The world of sustainable seafood is a mumbly jumbly one of confusing stats and contradictory advice and it leaves most people perplexed at the fishmonger. “Which fish is ‘good’, and what the hell do I do with half a kilo of sardines?”
Stress not, we’re here to help. This year we’ve launched our first ever Give a Fork! campaign, focussed entirely on seafood and have collated a pile of tips and a nifty e-book in order to de-mystify and make things less, well, mumbly jumbly.
First up, why Give a Fork
And now, those aforementioned tips:
1. Our Give a Fork! e-Cookbook shows you how
Give a Fork! encourages all Australians to get together between 7-14th October, share a sustainable seafood dinner and chat about the simple things each of us can do to help save our oceans. Of course we couldn’t ask people to whip up a suitable dinner without providing a little helping hand now could we? Introducing our Give a Fork! e-Cookbook, which features 21 delectable recipes as well as all the info you need to know to choose more sustainable seafood. Download the mini version here or receive the full version by signing up to host a Give a Fork! dinner here.
2. Sustainable species are cheaper
Unlike the more sustainable ‘organic’ and ‘biodynamic’ meat options available which, let’s be frank, can be dearer than conventional meats (but worth every cent), sustainable seafood species are generally bucket loads cheaper than their less sustainable counterparts. The reason? Sustainable seafood varieties tend to be less popular and underrated, yet more plentiful… think supply and demand. As Oliver Edwards, Chef and Founder of GoodFishBadFish says:
“You can buy mullet, an nderrated but incredibly delicate and delicious white fish, for under $3 a plate!”
Our very own Co-Founder and General Manager Cassie Duncan discovered the monetary delights of cooking with more sustainable species during her recent expeditions into recipe testing for our e-Cookbook:
“I whipped up the Luscious Leatherjacket Curry using 8 Leatherjackets that I bought for $22. The meal fed 10 hungry buddies. If I’d used Atlantic Salmon fillets which are on the AMCS ‘say no’ list, for instance, it would’ve cost me well over $50.”
3. Sustainable species are often healthier
Atlantic Salmon has been heralded as the go-to fish for a good dose of omega-3, but it’s not the only option. Many sustainable fish species are oily (think Sardines and Mackerel) and are therefore rich in omega-3 fatty acids. In fact sardines are one of the most concentrated sources of omega-3 fatty acids and are also one of the richest sources of vitamin B12 in the world, second only to beef liver. Other sustainable fish containing good amounts of omega-3 include Anchovies, Australian Salmon (aka Herring, not to be confused with Atlantic Salmon), Whitebait and Mussels.
Sustainable species also generally contain a lower concentration of mercury due to their small size. Fish take up mercury by absorbing mercury in the water through their gills as they swim and also through their digestive tracts as they feed on other fish. Larger, longer-lived (and less sustainable) fish species such as Tuna and Shark (Flake) tend to contain higher concentrations of mercury because they are higher up the food chain. Since mercury can affect the nervous system, particularly in developing fetuses and in young children, health experts warn against consuming fish with high concentrations of mercury.
4. Fish species are interchangeable
Your favourite recipe may include Atlantic Salmon or Snapper but thankfully, due to the fact that so many white fish taste quite similar, there’s no reason to dump it! Bream is the perfect substitute for Snapper (we’d argue the flesh is even sweeter) and Mackerel can be used in place of Salmon no worries. Simply use our Switch the Fish guide to work out what to replace with what!
5. Eating broccoli can help save the oceans
Perhaps the most pertinent point to ponder is that the best thing each of us can do for our oceans is to eat seafood mindfully. That means:
Make seafood a treat, have it less often and when you do, enjoy sensible portions by making vegetables the focus of your plate.
As Chef and sustainable seafood activist Barton Seaver says,
“Want to save more fish? Eat more broccoli!”
Have you delved into the world of sustainable seafood? Feel free to share your best tips or fave sustainable species below!