Why Sustainable Seafood Should Matter to Us All

by Chef de Cuisine Alex Marek

Sustainable food sourcing is an issue that’s near and dear to my heart. As a chef, I inherently understand that the foods we eat are a finite resource. That’s especially true when it comes to seafood.

Did you know that 90 percent of the world’s fisheries are either fully fished or overfished ? For me, this serves as a reminder that sustainable seafood sourcing is more important than ever, and that I should be critically aware of the origins of the dishes I serve every day. The seafood we have in our oceans is not unlimited.

I have joined with the James Beard Foundation to be a part of their Smart Catch program, identifying Salt & Iron as part of Smart Catch. As a Smart Catch Leader, I’ll be checking my menus and working with my suppliers and staff to be sure I’m doing my part to make the planet a little better through the meals I serve.

Smart Catch was created by chefs, with other chefs in mind, and is one of the James Beard Foundation’s Impact Programs, showcasing the organization’s commitment to establishing a more sustainable food system through education, advocacy, and thought leadership.

While I’ll be working to make responsible seafood sourcing decisions behind the scenes, you can also join in and do your part. Stop in at our restaurant and try a sustainable seafood dish you wouldn’t have normally ordered. Or check out www.jamesbeard.org/smartcatch for a list of other restaurants that are also a part of the Smart Catch initiative.

Now more than ever, it’s imperative that we all work together to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy a variety of abundant, diverse seafood flourishing in our oceans.