Eating locally and seasonally has become a significant trend. Many Americans now know the names of the farms that grow their food, but even as we’re urged to eat more fish for its health benefits and its gustatory pleasures, few of us can identify sustainable local species or the fishing operations that supply them.
The time is ripe for local fish. On September 25, 2012, Bon Appétit Management Company hosted our first-ever Eat Local (Fish) Challenge, which was held simultaneously in all 32 states in which we operate. The Eat Local (Fish) Challenge was an outgrowth of the Eat Local Challenge, which we launched in 2005 as a fun way to highlight locally harvested, seasonal flavors.
Local seafood — sustainably caught or farmed within 500 miles by a Fish to Fork partner — had to be one of those ingredients. Our Fish to Fork program defines what “local and sustainable” mean for both wild and farmed seafood, in terms of traceability, boat or farm size, and distance. It emphasizes low-on-the-food-chain species (such as sardines and oysters); species whose edible portion could be better utilized (such as scallops, much of which gets discarded by U.S. processors); and less-widely eaten larger species (Seafood Watch “green”- or “yellow”-rated) that can substitute for one of the “Top Ten” species, such as tuna, whose popularity is endangering its survival.
In addition to the special all-local meal, Bon Appétit Management Company teams offered educational information about sustainable seafood, the particular seafood item being served, Five Reasons to Eat Local Fish, and a take-home recipe for a regional fish dish.
Diners Served Up "Wallflowers" of the Sea, Boston Globe
'Eat Local Fish Day' To Highlight Ocean's Unsung Heroes, Forbes
Bon Appétit Trains Spotlight on Local Seafood, Sustainable Business Oregon
Eat Weird Fish!, About.com Local Foods