Sustainable seafood is a hot topic right now for all chefs. When instructing culinary students in various seafood preparation aspects teachers can utilize this web site for go-to resources.
By the National Aquaculture Association
The National Aquaculture Association (NAA) is here to help educate future chefs on the benefits of selecting and preparing farm-raised fish and shellfish.
“Farmed seafood contributes over 50 percent of the world’s seafood supply and that number is increasing rapidly,” said Linda J. ODierno, outreach specialist at the National Aquaculture Association.
According to ODierno, Aquaculture is the production of marine and freshwater organisms under controlled conditions including fish and shellfish for human consumption, sport fishing, backyard ponds, and release to enhance wild populations.
To help answer questions about the benefits of farm-raised seafood, the NAA created a web site with many resources for culinary students and instructors. “The site features a catalogue of species currently farmed in the U.S., answers to questions about food safety and sustainability, provides foodservice recipes with nutritional numbers and some great videos to use in your classroom,” ODierno said.
The web site can be found at www.thenaa.net.
Features of particular interest to chef educators include:
- Lesson Plan: Fabulous U.S. Farm-Raised Fish and Shellfish, with the objectives of teaching confidence in buying and preparing seafood as well as its important health benefits.
- Catalogue of commonly found farm-raised fish and shellfish, similar to the federal Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) seafood regulatory However, the FDA’s catalogue mostly includes wild harvest products so instructors can use both listings in their classes.
- Foodservice recipes with nutritional analysis including the Omega-3 content and a complete Percent of Daily Values of vitamins found in each original recipe.
- Environmental stewardship and species sustainability of farm-raised seafood
- Expert Chef Barton Seaver’s video about the sustainable benefits of U.S. Farm-Raised Seafood and Dr. Dariush Mozafarrian video’s discusses seafood nutrition. Both can be shown in the classroom.
Another educator’s resource in teaching seafood’s sustainability can be found at Gold Medal Classroom’s Fifty Minute Classroom column by Adam Weiner. In his March 2016 article, “Teaching Your Students About Seafood Sustainability,” he encouraged instructors to teach the food chain basics to help students make intelligent decisions about what to buy and how to treat the items with which they work. In it he lists the Monterey Bay Aquarium and NAA as additional expert resources.
Ninety percent of all seafood consumed in the United States is imported often from countries that do not have strict environmental and product safety standards. Teaching sustainability sourcing, not to mention excellent preparation techniques, to future chefs just makes sense.
Photos courtesy of National Aquaculture Association.