Friday, April 19, 2013

Counting Down to Earth Day 2013: 4.19.13

Welcome to Day 10 of my Counting Down to Earth Day 2013 challenge.


The menhaden is not a fish most people would eat,
but it is an important part  of the food chain.

The distance fish travels to get to your plate is not as important as other factors including:
  • How was it caught?
  • Is it a fish whose population is endangered?
  • If it is a farmed fish, what are the conditions under which it was raised?

The Monterey Bay Aquarium believes that “through better practices, we can create healthy, abundant oceans for everyone.” Through its Seafood WATCH® program the Aquarium has been working since 1999 to make this vision a reality. Consumers play an important role in the conservation of ocean resources when they choose to purchase ocean-friendly seafood. 

The Seafood WATCH® program provides consumers with tools to make the right choices — national and regional guides in which seafood is rated as “Best Choices,” “Good Alternatives,” and “Avoid.” The 2013 Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood WATCH® guides are available for download here and are also available for mobile devices. 

The guides are updated periodically. As farming techniques improve, ratings can go up. This happened recently when tilapia from Ecuador moved from "Good Alternative" to “Best Choice.” You can learn about the process Seafood WATCH® uses to make recommendations here.

Is it a GMO fish?
Yes, soon you may have to ask this question as well. “Frankenfish” could appear on the market in the very near future. The US Food and Drug Administration may soon approve the sale of AquaBounty Technologies’ Salmon, genetically engineered to reach market size more rapidly than other farmed salmon. 

If approved, AquaBounty salmon would become the first genetically engineered animal to enter the food supply. More than 33,000 people have submitted comments to the FDA. The commenting period ends April 26. PCC Natural Markets, Trader Joe’s, Aldi’s and Whole Foods that they will not carry the salmon if it is approved for sale.

Gone are the days when local seafood was in plentiful supply in every coastal town and the only questions the consumer might ask were: How fresh is it? or How much does it cost per pound?

Come back tomorrow for a new tip as we count down to Earth Day on April 22.

Love Your Mother (Earth). Pass it on. Together we can make a difference. Yes, we can!

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