Demand for seafood has doubled over the past 30 years; three-quarters of the world’s oceans are now fished right up to their limit. Often we’re eating rare or endangered ocean species without realising it. This includes shark, commonly sold as ‘flake’ in fish and chip shops; and species such as orange roughy, bluefin tuna, swordfish, and toothfish. ‘Bycatch’ – fish caught unintentionally – often sees up to 15 tonnes of discarded fish per tonne of targeted seafood.
When buying sustainable seafood you want to ask a few questions:
Buy local. Ask where it’s from and if it’s imported ask for certified sustainable seafood.
Compulsory labeling of genetically modified food products, so people can choose to go GM-free.
* Palm oil is often listed as ‘vegetable oil’ on a product’s ingredients list. If the product can sit on your shelf for many months then your vegetable oil is probably heated to a high temperature and is damaged. This is known as a trans-fat and should be avoided.
Aquaponics is a nature-based system and can loosely be described as the combination of aquaculture and hydroponics. Aquaculture is fish keeping and hydroponics is the growing of plants in a soil-less medium.
- Faye Arcaro and Joel Malcolm
As I started to read about aquaponics I quickly became overwhelmed - it’s like a completely different way of gardening and seems terribly expensive to set up. I’m not entirely sold on the idea of eating food grown in water. It seems too artificial for me. What about all the trace elements?
Ideal fish in Australia for an aquaponics system include Barramundi, Catfish, Jade Perch, Murray Cod, Silver Perch and Trout.
Anyhow, here are some of the great resources I discovered….
Tuna is one of the most popular fish varieties, so it’s important that you buy from a sustainable source so that stock can be replenished. Also look for dolphin friendly.
If you consult yourAustralia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide, you’ll want to choose fish which are ranked “Green – Better choice”, such as Australian Bonito, troll or line caught Albacore Tuna and Skipjake Tuna. Bigeye Tuna, Southern Bluefin Tuna, Yellowfin tuna, and many imported canned tuna are on the “Red – no” rank.
Moules marinières is mussels cooked with white wine and herbs. It is traditionally from Brittany, France. A few years ago, a survey found that the average French person’s favourite dish was moules marinières.
When purchasing fresh mussels look for ones with firmly shut shells, and pry them open (if needed) with a knife before you serve them.
Julia Child recommends serving mussels with French bread and a light, dry white wine.
If you consult yourAustralia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide, you’ll want to choose seafood which are ranked “Green – Better choice”, such as Blue Mussels, and also a better choice are Green Mussels imported from New Zealand.
The best fish and chips recipe nominated by Tom Conran is by Susan Campbell and Caroline Conran for fish and chips from their ‘Family Cook’ cookbook , as featured in The Observer’s Top 50 favourite recipes.
Home cooked fish and chips are so much nicer and healthier than the ones bought from the corner grease up shop. They’ll provide you with a ridiculous amounts of chips that are copiously seasoned with salt.
The secret to good chips is that they are cooked twice at a precise temperature.
The trick with beer batter is much like that used with tempura batter: it needs to be cold. Make sure your beer is chilled.
If you consult yourAustralia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide, you’ll want to choose fish which are ranked “Green – Better choice”, such as Australian Bonito, Bream, Luderick, mullet, tailor and whiting.