Sustainability is a simple matter of the combinations of small decisions we make every day. One of the choices that we have the opportunity to make regards the amount of seafood that we serve. Portion size can be the most effective tool we have to begin to create a more sustainable relationship with our ocean. A complete meal of delicious crispy broiled broccoli lightly spiced with chili flakes and buttery, nutty, aromatic jasmine rice pilaf can be such a compelling meal that – oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention the broiled salmon that was served with it.
In this country we tend to read menus from left to right placing the most importance on the protein, or the center of the plate as it’s called in restaurants. What if we read menus in the opposite way, giving much of the import to the accompanying vegetables?
When I shop for dinner for my wife and I, we usually decide what greens and grains to cook first and then go pick up 1/2 of a pound of whatever sustainable seafood is the best that day at market. Not only are we participating in better nutrition by eating more vegetables, our meals tend to be cheaper, and we are placing a minimum impact on our ocean by eating only what is enough. And we still get the great satisfaction of delicious meal of the seafood we crave. By savoring the seafood that we are lucky enough to eat, we actually participate in the delight of it to a greater extent.
Reducing our portions of seafood and increasing our consumption of vegetables is a step we can all easily take. We can start tonight and it requires no skill or advanced learning of sustainability issues. Actually, we should do it simply because it is better for our bodies and our wallets.
Sounds like an easy sell to me.
Blue Ocean Institute Fellow
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