Table Talk: May 12

Casson Trenor on sustainable seafood

By
May 5, 2011

(Editor’s note: This chat is over, but the transcript is available to read here. And join Kim for another Table Talk chat soon.)

On May 12, Kim welcomes sustainable-seafood expert Casson Trenor, author of Sustainable Sushi: A Guide to Saving the Oceans One Bite at a Time.

Trenor is also the author of a new Greenpeace report on seafood sales at grocery stores that Kim wrote about in a recent article for USA Today:

Environmental organization Greenpeace has released the results of its latest seafood scorecard, ranking the purchasing practices of 20 supermarket retailers nationwide — and Safeway is at the top of the list, ahead of such specialty food markets as Whole Foods and Wegmans.
It is the fifth edition of Carting Away the Oceans since June 2008, when all 20 retailers received a failing score for their seafood sourcing and purchasing, says Casson Trenor, Greenpeace senior markets campaigner and author of the report. This time, Trenor says, “15 out of 20 are within passing range. In less than three years, this is incredible progress.”
Casson Trenor

Learn more about how supermarkets are changing when it comes to the sale of fish, plus answers to your questions about buying sustainable seafood.

The chat takes place right here on Thursday, May 12, at 10 a.m. PT, 1 p.m. ET.

Bring your questions, suggestions, and links. Sign up below to receive an email reminder of the chat.

See you Thursday.


 Table Talk with Kim O'Donnel - May 12, 2011(05/12/2011) 
9:48
Kim ODonnel: 
Coming up at the top of the hour: The state of our seas -- and our seafood counters (and sustainable choices), with Casson Trenor at Greenpeace. Hope you'll join us!
Thursday May 12, 2011 9:48 Kim ODonnel
9:49
Casson Trenor: 
Mornin'
Thursday May 12, 2011 9:49 Casson Trenor
9:58
Kim ODonnel: 
Very excited to introduce this week's guest Casson Trenor, an impassioned advocate for seafood. Among many other things, Casson is the author of Sustainable Sushi (http://www.sustainablesushi.net/) and has consulted sushi restaurant owners around the country on overhauling their menus to include sustainably caught species. He is the author of the recent Greenpeace (where he works) report on retail seafood counters, which grades 20 major retailers on their buying practices and conservation efforts. The link to my USA Today story is at the top of this page.

So let's give Casson a big warm welcome and ask him about what to buy (or not) and how to navigate the ever-changing, often-confusing world of seafood.
Thursday May 12, 2011 9:58 Kim ODonnel
10:02
Kim ODonnel: 
Casson, thanks for joining us. I feel like every morning I wake up and there's something new to learn about seafood. How does a regular person who does do seafood for a living keep up?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:02 Kim ODonnel
10:02
Kim C.: 
Hi Kim and Casson! Thanks for doing this chat. I have a really basic question, which is this: We don't eat much fish at our house (wild salmon when we do), and I sometimes think we should be eating more. But then other times, I hear about the depleted seafood populations and I think we should stop eating all fish. How do you reconcile the health message that fish is great for you! with the sustainability question?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:02 Kim C.
10:02
Casson Trenor: 
Hi Kim.. and hi Kim :-)
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:02 Casson Trenor
10:03
Casson Trenor: 
Kim C, that is a great question and I hear it a lot. It's difficult to confront all the problems facing our oceans and fish populations without just throwing one's hands up and swearing off seafood altogether.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:03 Casson Trenor
10:04
Casson Trenor: 
What I would encourage you to consider is that you, as a consumer, are the part of the most powerful force out there in terms of designating how our oceans our managed. Depending on where you put your money, different parts of the seafood industry are rewarded financially.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:04 Casson Trenor
10:05
Casson Trenor: 
As such, by shifting to sustainable seafood options, you can actually help to revitalize the ocean and redesign the seafood industry for the modern age. Just stopping one's consumption of seafood may help in the short run, but in the end, the men and women that are in fact trying to do the right thing won't benefit from that.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:05 Casson Trenor
10:05
Kim ODonnel: 
So who, in your estimation, is doing the right thing?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:05 Kim ODonnel
10:05
Kim C.: 
So, that I suppose in part that means shopping at places that purchase fish from reputable sources. Which is why the Greenpeace report is so helpful.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:05 Kim C.
10:05
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
I'm here!
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:05 Jeanne in Seattle
10:06
Kim ODonnel: 
Hey Jeanne, what do you serve your family in terms of seafood?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:06 Kim ODonnel
10:06
Casson Trenor: 
The Greenpeace report is designed to arm consumers with information regarding exactly that, yes.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:06 Casson Trenor
10:06
Kim ODonnel: 
Casson do you have link handy to the report?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:06 Kim ODonnel
10:07
[Comment From Guest Guest : ] 
Hola! Jacqueline Church here...
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:07 Guest
10:07
Kim ODonnel: 
Hey Jackie! Welcome.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:07 Kim ODonnel
10:07
Casson Trenor: 
http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/media-center/reports/Carting-Away-the-Oceans-V/
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:07 Casson Trenor
10:07
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
We eat salmon, halibut, clams, shrimp, and canned tuna (from Wild Planet). We are a seafood loving family, but I read labels and do research.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:07 Jeanne in Seattle
10:08
[Comment From Guest Guest : ] 
Jeanne that's what we all must do now, eat less of it, choose it more carefully. Good job.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:08 Guest
10:09
Kim ODonnel: 
Casson, assuming folks educate themselves and learn which retailers are doing what, can you speak to species. I realize it changes all the time, but can you offer up a few rules of thumb when buying?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:09 Kim ODonnel
10:09
Casson Trenor: 
That's how I feel as well. The days of raiding the seas with impunity for protein are gone. We are too numerous, we have technology that is too effective... the fish no longer stand a chance. And as such, we must be more precautionary and pro-active in how we manage our fishing effort.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:09 Casson Trenor
10:09
[Comment From Guest Guest : ] 
I just learned of Fishermen's Daughter shrimp from Mexico. Looks like they pay attention to by-catch reduction, etc. Very nice product.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:09 Guest
10:09
Casson Trenor: 
Sure, Kim, I can do that.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:09 Casson Trenor
10:10
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Also, I check the list from the Monterey Bay Aquarium on endangered species. (also, from my hometown--yay)
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:10 Jeanne in Seattle
10:10
[Comment From Guest Guest : ] 
Casson thanks for the thoughtful report. I referred to it in training our local specialty grocers.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:10 Guest
10:10
Casson Trenor: 
There's a cheat sheet rule that I like to use. Assuming one doesn't have a wallet card or iPhone app handy, this often helps -- it's called the "4-S Rule." It was designed to apply to sushi but it works across the board.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:10 Casson Trenor
10:10
Casson Trenor: 
Bear in mind there are exceptions to this, but it tends to steer us in the right direction. Here's how it works:
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:10 Casson Trenor
10:11
Casson Trenor: 
There are four words that start with the letter "S" that we can keep in mind at the seafood counter / sushi bar.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:11 Casson Trenor
10:12
Casson Trenor: 
1) "S"mall. If we eat smaller fish, we stay away from the big predators (90% of which are already gone). This shifts our overall demand to more resilient fish -- smaller fish tend to be designed to resist predatory pressure to a larger degree -- ad it keeps our mercury levels down.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:12 Casson Trenor
10:13
Casson Trenor: 
2) "S"easonal. Eating seasonally will keep us away from promoting the massive industrialized farming industries that have sprung up to cater to the year-round demand for things like salmon. Seasonal seafood consumption reduces our overall carbon footprint and reconnects us with our food supply.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:13 Casson Trenor
10:14
Casson Trenor: 
3) "S"ilver. This is a bit of a strange one, since it's really based on sushi bar technique, but bear with me -- fish from colder waters tend to have more of a silver sheen to them. Sticking to things with silver skins -- mackerels, sardines, herring, salmon -- bumps up our Omega-3 consumption and keeps us away from tropical reef fish, deep sea fish, and other stocks that tend to be mismanaged and destructively fished.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:14 Casson Trenor
10:16
Casson Trenor: 
and 4) "S"hellfish. Bivalves like clams, mussels, oysters, and scallops are some of the most defensible animals that we can farm in the ocean since they require no feed input and actually can help to clean the water. Clearly we need to exercise moderation in our options, but when compared to a salmon farm or shrimp farm, an oyster farm is vastly superior from an environmental standpoint.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:16 Casson Trenor
10:16
Kim ODonnel: 
Casson, this is AWESOME. How do you recommend folks find out what's seasonal in their regions? The seafood guides don't really speak to that.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:16 Kim ODonnel
10:16
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Seasonal: right on! We are so lucky to have fab seafood in Seattle. I like to watch what's seasonal, buy a whole fish and have them cut it for me, and then I freeze it. Voila--easy, less expensive, and good for the seas (I think)
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:16 Jeanne in Seattle
10:16
Casson Trenor: 
So there you have it -- it's not perfect, certainly, but in general, if we keep the 4-S rule in mind we'll do alright.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:16 Casson Trenor
10:17
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
I collected various links on seasonality here: http://jacquelinechurch.com/pig-tales-a-fish-friends/1950-seasonality-
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:17 Jackie
10:17
Kim ODonnel: 
Excellent, Jackie. will have a look. I seriously doubt that most folks know which fish are in season...
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:17 Kim ODonnel
10:18
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
Can you speak to the CSFs Community Supported Fisheries modeled after farm CSAs. Maybe only an issue on the two coasts but some are much better than others IMO at addressing the issues of gear/habitat destruction, for example.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:18 Jackie
10:18
Casson Trenor: 
Kim, that's a really important question and it's one that can be hard to answer. I grew up in the Pacific NW and it seemed like the seasonality of seafood was just part of the cultural lexicon... everyone knew when salmon season was starting, when crabbing season would start, etc. But since I moved away, I've realized that in many other places, people don't have that same access to seasonality information.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:18 Casson Trenor
10:19
Kim ODonnel: 
Casson, they really don't. I suppose folks in the Gulf know when shrimp is coming in, and oysters, but short of that...you're right -- the year-round availability has really muddied the waters (sorry for the pun).
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:19 Kim ODonnel
10:19
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
Kim it's hard when aquaculture and industrial fishing obliterate our ability to know what is truly seasonal.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:19 Jackie
10:19
Casson Trenor: 
Luckily, with the resurgence of the local food movement, that is really starting to change. Even a lot of state agricultural commissions, seafood marketing bureaus, etc., are starting to make their seasonal charts publicly available online.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:19 Casson Trenor
10:20
Kim ODonnel: 
Are the retailers in the report doing a better job of educating consumers on seasonality? Any one that stands out?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:20 Kim ODonnel
10:20
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
I think that's part of the appeal to CSFs you know the season by what they are catching,
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:20 Jackie
10:20
Casson Trenor: 
Some are really making tremendous progress, yes.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:20 Casson Trenor
10:20
Kim ODonnel: 
Names...?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:20 Kim ODonnel
10:21
Kim ODonnel: 
Jackie, are CSFs taking off in New England? I would love to be part of one out this way.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:21 Kim ODonnel
10:21
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
Can you speak to the Vietnam shrimp farming? Roger Berkowitz a self-proclaimed "humble fishmonger" and champion of sustainable seafood has just promoted some written about here:http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com/2011/05/roger-berkowitz-vietnam-shrimp-farms.html
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:21 Jackie
10:21
Casson Trenor: 
When in comes to consumer education, we're really talking about transparency. How easy does the market make it for the customer to understand what s/he is actually buying, as well as the environmental repercussions of that choice?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:21 Casson Trenor
10:21
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Also, our Whole Foods always has a list of what's in season. They advertise their fish that way.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:21 Jeanne in Seattle
10:22
Casson Trenor: 
To illustrate how the markets are beginning to move forward, let's take a look at a conventional, long-standing market in the Southern US -- Harris Teeter.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:22 Casson Trenor
10:22
Casson Trenor: 
HT has been around for decades and is a household name in the Carolinas, Georgia, and that area. It has never been known for environmental awareness -- but recently has engaged in seafood sustainability in a big way, especially in transparency.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:22 Casson Trenor
10:23
Casson Trenor: 
I encourage you all to visit this link: http://www.harristeeter.com/in_our_stores/departments/fishermans_market/sustainable_seafood.aspx
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:23 Casson Trenor
10:23
Casson Trenor: 
The company has taken it upon itself to list every seafood product they offer in a single informational clearinghouse, detailing catch methods, areas, latin names, and other critical info.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:23 Casson Trenor
10:23
Kim ODonnel: 
Oh, that's great news. HT is big in the DC area, where seafood options have really shrunk. I love this.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:23 Kim ODonnel
10:24
[Comment From Erin Erin : ] 
Here! So happy to have this forum, because I am increasingly confused by seafood. I live in a land-locked area where I can get local trout, wild salmon when budget allows (local guy goes up each summer to catch it) and whatever is at the store fish-counter. Being a land-locked area, I don't trust the fish counter where the mongers read a by-line from the store about sustainability (blah, blah, blah), but don't seem to know much about the sources of the fish they are selling. Tips? Tricks? And, I'm confused by canned tuna and the Monteray Bay Aquarium app: there are several kinds of tuna, and a lot of them seem to be both bad and good and best choices. What is the cut and dried "final word" on canned tuna? Thanks.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:24 Erin
10:24
Casson Trenor: 
Hi Erin, thanks for the question. I wish I had a quick, simple answer for you on canned tuna.... but there really isn't one. So I'll give you a long-winded answer. :-)
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:24 Casson Trenor
10:25
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
Kim CSFs are very popular here. One speaks to enviro issues the other pretty much completely ignores.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:25 Jackie
10:25
Casson Trenor: 
There are two types of canned tuna in the US -- "white" and "light".
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:25 Casson Trenor
10:25
Casson Trenor: 
"White" tuna is albacore. "Light" tuna is anything else.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:25 Casson Trenor
10:25
[Comment From Erin Erin : ] 
"Light" isn't in my vocabulary. :)
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:25 Erin
10:26
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
Kim the DC and New England connection via Striper/Rockfish is a good example of why we need more than single species/single locale management scheme.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:26 Jackie
10:26
Casson Trenor: 
If you enjoy white tuna, the best thing to do is to find a domestic producer that avoids destructive fishing gear. Albacore is often longlined, which results in high levels of bycatch including birds, turtles, and sharks. To get better albacore, look for a can that says "pole-and-line" on it. Wild Planet is a good option.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:26 Casson Trenor
10:28
Kim ODonnel: 
Casson, here in Seattle, we're able to get Vessel St. Jude canned tuna. You know about these folks, right?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:28 Kim ODonnel
10:28
Casson Trenor: 
In terms of light tuna, my honest suggestion is to just avoid it for now as much as possible. It's extremely difficult to find responsibly caught skipjack and/or yellowfin in the US canned industry at this point... but this is changing. Look to some of the leading grocery stores within the CATO V report to launch new proprietary sustainable light tuna lines in the near future.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:28 Casson Trenor
10:28
Casson Trenor: 
St. Jude is an excellent option as well, Kim.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:28 Casson Trenor
10:29
Kim ODonnel: 
It's an awesome product, too. It's available at both the farm markets and in some of the local supermarkets such as Metropolitan Market.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:29 Kim ODonnel
10:29
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
We eat Wild Planet canned tuna exclusively. And, bonus: it's in BPA-free cans!
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:29 Jeanne in Seattle
10:30
Kim ODonnel: 
That's exciting news about the sustaino light tuna lines in retailers...is there an ETA?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:30 Kim ODonnel
10:30
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
My husband always bought the skipjack b/c it was cheaper. But, I had to tell him to buy the albacore. It's hard to keep on top of these things.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:30 Jeanne in Seattle
10:30
Kim ODonnel: 
Jeanne, it is SO hard to keep on top of things. Casson, do you have recs for seafood guides?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:30 Kim ODonnel
10:31
Casson Trenor: 
Well, there are two milestones -- the announcement of the initiative, and then actually getting the cans out into the stores. I'd say the first will probably take place within the next couple of months. The second, I'm not sure.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:31 Casson Trenor
10:31
Kim ODonnel: 
And is the goal to make it affordable?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:31 Kim ODonnel
10:31
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
Jeanne - I feel tuna is a good example of eating much less, carefully chosen, better quality and appreciating it more.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:31 Jackie
10:32
Casson Trenor: 
Seafood guides? I have some options, yes. There's Greenpeace's red list -- admittedly, it tends to be broad, but it can help in a lot of areas. http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/campaigns/oceans/seafood/red-fish/
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:32 Casson Trenor
10:33
Casson Trenor: 
Then of course there are the numerous regional guides produced by the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program: http://www.seafoodwatch.org
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:33 Casson Trenor
10:33
Kim ODonnel: 
Canned tuna is also a good example of cheap protein that is available in drugstores, airport shops, gas stations. I believe it's still part of WIC program.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:33 Kim ODonnel
10:33
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Jackie, yes so true. Also, I look at buying canned tuna the same I look at buying organic: good is usually more expensive, but then again, we don't eat much processed food. So, it balances out in the end.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:33 Jeanne in Seattle
10:33
Casson Trenor: 
And, if you like sushi, there's always my website -- http://www.sustainablesushi.net
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:33 Casson Trenor
10:33
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Casson: we use the Monterey Bay Aquarium list a lot.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:33 Jeanne in Seattle
10:34
Kim ODonnel: 
Casson has been instrumental in helping sushi restaurants overhaul their menus, including Machiko here in Seattle!
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:34 Kim ODonnel
10:34
Casson Trenor: 
Jeanne, I'm glad to hear that. The folks at MBA/SFW work very hard and are very passionate about ocean conservation. They're always glad to hear that people are using the information they disseminate.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:34 Casson Trenor
10:34
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Casson: I will check out your site. Our family (esp my 11 yo daughter) is a big sushi family.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:34 Jeanne in Seattle
10:35
Kim ODonnel: 
Casson, Erin's point about being land locked is a common one for so many Americans. Tips along those lines?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:35 Kim ODonnel
10:35
Casson Trenor: 
Thanks! And yes, as Kim said, pay a visit to Mashiko in West Seattle -- it's a bit irreverent, but the head chef is a true champion for sustainability.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:35 Casson Trenor
10:35
Casson Trenor: 
Yes, sorry that question got away from me!
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:35 Casson Trenor
10:36
[Comment From Erin Erin : ] 
Thank you so very much; I am trying to be selective regarding canned tuna, enjoying it for many of the reasons mentioned (affordable source of protien, readily available). I appreciate your answer!
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:36 Erin
10:36
Casson Trenor: 
It can be difficult for folks living in landlocked areas to access a wide enough variety of seafood to provide them with more than a few sustainable options. A lot of landlocked communities seem to have endless supplies of farmed salmon and farmed shrimp, but little else.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:36 Casson Trenor
10:37
Kim ODonnel: 
For the record, can you explain why farmed salmon and farmed shrimp are unsustainable choices?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:37 Kim ODonnel
10:37
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
I'm thinking a family trip to Mashiko is in our near future.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:37 Jeanne in Seattle
10:37
Kim ODonnel: 
Jeanne, it's in my neighborhood!
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:37 Kim ODonnel
10:37
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
And Bun Lai in New Haven. Talk about changing the focus.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:37 Jackie
10:37
Casson Trenor: 
I would encourage you to eat local when possible -- freshwater fish that are locally caught or raised are almost certainly going to be a vastly better choice than those imported products. Trout, catfish, walleye, crawfish, and freshwater prawns are all examples of growing industries in the US midwest.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:37 Casson Trenor
10:37
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
And I try to refocus my attention on what "cost" means. Cost to my planet, my health must be factored into what used to be just cost in my wallet
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:37 Jackie
10:38
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
In the old days, I'd stock up on sales of unsustainable tuna, before I learned about that choice and its impact. Now, I value it more because I pay more and know WHY I'm paying more.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:38 Jackie
10:38
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Casson: Also, Monterey is my hometown, so I feel like it's "my aquarium." And they do so much good work!
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:38 Jeanne in Seattle
10:39
Casson Trenor: 
That said, don't be afraid to splurge once in a while when you do encounter sustainable ocean seafood that's made it to your community. As I mentioned earlier, it's important for us to reward fishermen that are doing the right thing. So if you happen to find some frozen Alaskan sockeye or Monterey Bay sardines in your local grocer's wetcase, snap them up!
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:39 Casson Trenor
10:39
Kim ODonnel: 
Speaking of Monterey, they are hosting their annual Seafood Solutions confab & expo next weekend...great event.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:39 Kim ODonnel
10:39
Kim ODonnel: 
Oh, to get local sardines...
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:39 Kim ODonnel
10:39
[Comment From Erin Erin : ] 
AMEN, Jackie
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:39 Erin
10:40
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
Some mail order options are avaialble now like ILoveBlueSea for landlocked friends
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:40 Jackie
10:40
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
Can you talk about the frozen options like MSC fish being carried by big box stores?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:40 Jackie
10:40
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
The other thing I think is important re: apps and wallet cards is to look at the reports avail on the website. They're getting better at updating them more frequently.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:40 Jackie
10:40
Casson Trenor: 
At the end of the day, even if we're not buying the perfect product, we can always support a business that's trying to make a difference. So Erin, I would also suggest considering shifting your shopping habits to buy your seafood at a store that's demonstrating progress in these areas. You can use the Greenpeace state-by-state store look-up tool to identify the top companies in your area. http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/campaigns/oceans/seafood/supermarket/
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:40 Casson Trenor
10:41
Casson Trenor: 
Kim's right -- Cooking for Solutions is upon us again. I'll be there, hope to see you all as well!
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:41 Casson Trenor
10:42
Kim ODonnel: 
Jackie: I agree on the seafood cards. And I think the more regional the cards, the better...and those cards are now avail as an iPhone app!
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:42 Kim ODonnel
10:42
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Jackie: oo, good to know. I was just going to ask about that. I also send fish to friends from our fishmongers here.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:42 Jeanne in Seattle
10:42
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
and have the conversation with the fishmonger. if they want your business they will want to make better choices, but if no one speaks up, they don't know the demand is there
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:42 Jackie
10:42
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
Also folks like Gulkana Direct where the fisherman ships directly to the consumer (Cordova AK salmon.)
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:42 Jackie
10:43
Kim ODonnel: 
I spent a week in western Alaska a few Septembers ago, with Yupik salmon fisherman along the Yukon River. It forever changed me.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:43 Kim ODonnel
10:43
[Comment From Erin Erin : ] 
Thank you, Casson. That is an excellent point, and one that I am happy to adopt (as well as supporting local fishermen whom I can ask, person to person, about catching or farming practice).
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:43 Erin
10:43
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
http://www.gulkanaseafoodsdirect.com/
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:43 Jackie
10:43
Kim ODonnel: 
Thank you, Jackie!
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:43 Kim ODonnel
10:44
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
Kim I feel the same about Cordova.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:44 Jackie
10:44
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
I http://www.suite101.com/content/sustainable-seafood-delivered-i-love-blue-sea-makes-a-splash-a223132
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:44 Jackie
10:44
Kim ODonnel: 
All these great seafood resources. Love it.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:44 Kim ODonnel
10:44
Casson Trenor: 
It is a good thing to see the proliferation of these resources, Kim. I agree.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:44 Casson Trenor
10:45
Casson Trenor: 
The difficulty arises when they offer conflicting information.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:45 Casson Trenor
10:45
Kim ODonnel: 
Hey -- can you talk about the recent Tilapia story?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:45 Kim ODonnel
10:46
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Cynthia Nims has also spent time w/Alaska fisherpeople. Have you chatted w/her about it?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:46 Jeanne in Seattle
10:46
Kim ODonnel: 
Jeanne, I haven't. Didn't know. Thanks for letting me know.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:46 Kim ODonnel
10:47
Casson Trenor: 
Tilapia? Sure. Tilapia is kind of the wonder bread of fish, in my opinion.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:47 Casson Trenor
10:47
Casson Trenor: 
In many cases, it doesn't contain the nutrients that we are looking for when we decide to purchase seafood.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:47 Casson Trenor
10:48
Kim ODonnel: 
There are 2 new cookbooks out on sustainable seafood: Good Fish by Becky Selengut (who's here in Seattle) and For Cod and Country (love that title) by Barton Seaver who's on the east coast. Haven't gotten my mitts on them yet but looking forward.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:48 Kim ODonnel
10:48
Casson Trenor: 
It can certainly be high-quality, and it can certainly taste good -- but it's probably not the best place to look for Omega-3s.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:48 Casson Trenor
10:48
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Casson: that is an awesome comparison!
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:48 Jeanne in Seattle
10:49
Kim ODonnel: 
Casson, I had wild tilapia in Uganda about 6 years ago and it was like eating a different species. They grill it whole there. It actually has character, flavor...
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:49 Kim ODonnel
10:49
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
Has anyone seen Kurlansky's book yet? For kids?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:49 Jackie
10:49
Casson Trenor: 
I really like both of those books, I agree. Bart and Becky are both extremely talented individuals. Bart's concentration on the social aspects of sustainable seafood is very interesting, and Becky is a master when it comes to seasonality.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:49 Casson Trenor
10:49
Kim ODonnel: 
No! Tell us more, Jackie!
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:49 Kim ODonnel
10:49
[Comment From Erin Erin : ] 
So Casson, what kind of advance research do you do before heading out to a restaurant that boasts of seafood on its menu?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:49 Erin
10:49
Casson Trenor: 
Wild African tilapia is indeed an entirely different animal. Quite literally.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:49 Casson Trenor
10:50
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
I think the farming methods for the "bad" tilapia has a lot to do with the nutrition and flavor profile
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:50 Jackie
10:50
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
I have the Good Fish book! It's terrific--and Becky Selengut is here in Seattle. I think she's going to the Monterey event in a couple of weeks.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:50 Jeanne in Seattle
10:50
Casson Trenor: 
Jackie's right. You get out what you put in.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:50 Casson Trenor
10:51
Casson Trenor: 
Erin, that's an interesting question -- I'm not sure anyone's ever asked me that before. I have to be honest -- I almost never go out elsewhere for seafood (that's one of the great luxuries of having your own sustainable sushi restaurant!)
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:51 Casson Trenor
10:52
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
http://www.wbur.org/2011/04/22/kurlansky-fish-book -> NPR story on Mark Kurlansky's kid/seafood book.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:52 Jackie
10:52
Casson Trenor: 
But when I do, I think I just make some agreements with myself beforehand -- what am I willing to order? How long has it been since I last indulged myself? Things like that. Seafood should be a celebration, you know?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:52 Casson Trenor
10:52
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Casson: do you only eat sushi fish?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:52 Jeanne in Seattle
10:52
Casson Trenor: 
Not at all! My two favorite seafood items in the world are Dungeness crab and fresh American crawfish.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:52 Casson Trenor
10:53
Casson Trenor: 
Neither of which has traditionally had a role in sushi (although I'm trying to change that!)
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:53 Casson Trenor
10:53
Kim ODonnel: 
Okay, since shrimp is one of America's faves...what are the better choices when buying?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:53 Kim ODonnel
10:53
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
How do we know that tilapia to buy? Not that I've ever bought it...
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:53 Jeanne in Seattle
10:53
Casson Trenor: 
With seven minutes to go, Kim pulls out the shrimp question. I guess i knew it was coming at some point. :-)
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:53 Casson Trenor
10:54
Kim ODonnel: 
HA!
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:54 Kim ODonnel
10:54
Casson Trenor: 
Shrimp is complicated. I mean, REALLY complicated. But I'll do my best. Again, we have a cheat sheet.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:54 Casson Trenor
10:54
[Comment From Erin Erin : ] 
Thanks for the shrimp question, Kim. I have the same one... especially given the muck in the Gulf and off-shore pollution.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:54 Erin
10:55
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Kim: thanks for that question. Shrimp is where I get lost in how to choose it.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:55 Jeanne in Seattle
10:55
Casson Trenor: 
The best choices in shrimp all generally come from cold water.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:55 Casson Trenor
10:56
Casson Trenor: 
Trap-caught spot prawns from BC and the US west coast tend to be great options. Coon-stripes from AK are really nice. Oregon pinks are great as well.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:56 Casson Trenor
10:56
Casson Trenor: 
There are some good, well-managed prawns off the coast of New England as well. Jackie probably knows more about those than I do.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:56 Casson Trenor
10:56
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Casson: loving the names of the shrimp. Never heard of Coon stripes or pinks.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:56 Jeanne in Seattle
10:57
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
Spot prawns from BC or Santa Barbara
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:57 Jackie
10:57
Casson Trenor: 
When you start getting into warmer water, things get dicey. You end up in countries with less oversight and fewer regulations.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:57 Casson Trenor
10:57
Kim ODonnel: 
Er...re: warmer waters: what about our own Gulf of Mexico?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:57 Kim ODonnel
10:57
Casson Trenor: 
Kim's throwing straight-up grenades now.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:57 Casson Trenor
10:58
Kim ODonnel: 
I can't help myself. I'm a reporter after all..
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:58 Kim ODonnel
10:58
Casson Trenor: 
Yeah, the Gulf is a big, big question. No doubt about it.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:58 Casson Trenor
10:58
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Casson: is the quick lesson for shrimp: try to buy from Northern America and not from, say, Thailand (or whatever)?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:58 Jeanne in Seattle
10:58
Casson Trenor: 
Greenpeace's ship the Arctic Sunrise was there for a couple of months last year collecting samples -- sea life, seabed sediment, water, etc.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:58 Casson Trenor
10:58
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Also, the Gulf seafood must be a disaster. I don't care whether or not POTUS and his family ate it.
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:58 Jeanne in Seattle
10:59
Casson Trenor: 
(Jeanne, that's a good rule of thumb. Farmed stuff from Belize is better than farmed from India or Indonesia, yes. Proximity is a good rough guide.)
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:59 Casson Trenor
10:59
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
Vietnam?
Thursday May 12, 2011 10:59 Jackie
11:00
Kim ODonnel: 
Casson, do you think we can twist your arm to come back and join us for another round sometime this summer?
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:00 Kim ODonnel
11:00
Casson Trenor: 
We're still waiting on the results of that science, but it's worrisome. It's difficult because we all want to support the Gulf fishing communities -- the oil disaster certainly wasn't their fault, after all -- but we can't help but be concerned about our health and that of our family members.
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:00 Casson Trenor
11:00
Kim ODonnel: 
Casson, so basically what you're saying re: Gulf: is that the jury is still out.
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:00 Kim ODonnel
11:01
Casson Trenor: 
Yes, that's pretty much it.
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:01 Casson Trenor
11:01
[Comment From Erin Erin : ] 
I can't imagine the Gulf being a good option; first, the oil spill from last summer and all kinds of garbage decaying from Hurricane Katrina. Sorry. I can't do it either, Jeanne.
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:01 Erin
11:01
Casson Trenor: 
However -- there is hope!
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:01 Casson Trenor
11:01
Kim ODonnel: 
Do tell...
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:01 Kim ODonnel
11:01
Kim ODonnel: 
Amurricans love their scrimps, after all...
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:01 Kim ODonnel
11:01
Casson Trenor: 
For those of you that are dying for good southern food but don't feel comfortable going to Gulf seafood, there's a certain someone around here who has recently published a book containing a recipe for a truly lovely vegetarian gumbo.
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:01 Casson Trenor
11:01
Kim ODonnel: 
AHEM.
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:01 Kim ODonnel
11:02
Casson Trenor: 
I can't remember who that was, though.... hmm...
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:02 Casson Trenor
11:02
Kim ODonnel: 
Teehee.
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:02 Kim ODonnel
11:02
Kim ODonnel: 
Casson, this has been a gas. So helpful, so insightful. Please say yes and come back and join us.
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:02 Kim ODonnel
11:02
[Comment From Erin Erin : ] 
Please say yes, Casson!
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:02 Erin
11:03
[Comment From Jeanne in Seattle Jeanne in Seattle : ] 
Thank you, Casson! Such a pleasure to learn from and talk with you!
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:03 Jeanne in Seattle
11:03
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
casson always says yes
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:03 Jackie
11:03
Casson Trenor: 
Vegetarian meals, either as a lifestyle or as an occasion, are a great way to help the ocean. I am a big fan of this book. http://www.amazon.com/Meat-Lovers-Meatless-Cookbook-ebook/dp/B0042JSNMM
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:03 Casson Trenor
11:03
Kim ODonnel: 
I totally didn't put him up to that...
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:03 Kim ODonnel
11:03
Casson Trenor: 
Sure, why not?
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:03 Casson Trenor
11:03
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
Group Hug!
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:03 Jackie
11:03
Kim ODonnel: 
Excellent! We'll get you on the calendar for later in the summer.
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:03 Kim ODonnel
11:04
Casson Trenor: 
I've gotta run -- thanks everyone!
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:04 Casson Trenor
11:04
Kim ODonnel: 
BYE! Thank you, thank you.
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:04 Kim ODonnel
11:04
[Comment From Jackie Jackie : ] 
THanks Casson & Kim!!
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:04 Jackie
11:04
[Comment From Erin Erin : ] 
Thank you!
Thursday May 12, 2011 11:04 Erin
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Kim O’Donnel is a trained chef, nationally recognized online food personality, and a longtime journalist. She is the author of a new cookbook, The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook.

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