part of our future.  We need to be informed to make the best decisions we can for our health, that of our family and that of our planet.  We are all responsible.

If you can make the time to watch this, I can guarantee you 2 things:  1. You will learn a lot about the right and wrong ways to farm fish and 2. You will laugh a lot.

In the meantime, I’m off to find me some wild caught Alaskan Salmon, because I haven’t found a farm I can trust yet.

(For more info on what fish to eat and what fish to avoid, check out Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.)

Thanks for reading and watching.  And, Enjoy!

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