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Happy Heart, Happy Ocean
In case you didn’t already know, it’s National Nutrition Week here in South Africa and I’m really honoured that the Marine Stewardship Council asked me to be a voice for them as part of their ‘Happy Heart, Happy Ocean’ campaign to raise awareness for healthy and sustainably sourced seafood as part of our everyday lives.
So here are a few things I thought you should know about eating Sustainable Seafood
– Wild seafood is the only food source that is still truly wild and so it’s more important that ever to support the right channels, and we can give our voice to these initiatives by supporting MSC certified sustainable seafood and therefore add our support to preserving oceans and fish stocks for future generations.
They make this easy for us by adding an easily identifiable blue eco-label to any products that have been approved as wild, traceable and sustainable.
– Globally, over 3 billion people worldwide eat seafood as their primary protein, and the fishing livelihoods linked to that are obviously significant
Our voices as consumers are so much more powerful than we think, and so it makes a significant difference if we choose to support causes like the MSC and their traceable, sustainable seafood offers, focusing on ocean to plate sustainability all the way to our plates.
A little more about the Happy Heart, Happy Ocean Campaign
“Seafood that’s good for you, and the ocean too”
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is the global ocean NGO for sustainable seafood, and they’ve teamed up with the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa to raise awareness amongst South Africans of the importance of sustainable seafood that also supports good heart health.
If you’ve followed my food journey for a while, you’ll already know how passionate I am about eating food that’s full of goodness, and that’s good for our planet and supports sustainability. And it’s been amazing to see this conversation evolve so much over the past few years.
We all have a responsibility as consumers, and as global citizens, to know where our food comes from, to use our voices to support the people who are doing it with care, to minimize food waste, and do this with pride and joy, because our voices matter and collectively, they will make a difference.
Eating well and having a planet that is well looked after should not be two mutually exclusive concepts, and they don’t have to be. However, to maintain the Earth’s delicate balance, with a population that is heading towards a staggering 9 Billion by 2050, we need to dramatically change our food choices and eating habits, and put more sustainably sourced food on our plates.
And this is where our world’s Oceans come in – they’re an incredible source of wild and healthy seafood that has almost no negative inputs such as pesticides, and the potential to fill a huge gap in world food needs and replenish itself if fished carefully and sustainably.
So where do we start?
Having recently launched my new plant-based cookbook Super Natural (which you can read more about here) I know that a lot of people worry about how to maintain healthy protein levels in their diets if they are eating more veggies. If that’s a worry for you, then think about incorporating more sustainably sourced fish in your weekly menu at home. It has significant sources of Vitamin D and valuable minerals.
Also, a carbon foot print that’s similar to that of vegetarians is pretty hard to ignore.
So, in short, to get on board and make a difference, we need to educate ourselves, find good sources of certified sustainably sourced seafood near to where we live, eat more fish, and eat as close to all of those fish as we possibly can.
This recipe for beautiful Hake en Papillote is loaded with delicious Asian flavours and works well with a whole fish, making it the perfect place to start. Enjoy!