GMRI: Out of the Blue

October 9, 2015 — The following was released by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute:

Many bountiful and well-managed fish species from the Gulf of Maine are not harvested, primarily due to lack of market demand. Fishermen get paid so little for these products, they can’t afford to pay their expenses to harvest them. For example, the average boat price for cape shark, also known as dogfish, in 2013 was $0.16/lb, while cod garnered $2.10/lb. Meanwhile, chefs who have worked with dogfish compare it to working with the popular mahi mahi.

To give the public an opportunity to try these products, GMRI’s restaurant, institution, and retail partners work together to make them available and promote them. In addition, our Seafood Dining Series provides an opportunity to try these fish at special dinners hosted by our Culinary Partners.

Out of the Blue species include Acadian redfish, Atlantic mackerel, cape shark (dogfish), whiting, and Atlantic pollock. Look for them at your local restaurants and retailers to expand your palate and support the local fishing industry!

Interested in cooking up some Out of the Blue species yourself? Check out these great recipes and cooking tips.

Read the release online


Aquaculture And Marine Ingredients Video Premieres At IFFO Annual Conference

October 7, 2015 — After decades of growth, the aquaculture industry continues to expand as a crucial segment of the global seafood market, and sustainably harvested fish meal and fish oil are fueling this growth. In a new video produced by Saving Seafood and released in partnership with IFFO, the trade association representing the marine ingredients industry, and Omega Protein, aquaculture industry leaders and experts discuss the future of fish meal, fish oil and farmed seafood. The video, which premiered on 28th September at IFFO’s Annual Conference in Berlin, is also being made available to the public.

View the video, “A Closer Look at Aquaculture and Marine Ingredients,” here

“People talk about fish meal replacements; there really aren’t fish meal replacements, because no one ingredient is going to have everything that fish meal has,” said Dr. Rick Barrows, a Fish Nutritionist at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service Fish Technology Center in Bozeman, Montana.

Fish meal and fish oil are irreplaceable because they are some of the best sources of the proteins and essential nutrients that are vital to healthy farmed fish. Some of these nutrients, especially omega-3 fatty acids, are an increasingly important part of human diets as well, having been linked to improved heart health and better brain function.

“You and I, like fish, need 40 essential micronutrients,” says Dr. Michael Rubino, Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Office of Aquaculture. “Forage fish, in the form of fish meal and fish oil happens to be the perfect combination of those micronutrients.”

Read the full story at IFFO



Ask Well: Canned vs. Fresh Fish

October 7, 2015 — Q: Does canned fish like tuna and salmon have the same nutritional value as fresh fish?

A: Yes, fresh and canned fish have roughly the same nutritional value, according to experts and the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database. And whether to eat one over the other isn’t an obvious choice, because each has advantages and disadvantages, said Alice Lichtenstein, a professor at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

Canned tends to be cheaper and easier than fresh, with a longer shelf life. But it also tends to have more sodium than fresh, she said, and many people prefer the taste of fresh.

Canned fish is also more likely to be wild than farmed, said Kristin Kirkpatrick, a registered dietitian and manager of nutrition services at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute; some types of farmed fish have been found to be high in pollutants. Plus, canned fish such as sardines generally provide more calcium, because the calcium-rich bones are softened by processing and therefore more likely to be eaten.

Read the full story from The New York Times

Seafood Nutrition Partnership Launches National Public Health Education Campaign

WASHINGTON — October 7, 2015 — The following was released by the Seafood Nutrition Partnership:

Today, the Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP) is launching a first-of-its- kind, three-year public health education campaign across the country to help the underserved and all Americans better understand the nutritional benefits of eating seafood and its positive impact on improving heart health.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, taking the lives of more Americans prematurely than any other preventable disease. The grassroots education campaign launches in nine cities this October, National Seafood Month, and aims to encourage Americans, especially the underserved, to eat seafood twice a week, as recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which research has shown can lower the risk of heart disease by 36 percent.

Last year, the Seafood Nutrition Partnership concluded its Eating Heart Healthy pilot program conducted in partnership with Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston targeting low-income women with a high rate of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The program was designed to help women curb their risk of heart disease through a seafood-rich diet. For four weeks, female residents of Roxbury Tenants of Harvard (RTH), a nonprofit affordable-housing community for low- and moderate-income families, participated in heart health- focused talks and cooking demonstrations, sampled omega-3 capsules, and were provided seafood recipes that can feed a family of four for $10 per meal.

At the end of the program, it was estimated that 92 percent of participants lowered their risk of sudden cardiac death, and 6 in 10 participants were at a lower risk for general cardiac problems.

“I try to eat well, but it’s difficult to cook healthy meals when you work full-time,” said Jacquie Boston, an Eating Heart Healthy program participant and resident of RTH. “The Eating Heart Healthy program transformed my life and my family’s life. Now, I have the skills to prepare heart- healthy meals.”

Based on the success of the pilot Eating Heart Healthy program, American Heart Association recently awarded a Go Red for Women grant to support the effort Boston, as the program expands this year to Seattle, Washington, D.C., and several other cities.

The launch of SNP’s national public health education campaign this month follows the success of pilots in Memphis, TN and Indianapolis, IN, last year. SNP partnered with local chefs, stakeholders, community leaders and health professionals to host cooking demonstrations, free health screenings to check omega-3 levels, week-long restaurant events, and to distribute free health education literature and recipes highlighting the nutritional benefits of seafood.

The campaign is focused on helping Americans, particularly the underserved, in nine cities: Birmingham, Alabama; Charleston, West Virginia; Golden Isles, Georgia; Indianapolis, Indiana; Jacksonville, Florida; Lexington, Kentucky; Memphis, Tennessee; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Toledo, Ohio.

“The USDA HHS dietary guidelines recommend eating seafood twice a week for optimal health, yet only 1 in 10 Americans follow this advice,” said Linda Cornish, Executive Director, Seafood Nutrition Partnership. “We hope to inspire a healthier America by promoting a nutrient-rich diet that includes seafood.”

As part of the campaign launch, SNP is making available a white paper, “Breaking Barriers: Empowering America’s Underserved with Resources and Access to a Healthy Diet,” highlighting the health crisis among Americans, and particularly the underserved, who too often lack access to healthy foods, including seafood.

Read the release here


Washington, DC Chef Uses Menhaden and More at New Restaurant

October 6, 2015 — The Berkshire sow has flopped down on her side inside a sunny, semi-exposed shelter at Cabin Creek Heritage Farm in Upper Marlboro. A couple of piglets, no larger than pugs, are nursing while the remaining newborns gather around their mother’s head, as if looking for face time.

Jeremiah Langhorne is beyond smitten. The chef and owner of the Dabney, the forthcoming restaurant in Blagden Alley, and his two sous-chefs simultaneously release the same sweet, unguarded sound when they lay eyes on the black piglets with their stubby pink legs: Oooooooh!

“They got their little pink socks,” Langhorne says. “They’re so cute!”

Langhorne, former chef de cuisine at the influential McCrady’s in Charleston, S.C., is not shopping for a pet. He’s scouting farmers who might supply his restaurant, dedicated to the flora, fauna and fermented flavors of the Mid-Atlantic. This trip to Cabin Creek is just one of many he has made ahead of the Dabney’s opening later this month. The 30-year-old Langhorne wants to inspect every potential supplier, not just to form a bond with farmers who might be skittish about working with (historically unreliable) chefs, but also to review their agricultural practices. He wants farmers who respect their products as much as he does.

“They’re doing it right,” Langhorne says after visiting two Maryland farms in August with sous-chefs Chris Morgan and Mike Tholis. “They put their animals’ happiness first and foremost. Most other farms, you’ll see some part of the chain where convenience outweighs the happiness of the animals.”

Read the full story from The Washington Post

What Americans do with fish is shocking

September 28, 2015 — There are plenty of fish in the sea. Plenty, also, in the trash.

Of all the food that Americans waste — and Americans waste a lot of food — it’s the seafood that never gets eaten that should trouble us most. Few sources of nutrition, after all, are as coveted as fish. They’re high in protein, and low in fat. Eating them is associated with all sorts of beneficial health outcomes. And yet, few foods are discarded so frequently.

Between 2009 and 2013, as much as 47 percent of all edible seafood in the United States went to waste, according to a new study from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF). And the majority of that is thanks to consumers, who buy fresh and frozen fish but never end up eating it. 

In order to put the scale of seafood loss in the United States in perspective, consider what curbing it could mean for our collective diets. Conservative estimates suggest the 2.3 billion pounds of seafood squandered each year would be enough to provide enough protein for more than 10 million men or 12 million women — for an entire year. The calories, meanwhile, would be enough to feed 1.5 million adults for that long.

“It is critical and urgent to reduce waste of seafood,” said David Love, a researcher with the Public Health and Sustainable Aquaculture Project at the CLF, and the study’s lead author.

Read the full story at the Washington Post


Could Eating Fish Help Ward Off Depression?

September 10, 2015 — Can eating a lot of fish boost your mood? Maybe, say Chinese researchers.

Overall, the researchers found that people who consumed the most fish lowered their risk of depression by 17 percent compared to those who ate the least.

“Studies we reviewed indicated that high fish consumption can reduce the incidence of depression, which may indicate a potential causal relationship between fish consumption and depression,” said lead researcher Fang Li, of the department of epidemiology and health statistics at the Medical College of Qingdao University in China.

But this association was only statistically significant for studies done in Europe, the researchers said. They didn’t find the same benefit when they looked at studies done in North America, Asia, Australia or South America. The researchers don’t know why the association was only significant for fish consumption in Europe.

The study was also only able to show an association between eating fish and the risk for depression, not that eating fish causes a lower risk for depression, Li said.

Read the full story from U.S. News & World Report

Putting seafood’s best foot forward

August 19, 2015 — Deck to Dinner, a new initiative launched in the United Kingdom last week, aims to repair damage done by years of ignorant information printed in the media, which have given the seafood industry a poor reputation according to Barry Deas, chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organizations (NFFO).

Inspiration for the initiative comes in the form of data from a survey by Research Now, which reveals that despite two thirds of us now eating fish once a week and supermarkets reporting increases in wet fish sales, 90 percent of people are only comfortable cooking familiar fish that is pre-prepared.

Deck to Dinner also builds on the latest research from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), which shows there has been a “dramatic reduction in fishing pressure” across North Atlantic commercial fish stocks as a result of strict management plans. The data show that between 2006 and 2015, the number of stocks fished at Maximum Sustainable Yield, which is seen as the gold standard of sustainability, increased from two to 36.

“We have been working with chefs for a while now, asking them to create recipes using underutilized species of sustainably sourced seafood, to prove they are just as versatile as the seafood staples. The aim is to get the media and the public to understand that there are sustainable and tasty alternatives to eating salmon, cod, haddock, tuna and prawns, which account for over 70 percent of all U.K. seafood sales,” explained Deas.

Read the full story at

Fish oil could help prevent mental health problems in those most at risk

August 11, 2015 — Eating more fish or taking regular fish oil supplements may help prevent psychosis in those most at risk, researchers claim.

A three month course of daily fish oil capsules appeared to significantly reduce the rate of psychotic disorders in young people, an improvement that seemed to persist when doctors assessed their mental health seven years later.

But while the findings are intriguing, they come from a very small study of teenagers and young adults. The benefits must now be shown in a much larger group before doctors can make any recommendations about the use of fish oils to prevent mental health problems.

Paul Amminger at the University of Melbourne reported in 2010 that a three month course of daily fish oil capsules appeared to stave off psychotic illnesses in teenagers and young adults aged 13 to 24 deemed at high risk of developing the disorders. Seven years on, his group has now revisited 71 of the original 81 participants and shown that the protective effects seem to persist.

Writing in the journal Nature Communications, the scientists report that 4 out of 41 of those who took fish oil for three months had developed psychosis in the seven years since, compared with 16 out of 40 who received a placebo capsule during the trial.

Read the full story at The Guardian

PAUL GREENBERG: Three Simple Rules for Eating Seafood

June 13, 2015 — Nearly a decade ago, the writer Michael Pollan advised: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Ever since, a certain kind of progressive supermarket aisle has emerged: “Real” foods, calorie-limited portions and vegetarianism (or at least Meatless Mondays) have become culinary aspirations for millennials and boomers alike.

Mr. Pollan’s advice is sound. But what about the 71 percent of the Earth’s surface that provides humans with 350 billion pounds of food every year? How do you make rules for our oceans and freshwater ecosystems, whose vast production is, even in this increasingly mechanized world, still more than half wild?

Since I first read Mr. Pollan’s haiku-like dictum, I have been trying to be like Mike — i.e., to work out a seafood three-liner that would be as concise, elegant and free from exceptions as his. I can’t say that I have been entirely successful. No sooner do I present a draft idea at a local seafood forum than I get shouted down by a New England dragger captain whose cod doesn’t fill the bill.

But rules are useful no matter the exceptions. And since World Oceans Day was this month, I thought I would offer up my own, admittedly clunky, variation:

Eat American seafood.

A much greater variety than we currently do.

Mostly farmed filter feeders.

Some explanations are in order.

Read the full story at The New York Times