Posts Tagged ‘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!

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

The best anglers fish responsibly—for their own health and for the environment’s. That’s why, when it comes to fish, any can be fun to catch, but not all are a good idea to keep. The danger is not because of recreational anglers. More often the biggest threats to individual fish species or the ocean’s ecosystem as a whole come from large scale commercial and industrial practices. Still, everyday anglers can make a big impact with small, but smart decisions.

Probably the best thing you can do as an angler to protect the ocean, and fishing, for yourself, your kids and beyond is to learn about which marine species are the most threatened. Some are valuable catches, such as the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna, that are in serious danger of extinction! So while you can’t always control what you catch, you can choose what to release. If you reel in an endangered species, take a picture then put the fish back in the water because, seriously, it will last longer.

The same caution should apply when going out to eat seafood. Even if you’re not catching the fish yourself, supporting sustainable seafood can help to ease the pressure on fish populations. Whether you’re placing an order, or doing the cooking, consider alternatives and substitutes that will give you the flavor you’re looking for tonight and ensure that it will be there tomorrow. Luckily for the West Coast, many of our local species from California to Alaska have stronger numbers than their Atlantic counterparts. That means less hard choices on the water and fresher options at the table.

But it’s also important to make choices for your own heath as well. Some seafood options may have strong populations in the wild, but they are exposed to toxics that they absorb from their environment. Large roaming predators like sharks can have extremely high levels of mercury built up from eating smaller species. Smaller fish can be highly impacted based on their surroundings. So, it’s always a great idea to know where your fish is caught and how it is prepared to minimize your exposure to harmful chemicals. You might not feel the effects right away, but consuming contaminated fish can lead to bigger health risks down the road.

There’s no denying the love anglers have for catching fish, and that we all have for eating them. That’s why it’s important to learn about which fish we should avoid, to protect both the fish and ourselves, to ensure delicious meals, to secure a fun hobby and to keep a healthy environment for generations to come.

 

*Photo courtesy of Rodale.

 

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.