Eating Sustainably | TENDING the TABLE

“In spite of all the talk and study about our next years, all the silent ponderings about what lies within them…it seems plain to us that many things are wrong in the present ones that can be, must be, changed. Our texture of belief has great holes in it. Our pattern lacks pieces.”

― M.F.K. Fisher

I just returned from a few days in Monterey, CA at the Sustainable Foods Institute; a two day conference hosted by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which brings together journalists, business leaders, producers and entrepreneurs to highlight salient issues affecting our food system and to discuss possible solutions.

The panels and topics were eye opening and I came away from the conference feeling newly inspired. I feel a little like I did my first year of college: like I actually can change the world. I know that this feeling of unbounded idealism will inevitably fade and be replaced by a tempered sense of insular action, but for now I’m excited to share what I’ve learned with you with the hope that something will resonate with you and inspire you to take action in your life. As Maria Damanaki, Managing Director of Oceans at the Nature Conservancy so eloquently put it: “If we want to change the world, we have to change ourselves.”

Eating Sustainably | TENDING the TABLE

Eating Sustainably | TENDING the TABLESo, let’s talk about tuna. I’ve heard a couple of people recount the first time they saw a picture of a tuna or learned that tuna can grow to over 900 pounds and live up to 50 years. “How does a fish like that fit into a can?” they recall asking themselves. This just goes to show the fundamental gaps between product and consumer in our broken food system.

Tuna is the third most consumed seafood in the United States and is entirely wild caught. Overfishing to meet the market’s demands, the fact that tuna grow very slowly, as well as unsustainable fishing methods that result in by-catch, have resulted in tuna stocks that are depleted as well as the destruction of coral reefs and other marine species. So, why not farm tuna and give the wild stocks a break while we go on eating our tuna sandwiches? According to Andre Boustany, the economics of farming tuna just don’t work out. It simply costs too much to feed these incredibly large fish, twice a day, until maturity. There is a lot to learn about tuna and I’m of the belief that we should understand where our food comes from before we decide to eat it. So, here are some resources if you’re interested and a recipe for a tuna salad alternative below:

1. Why Eating Sustainable Seafood Matters

2. International Seafood Sustainability Foundation

3. Tuna , A Love Story

And if you’ve decided that you still want to eat tuna, here’s a few ways to do so responsibly:

  1. Look for pole and troll caught albacore from the North Pacific, South Pacific and North Atlantic.
  2. Use the Seafood Watch App to help you decide what fish to buy.
  3. Look for canned tuna labeled with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) seal.

And now for a few quick announcements:

I’m so excited and honored to be featured in Woven Magazine’s latest issue. Jeremy and Christi are two of the most thoughtful, selfless and insightful people I know and I simply love the way they are sharing stories about real people through photography and the written word. Check it out here.

Also, our next Brunch at the Table to benefit City Fruit  and combat food waste (more on that later) is coming up and we have a really great menu planned along with some fantastic sponsors including Taiga Press, Local Roots Farm and Pitch Dark Chocolate. You can reserve a seat and donate ahead of time here. I hope to see you soon!

Eating Sustainably | TENDING the TABLE

CHICKPEA DELI SALAD

Barely Adapted From Sprouted Kitchen’s Bowl and Spoon

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 to 3 celery stalks, finely diced

1/4 cup minced red onion

1/3 cup golden raisins or currants

2 cups cooked chickpeas, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

PROCEDURE

In a bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and a few pinches of salt and pepper.

Add the celery, red onion, chickpeas and parsley. Stir everything together to mix well. Serve with crackers or bread.