AUTHOR: Director of Digital and Marketing Services, Open Blue
What inspired you to support the Food Made Good Awards?
Without sustainability actions by everyone, our planet is in deep trouble. The Sustainable Restaurant Association’s Food Made Good Awards reward positive changes made in a variety of categories and shine a light on how actually to do it. In addition to education, the Food Made Good Awards also support and foster innovation and creativity. At Open Blue, we share an alignment with the SRA in doing what is right for our sustainable future, not what is easy. We see a need in the food industry for all parties to challenge each other. We see changes to old behaviours as critical to successful sustainability efforts and in direct alignment with the SRA’s sustainability goals, the UN 2030 Sustainability Development Goals as well as the goals of Open Blue to raise fish in harmony with nature in their natural ocean habitat while caring for human and ocean health.
How do you see the category you’re aligning with help accelerate positive change in hospitality?
The Source Fish Responsibly Award is incredibly important to the intersection of the foodservice industry and the sustainable food movement. Many parties in the foodservice industry need information to understand the relationship between aquaculture and wild caught seafood.
Replacing over-fished wild seafood species with alternate sustainable species, education on the health benefits of ocean aquaculture seafood as well as on sustainability certifications are a beginning. We all want globally responsible food choices that have a reduced carbon footprint and help save the fish we have left in our lakes, rivers and oceans. This award will accelerate innovative and responsible change in sourcing fish responsibly by recognizing actions, innovation and leadership in the sustainable seafood movement by chefs, restaurants and foodservice. Together, we can redefine sustainable seafood as well as create a culture of climate resilience.
What sustainability issue do you expect to rise to the fore in 2020 and why?
Zero Waste is the sustainability issue that will become increasingly important in 2020 as it impacts all aspects of consumption: food waste, single use plastics, processing biproducts, energy sources, water use, agricultural practices, transportation. Humanity is currently using nature 1.75 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate. The cost to our current lifestyle is irrevocable climate change. Fresh seafood waste or “shrink” is a staggering 10-20%. Shifting from a “fresh from the boat” or catch of the day” model to deep frozen fish from aquaculture maximizes the use of limited global marine resources by nearly eliminating fresh seafood loss. In addition, fish from aquaculture is the lowest impact way to produce animal protein. Fish is also an ideal swap for higher carbon footprint proteins like beef, pork or chicken. Reducing food waste and the substitution of seafood for land-based animal protein will improve sustainability in foodservice.