Posts Tagged ‘healthy seafood’

Are you a seafood foodie? At FCEC, we are all about seafood… the right kind of seafood!

What do we mean by the right kind of seafood? Safe, sustainable fish to eat! Seafood for the Future created an Inspired Choices culinary magazine featuring local healthy choices of fish, cooking tips and creative recipes from local chefs to expand your palates and knowledge of sustainable seafood!

For some, eating the right kind of seafood may seem like a daunting task, so they may completely remove seafood from their diet. That’s not the way to go. By consuming safe, sustainable seafood, you provide your body with many health benefits such as protein and vitamins. However, sometimes certain types of seafood can cause your body harm. That’s why it’s important to pick the right kind of seafood. If you love fishing or going on an adventure to catch your own meal, make sure you are aware of the local fishing advisory. FCEC recommends not consuming white croaker, black croaker, topsmelt, barred sand bass and barracuda caught off the Southern California coast due to contamination.

The art of choosing and cooking sustainable seafood is not only a mark of an ethical angler, but a responsible and healthy human being. So, select a safe, sustainable fish and a recipe from Inspired Choices and enjoy a Tropical Mahi Mahi with Mango-Pineapple Salsa, a Crispy Stripped Bass, or a Gently Spiced Trout BLT Appetizer to end the summer.

Have you tried any sustainable seafood recently? Share your favorite sustainable fish with us!

 

Seafood for the Future, a non-profit seafood advisory and promotion program, hosted a “Best of the West Chowderfest” on Saturday, March 9 at the Aquarium of the Pacific to celebrate one of the things we all love here at FCEC – sustainable seafood. The event featured local chefs preparing one-of-a-kind seafood chowders made from locally caught or sustainably raised seafood. During the event, FCEC asked Primal Alchemy’s Chef Paul Buchanan why events that highlight sustainable seafood are important to the community:

“Events like these bring awareness to what the local seafood situation is out there… and will prompt consumers to ask where their fish are coming from.”

Participants of the event, like Philip Isenberg who believes that “it’s important to protect fish so that we always have them,” had the opportunity to sample many unique varieties of seafood chowders prepared by knowledgeable chefs and was then able to vote for what he considered to be the “Best of the West Chowder.”

Below is a list of the best of the west chowder contenders and their sustainable seafood choices

To find out who won the Best of the West Chowderfest, view our photo slideshow below!

Anglers can finally catch a break! At least from all the questions the EPA Consumption Study team has been grilling them on over the past year. The study, which started February 2012, recently ended this January 2013. The survey team surveyed Southern California anglers from Seal Beach to Santa Monica in order to understand their consumption habits of eating certain types of local contaminated fish, such as white croaker, barracuda, topsmelt, barred sand bass and black croaker.

During the yearlong study, the survey team learned quite a bit about the local anglers. For example, they found that the angler community in Southern California is comprised of a socially diverse group of men and women that speak a range of different languages. Despite coming from various backgrounds, their respect for one another and the sport is mightily admirable.

At first the survey team may have looked like they were a fish out of water, but they quickly got the hang of reeling in anglers and building a trusting relationship with them.

“Some anglers may appear to be rough around the edges, but they’re a friendly bunch once you get to know them. Before we knew it, we were sharing stories and cracking jokes with anglers about turd rollers [more commonly known as sand bass].” – Surveyor, Lucia Phan

“During the winter months, only the seasoned anglers were out and it was nice to see that we remembered each other.” – Surveyor, Thuy Nghiem

The study was a mutual learning experience for anglers and the survey team.

“By having conversations with anglers, we became aware of how fishing has changed over the years and why anglers are skeptical of us ‘outsiders.’ Many longtime anglers reported that catching fish now is not as easy as it used to be a decade ago, or even a few years ago. ” – Surveyor, Alben Phung

According to some anglers, the days of catching barracuda and buckets of corbina right off the pier are long gone. Dwindling fish populations, higher regulations, and an influx of outreach have made anglers more conscious of the situation. But all in all, anglers are still out there just to have a good time. As anglers shared their experiences and concerns about the future of fishing, a conclusion can be made: Make Protecting Fishin’ Our Mission!

Watch the EPA Consumption Study survey team in action and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

 

 

“For the past 50 years, we’ve been fishing the seas like we clear-cut forests. It’s hard to overstate the destruction. Ninety percent of large fish, the ones we love — the tunas, the halibuts, the salmons, swordfish — they’ve collapsed.” – Dan Barber

Watch this insightful Ted Talk by Dan Barber, a renowned New York chef and scholar, as he describes how he fell in love with fish and the sustainable recipe for the future of good food.

Is this healthy and self-renewing ecological network Dan describes possible? Wouldn’t you want all your food to come from these sustainable conditions? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section and join the conversation!

 

FCEC is proud to announce the winners of our first Sustainable Seafood Recipe Contest.

First, we would like to thank all those passionate fish lovers for their entries and promoting healthy and sustainable seafood.

Now for the winners, the envelope please…

The title of 2nd Place and a $60 Slapfish gift certificate goes to Eileen with her Family Favorite Barbeque Shrimp recipe. If you want to check out her recipe, see it in the comment section here.

The 1st Place prize of a $60 Slapfish gift certificate as well as having their recipe featured on the Slapfish menu for 1 week goes to…drum roll please…

Dominique with the Rockin’ Rockfish recipe!

Check out the Rockin’ Rockfish recipe below and give it a try! If you aren’t a fan of the kitchen, Slapfish will be featuring this recipe for you to try! Stay tuned to our Facebook page for when you can visit their restaurant and taste the winning recipe!

FCEC would like to send a big thanks to Slapfish for partnering with us in this contest and donating a generous prize!

Rockin’ Rockfish Recipe

Sustainable Seafood Type: Pacific Rockfish

Ingredients:

  • 2 avocados
  • 1/2 tomatillo diced
  • 1 medium jalapeno minced
  • 2 Tbs cilantro chopped
  • 1 red onion sliced thin
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 2 green peppers sliced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup olives sliced
  • 2 Tbs olive juice
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1lb filet of Pacific Rockfish
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Salt

 

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season your rockfish fillet with cayenne and salt. Over medium heat, sauté onions in olive oil for 3 minutes then add the peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, and white wine. Allow to reduce for about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the sliced olives and olive juice. Heat an oven safe pan with the butter and then add your rockfish face-down for about 2 minutes. Flip the fish and bake in the oven for about 5 minutes. You can do this as the sauce is reducing. Put it all together adding sliced avocado and cilantro on top!

*Photo courtesy of Dinn Bros

Are you a master chef, busy mom, bachelor or a creative person that likes to play with new recipes in the kitchen? Or are you the kind of person who likes to keep it simple in the kitchen and grill outside on a sunny California day? Whichever you may be, we have a fun food-related contest just for you!

Join FCEC for our first Sustainable Seafood Recipe Contest with a chance to win a delicious meal at SlapFish, a famous sustainable seafood restaurant in Huntington Beach. This contest aims to celebrate healthy and sustainable seafood. New to sustainable seafood? We’ve got you covered! To see what classifies as sustainable seafood, check out the West Coast Guide of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Guide. The guide recommends cleaner, greener, safer substitutes for popular, but often less sustainable and healthy, seafood items. Contestants are encouraged to submit their recipes using any of the fish selections recommended in the guide.

How to Enter:

1. Submit your favorite healthy and sustainable seafood recipe in the comment section below.

2. Recipes must include:

  • Title of dish
  • Type of sustainable seafood featured in the dish
  • List of ingredients
  • Simple directions to prepare the dish

3. Sustainable seafood recipes must be submitted by 11:59pm on November 16, 2012.

Want to step up your game? Cook the recipe, snap a photo of your healthy and sustainable seafood dish and upload the photo using the form below. Submitting a photo of your dish is optional and does not affect the judging for the contest.

Prize:

The top two recipes will each win a $60 gift certificate to Slapfish and will be cooked in the Slapfish kitchen to decide the winning recipe. The winning recipe will be selected by Slapfish owners Chef Andrew Gruel and Jethro Naude and will be announced on November 30, 2012. In addition to the $60 gift certificate to Slapfish, the winning recipe will also be featured on the Slapfish menu for 1 week , and during that week, the lucky winner will be able to eat their dish for FREE!

FCEC will create a photo album on our Facebook page to highlight the healthy and sustainable seafood dishes, so make sure to check it out.

On Your Mark, Get Set, Cook !

Thank you to chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish for partnering with FCEC on this contest and for the generous prize donation.

If you would like to submit a photo of your dish, fill out your name, email and upload the photo below. To enter your recipe in the contest, enter the required elements in the Add New Comment box below.

Your Name

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In smaller markets across Southern California, confusion and trickery can sometimes result in the sale of contaminated white croaker to both merchants and consumers. Looking out for the community means not only going where we catch our fish, but also where we buy them. To prevent the sale of contaminated white croaker in local markets, the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) and local health inspectors visit hundreds of local vendors every year to inspect their products and ensure that the fish sold there are purchased from approved sources, such as licensed fish wholesalers, distributors or commercial fishermen. Since 2008, our FCEC Enforcement Program has not found contaminated white croaker sold in markets.

The LA County Public Health Department inspects 30 markets twice a year, Orange County 12 markets monthly, and Long Beach inspects 15 markets, 3 restaurants and 1 wholesaler 4 times a year. In addition to inspections, CDFG representatives and health inspectors use our FCEC materials to educate sellers on the local fish contamination issues that affect them and their customers.

See our Enforcement Program team at work in the images below!

How many different types of fish would you be able to identify in a blind taste test? While it may sound like an episode of Man V. Food, this culinary challenge is actually a serious financial and health concern for the FDA, restaurateurs and you!

Once a catch has been cut, processed, cooked and served, it can be difficult for even the most trained eye—and sometimes palette—to be able to identify the species. For some unscrupulous marketplace sellers this can lead to “seafood substitution,” where one type of fish, usually of poorer quality, is mislabeled and sold as a premium product. This practice, a violation of federal law, not only cheats buyers and diners out of the product they are expecting but can also expose them to toxins found in lower grade fish species. In an even sadder turn, endangered species can be passed off as commercial catches.

To face this seafood mislabeling issue, The Barcode of Life has developed a new technology, officially approved by the FDA this Fall, that is able to scan a fish protein and identify it by comparing short strings of DNA just like a grocery store checkout scanner reads a barcode! Since 2003, The Barcode of Life, has built up a DNA database of more than 167,000 species and hopes to have 5 million cataloged by 2015. This technology could be used to identify 500,000 species and prevent mislabeling. That means when your date orders the lobster, you won’t be paying for monkfish, or even worse, buying monkfish and actually eating toxic pufferfish which caused several people to become sick in 2007. Since seafood is one of the most highly traded commodities in the world, there is a big movement to make the DNA barcoding of seafood a standard industry practice. The more widely applied this technology becomes consumers can enjoy their fish without wondering what that fish actually is.

Have you ever had a seafood experience that was a bit too fishy for your taste? If you have, tell us about it and let others know about this issue!

 

*Photo courtesy of Greenpeace.

 

While Monty Python’s Fish Slap Dance is considered by some as a staple of absurdist British comedy, SlapFish, a self-styled modern seafood shack—in truck form—is quickly becoming a staple of both Southern California street cuisine and sustainability. And along with an appreciation for the comedic potential of fish of all sizes, SlapFish owners, Chef Andrew Gruel and Jethro Naude, share with the Pythons a large helping of smarts behind their irreverent public persona.

Chef Gruel’s menu shows that everyday seafood can be innovative, fresh, healthy, fun and affordable. To support this message, Gruel and Naude work with local artisans to bring in ingredients that are seasonal, sustainable and directly from the source and informed by experts and scientists in the fields of conservation and marine biology from groups including: the Aquarium of the Pacific’s Seafood for the Future program, FishWatch, and The World Wildlife Foundation. For foodies and snackers on the on the streets of LA and Orange county, this means that SlapFish doesn’t just offer a mobile infrastructure of in-your-face deliciousness; it’s a way to support local entrepreneurs as well as global conservation. On both those counts, searching for and dining at the SlapFish truck is well worth the effort.

This is the kind of business-model innovation that we at FCEC are thrilled to watch take off; one that delivers a superior product to a wide range of people in a way that promotes environmental stewardship.  We hope you all get the opportunity to try out SlapFish’s “Losbticle” along with their other great dishes, but more importantly, think about ways you can bring this same sort of 1-2 punch model into your own life or business. And if you stumble on a really great idea, or know someone else who has, write back and share it with us!

Have you eaten at the SlapFish food truck? What dishes did you taste? Share your experience with us!

*Photo courtesy of SlapFishSoCal.

Can pregnant women and babies eat fish? Are there antibiotics in seafood? Are farmed or wild fish healthier to eat? FCEC, like those of you that are environmental and health conscious consumers, is also concerned with these important issues.

FCEC is pleased to share answers to these questions that recently appeared on HealthyChild’s blog. Their post addressed these very issues for readers and here’s some of the important information they shared.

How often is it okay to eat seafood?

It depends on your weight and what fish you eat. To check where you fall on the scale of how much fish consumption is safe, visit the Physician’s for Social Responsibility fact sheet or this chart put together by the Environmental Defense Fund which shows the type of fish that can be eaten safely by men, women and kids.

Are there antibiotics in fish?

The key is to know where your seafood is coming from. Fish from foreign countries is often not regulated in the same way it is in the United States. In general, according to Food and Water Watch, choose wild over farmed fish, unless it is farmed Rainbow Trout or farmed Oysters.

Is it okay for pregnant women to eat fish?

You have to be careful about the fish you choose to eat. While it is important to have a good source of omega-3 fatty acids for the overall well-being and development of babies, it is also crucial to avoid fish that are high in contamination. Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch lists a hand full of fish that are healthy to eat and high in omega-3s.

Can babies eat fish?

Once your child is 8 to 9 months of age, it is okay to feed them fish as long as you consult with your doctor first. Of course, if your doc gives you the green light, make sure the fish is boneless, cooked thoroughly and cut into small pieces. Also, as with any new foods for babies, you need to watch for any adverse side effects.

Check out the other great questions and answers about safe fish consumption by visiting the resourceful HealthyChild.org.

Photo is courtesy of DCFoodKing.info.