Informed choice. It is what matters in pretty much every purchasing situation you’ll encounter. Where did this thing I want come from? How much harm might getting it to me cause, or did it help someone or many someones along the way? Is the place from which I am purchasing a company that I feel good about giving my dollars? Is the thing itself something I need? Do I need a new one of these or would a gently used one serve me just as well?
When it comes to food choices, the stakes are high as we educate ourselves more about chemicals, artificial ingredients, sustainable procurement methods, organic options, local sourcing, and more.
Seafood is often a healthy dietary choice, yet we have all heard various horror stories about mercury, endangered species, horrible farm-raised conditions, overfishing, shark finning, etc. Fortunately, there is an online tool that can help us immensely with informed choosing. Seafood Watch is an online database sponsored by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, to inform us in our search for sustainable seafood. They have both the website and an app for your phone. Enter the seafood or sushi name you’re considering at the market, farmer’s market, fishmonger, or restaurant, and you’ll get feedback about “Best Choices,” “Good Alternatives,” and “Avoid.”
They update regularly, so last month’s Chilean Sea Bass scare or Alaskan Wild Caught Salmon may have trigger new and important suggestions this month. There is also a quick primer on the type of seafood itself and regions where the best options are sourced, articles about ocean issues and aquaculture, and some pretty enticing ocean-friendly recipes created by top chefs.
Next time you belly up to the sushi bar, give the list a quick once over to be sure your favorites are still the best choice for you and the planet.