Fast Food v Slow Food
McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC…we are a generation which has grown up embracing the idea of ‘fast food’ on the go. However, armed with an increase in knowledge, more and more people are now starting to think about what is on their plate, where it has come from and how it has been sourced.
As a counter reaction to fast food - The Slow Food Movement (SFM), a grassroots organisation with supporters in over 150 countries around the world – is increasingly gaining momentum, and shellfish is on the menu.
SFM started in Italy in the 1980s and is attempting to change the fast food culture, and in doing so, help small food producers and the environment. It focuses on locally prepared food that tastes good without harming the environment or your health.
The group believes that good food on your plate can only come from small producers and food produced in this way is better for the environment and also supports cultural diversity in a way that big scale farming does not.
Similar to the ethos of our work here at Scottish Shellfish, SFM is working to preserve “bio-diversity, food and environmental diversity…to educate people, and help the consumer to understand what is sustainable development and to help the small producer."
Like Scottish Shellfish, SFM believes that small-scale fishers form an essential part of fragile aquatic ecosystems that must be protected along with the biodiversity of marine species.
As a result SFM has launched the Slow Fish campaign, where they are working to promote artisanal fishing and neglected fish species and inspire reflection on the state and management of the sea’s resources, promoting responsible fish consumption around the world.
The campaign invites consumers, chefs, academics and fishers to find local solutions that support better management of the sea’s resources.
Eat More Shellfish
During the recent four-day Slow Fish biannual conference held in Geno, Italy, Massimo Bernacchini, a member of the Slow Food Italy Executive Committee, commented that: "It is increasingly evident that in order for the seas to continue to be food reserves, we must definitely change our habits - catch less and better, grow algae and eat more shellfish.
“A true cultural leap in which Slow Food must take an important leading role by involving fishermen and breeders, cooks and consumers.
"To be able to sustainably tackle the increase in the world population while maintaining a still rich sea, we must aim at the lower part of the food chain, thus avoiding fish that are at the apex, such as tuna or swordfish in favour of bivalves, crustaceans, plankton and algae, which are very abundant.
“Only in this way will we be able to preserve resources for future generations and truly save our sea.”
Sea to Plate
Here at Scottish Shellfish we are proud that our cultivated mussels and oysters are amongst the most environmentally friendly food products around and are harvested from the pristine seas off the Scottish west coast and Shetland. We can trace the journey from sea to plate and our Scottish rope grown mussels are an excellent example of sustainable sourcing.
Our mussels and oysters are a perfect example of ‘slow food!’ – sit back, taste and enjoy!
For further information Scottish Shellfish and the environment click here.
There is sea of information (no pun intended!) out there about healthy eating and the impact of food production versus sustainability.
Many people are looking for ways to make changes to their diet that won’t cost the earth – and seaganism is reported to be the latest trend which could potentially fulfil those needs.
So, what is Seaganism?
Seaganism is a diet combining fish with a plant-based diet. It differs from pescatarianism in that a seagan diet does not include eggs or dairy and there is an emphasis on only eating fish that is sustainably sourced.
The term ‘seaganism’ was first coined in 2016 by food writers Amy Cramer and Lisa McComsey, the duo behind The Vegan Cheat Sheetbook and the movement has grown in popularity over the last couple of years.
In February 2019 the UK’s leading authority on seafood, Seafish, announced a new campaign Think Seagan.
Healthy Lifestyle & Dietary Choice
The campaign showcases why the diet is a healthy lifestyle and dietary choice, providing enhanced nutritional value and Seafish has produced a variety of materials suggesting new and innovative ways to consume and enjoy fish as part of the campaign.
This includes a seagan ‘starter’ kit, 28-day seagan meal plan, seagan recipes including how-to videos, and a store cupboard guide to the vegan essentials. There is also a range of educational tools, such as seafood fact and myth sheets.
Marcus Coleman, Chief Executive of Seafish, said: “The health benefits of eating seafood are well documented and coupled with the benefits of a plant-based diet, seagansim presents a sustainable, tasty and flexible diet for people of all ages and stages of life.
“Our Think Seagan campaign will inspire and educate those looking to make changes to their diet.”
Joanna Stewart, Registered Dietitian, added: “The Eatwell Guide produced by Food Standards Scotland shows us the different types of foods we should eat, and in what proportions, to have a healthy, balanced diet.
“It recommends we should be eating two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily. In Scotland this means that most of us should be trying to increase our intake of fish and shellfish in line with current guidance.
“Shellfish in particular, are low in fat, especially low in saturated fat and are an excellent source of protein. Some types of shellfish such as mussels, oysters and crabs, are good sources of Omega- 3 fats, which help prevent heart disease. Shellfish also contain a variety of vitamins and minerals including selenium, zinc, iodine, copper and vitamin B12 which are all essential for good health.”
For more information on Think Seagan or to download materials visit: www.fishisthedish.co.uk/health/think-seagan