How Sustainable is your Seafood?

How Sustainable Is Your Seafood? - Marine Stewardship Council

The Blue Ocean Institute, founded by president Carl Safina, offers a truly informative  website, giving you insight into anything related to our oceans and the life within it. Carl Safina encourages good stewardship and the implementation of sustainability practices involving our fisheries. If you enjoy reading about this subject matter in general, you might want to read Carl Safina’s books ‘Song for the Ocean Blue,’ Voyage of the Turtle,’ ‘Eye of the Albatross,’ as well as several others – all of which can be found at this site. Please note, that we do not derive any financial benefits for suggesting these books. They are exceptional and can surely be found in most library systems as well. Both Blue Ocean’s and Carl Safina’s websites provide a seafood list, which can help guide you to the best consumer options available, as well as answer any of your most frequently asked questions regarding seafood.

While we are on the topic of our oceans, you might be interested in  watching an interview with Carl Safina, in which he addresses our current nightmare in the Gulf of Mexico, and warns that the ecological fallout from the spill may be felt across much of the world. You can find the link to this PBS interview here. A lengthier interview on Democracy Now can be viewed here. Just wanted to provide these links to learn some interesting facts, some of which you may already know, and some could change the way you view the world around you.

Our readership consists primarily of individuals that already have had to alter their lifestyles to the largest degree possible in order to heal from the effects of gluten intolerance and/or celiac disease. Because of this willingness to change, you are ready for the next step, the step that allows each and every one of us to question all of the choices before us in our daily lives. Since this blog is primarily about health and gluten free living, this quite naturally involves choices to be made in favor of organic fruits, vegetables, gluten free grains, and humanely raised dairy, eggs and animal products.  This naturally begs the question: How sustainably are these fruits and vegetables grown? Are they truly free of pesticides? Is the farmer able to derive a livable income? How are the animals treated during their short life, in order for us to eat eggs, drink their milk, or eat their meat? There are many good and honest people striving to provide humane and kind treatment to animals, as well as endeavor to grow our fruits and vegetables without using any non-organic, or harmful pesticides. They desperately need our support. For others, though, on both the agricultural and consumer end, the wheels of awareness and willingness to be more conscious turn much slower.

Remember, change always begins with a single step. You take one, fall back another. Don’t be discouraged, just pick up where you left off, and keep going. Before long you will look back in amazement as to the number of positive steps you have taken, and even more surprisingly watch others, inspired by you, walking, or even running alongside you, heading for the same goal. We are shaping our future, through the conscious present choices we make. It all starts with personal interest, involvement and willingness to make a difference.

In the past, both of us have lived as complete vegans, embracing this way of life initially through health concerns, then personal conviction. We encountered so much dogma in those years,  that also blinded us to the reality of not recognizing the health challenges soy presented. We are forever thankful for those 12 years and it enhanced and opened our eyes and hearts to the entire circle of life. Even though we still embrace largely a vegetarian way of life, we do incorporate a small amount of animal products in our daily lifestyle, because it has helped us heal from some health challenges of the past.  The majority of our daily fruit and vegetable intake is organic and raw, and we encourage you to at least increase your own enjoyment of vegetables and fruits. We are very careful in our selection of anything derived from an animal, and only support the use of small amounts of raw dairy, humanely raised eggs, meats, or fish.

The cost of these choices is slightly higher, but some of this can be reduced by buying locally, especially during the summer months, given the availability of local farmers’ markets. Even Whole Foods and other markets strive to make local produce available, whenever possible. Trucking everything in for hundreds of miles, is just not a wise option. Yet in many places, New Mexico being a prime example, local foods are only an option during a few short months in the summer, and even then the choices are limited. Going completely green has to be examined and solved differently for the locations in question. Nevertheless, everyone can make better choices and this is what this introduction to our recipe was intended to do.

A few days ago, we had purchased some frozen fillets of sole, that were wild-caught, using sustainable fishing practices. In general, we don’t consume a lot of fish, out of concern for not wanting to expose ourselves to mercury, or other toxic heavy metals, or pesticides, but the fact that this type of fish, at this point, is certified as one of the best environmental choices by the Marine Stewardship Council, encouraged us to give it a try.

In line with this post, today’s recipe is “Fillet of Sole, with a mixed green salad and German potato salad.” Your will need the following ingredients:

  • 6 small fillets of sole, sustainably wild-caught
  • 3/4 cup finely shredded coconut
  • about 10 leaves of Basil, finely sliced
  • 2 organic lemons
  • 2 slices of butter, cubed
  • 2 tsp. ground tellicherry pepper
  • 1 small head of organic oak leaf lettuce, washed and trimmed
  • 1 small head of romaine lettuce, washed and trimmed
  • 3 large strawberries, washed and thinly sliced
  • 3 mandarines, peeled, segmented, seeds removed (or 1 small can of mandarines in their own juice)
  • 1 oz. finely shredded raw cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. TJ’s Greek Feta dressing
  • 9 small organic multi-colored potatoes
  • 1/2 small organic onion
  • 3 Tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. EV olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. purified water
  • 1 tsp. Himalaya salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Preparation for this recipe starts with the potato salad. Wash the potatoes, place them in a pot, add enough purified water to prevent them from burning – you may want to top off with additional water during the cooking process. Cook the potatoes for about 25-30 minutes. Drain any remaining water and let cool. Peel and thinly slice them. If the potatoes have been allowed to cool completely, you can use a mandolin for slicing, otherwise just use your trusted knife. Place in your favorite salad bowl. Now you may be wondering, where is the mayonnaise? In American cuisine, this is the generally familiar way of making potato salad. However, in Southern Germany, it is always prepared with oil and vinegar and we wanted to introduce you to this version. Chop the onion finely and add to the salad, top with salt and pepper, to taste. Then add the EVOO, apple cider vinegar and water. If you have fresh chives available, they would make a great addition to this salad. Just chop them finely. Thinly sliced cucumbers also make a wonderful and tasty addition. Again, those are options and for the simplicity of this recipe we just used the potatoes. Mix all the ingredients well and set the dish aside, covered, allowing all the ingredients to marinate and absorb the flavors. Intermittently turn over the ingredients to let the flavors incorporate well.

How Sustainable is your Seafood? - Rainbow German Potato Sald

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.

How Sustainable is Your Seafood? - Lemon, Basil Butter, Tellicherry Pepper

Place the sole fillets in a Pyrex baking dish. Add the juice of one lemon, marinating the fillets. Sprinkle with the tellicherry pepper and top the fillets with the shredded coconut.  Cut the basil leaves thinly and spread over the center. Cut the remaining lemon into thin slices and place over the fillets. Cube the butter and sprinkle on top.

How Sustainable is Your Seafood? - Fillet of Sole

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

While the fillets are baking, prepare the mixed green salad by washing, trimming and breaking the lettuce leaves into bite-sized pieces.  Wash and remove the stems on the strawberries. Cut the berries into thin slices. Peel the mandarines, break them into segments and remove seeds (or if unavailable, use a small can of mandarines and drain the liquid). Finely grate 1 oz. of raw cheese. Place all these ingredients in a salad bowl, adding the Greek style salad dressing (or, any dressing of your choice). Blend well.

How Sustainable is Your Seafood? - Mixed Green Salad with Raw Cheese

Remove the fillets of sole from the oven and serve immediately with the sides of green and potato salad. Let us know how you liked this easy to prepare, light summer dinner.


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