By Rich Bindell
While traveling through Oregon’s central coast in July, I stopped in Newport, a pretty port town with a lot of seafood places. I quickly learned that the local version of crab chowder meant Dungeness crab, as opposed to the Maryland Blue Crab I’ve grown accustomed to in and around the District of Columbia region. I asked the server if she knew where the crab was from, an important question, even when eating in a seaside town.
She pointed and said, “See that red boat over there, third from the left? That’s our guy. He just brought it over two hours ago.” “That’s great,” I replied. “Sorry to doubt you. I just want to make sure that if I’m in a great seaside town like this, I actually get to enjoy genuine, locally caught seafood.” She agreed and wondered aloud why it’s so hard to figure out seafood these days.
“That’s why we have the Smart Seafood Guide,” I enthusiastically shouted!
We’re still technically in the middle of summer, with plenty of primetime for enjoying the edible gems of our lakes, rivers and seas. While it can be rather challenging to find locally-sourced, sustainably caught seafood at restaurants and supermarkets, it’s not impossible. Like solving a puzzle, you just have to learn to ask the right questions.
That’s why Food & Water Watch publishes our Smart Seafood Guide. We’re happy to introduce our new model for you, which includes a special section called, “5 Things to Consider When Ordering Seafood,” that should prove helpful to anyone looking to make it a little easier to make smart decisions about seafood.
1. Local fish are few and far between.
2. “Atlantic” salmon is farmed salmon.
3. “Organic” seafood is not what it seems.
4. Beware of imported shrimp.
5. Bivalve shellfish are often good options.
For more detail behind the Big 5, check out our Smart Seafood Guide, which still includes our classic Dirty Dozen list. What’s the sixth thing to consider, you ask? Make sure you remember to have the Smart Seafood Guide with you when you get a hankering for a hunk of haddock or halibut or… you get the idea. Just make sure you get the guide.