To All Our Buyers and Chefs,
Our weather will be unseasonably warm and mostly sunny straight on thru Thursday, this will make for some great shopping and sight-seeing for the next couple of days. John & Peter Delmonico opened their first restaurant in New York, Delmonico & Brother Cafe at 23 William Street in 1827. In 1946 the United Nations votes to establish its world headquarters on land along First Avenue donated by the Rockefeller family. Today is National Bouillabaisse Day; the most famous fish stew of the Mediterranean, originally the fare of the local fishermen who on returning from a fishing expedition sorted heir catch.
Large Black Sea Bass (2lbs or less) are a hot ticket for this week. These fish are local and beautiful with cherry red gills, winner-winner chicken dinner. We are still bringing in fresh Hamachi loins direct, these fish are sealed in cryovac at their peak of freshness and sent to us. Best part is that these loins are almost $$$ bucks less per pound.
Bronzino in the 400/600g [1lb] size are a featured item for this week, we were able to get a special buy on these fish and lower the price. Be sure not to pass them up. Mahi is still looking spectacular, the flesh is firm and the bloodline is still a nice red color. From Central America we have some amazing Black Grouper, fresh year-round in the Gulf of Mexico, and from May through December in the South Atlantic. Mild but distinct flavor, somewhere between bass and halibut.
Wild vs. Farmed Seafood: A False Dichotomy
With consumers’ growing interest in eating well and the myriad health benefits of seafood, it’s not surprising that consumption of seafood is on the rise. Still, misperceptions about seafood persist, perhaps chief among them that all wild-caught seafood is “good” and all farmed seafood is “bad” in terms of health and sustainability.
“It continues to befuddle us a bit,” said Michael Rubino, director of aquaculture for NOAA Fisheries. “All kinds of seafood is good for you, whether it’s farmed or wild or something in between.” Sheila Bowman, manager of culinary and strategic initiatives for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, says today’s confusion about aquaculture is rooted in the past. “Ten, 15, 20 years ago the story was more black and white, and most farmed products weren’t great,” from a sustainability perspective, Bowman said.
Despite consumer perceptions, more than 50 percent of all seafood produced globally for human consumption is farmed, according to NOAA. The U.S. imports more than 90 percent of its seafood, roughly half of which is farmed. Of the seafood from U.S. waters, aquaculture makes up for about 20 percent of the value of that annual catch. The percentage of aquaculture is expected to rise as experts indicate that traditional fisheries are already producing at capacity.
Nutritional studies have shown that eating seafood is good for health, as a wide variety of species are rich in the omega-3 fatty acids that have been linked to benefits such as brain development in children and prevention of heart disease in adults. Such research has prompted leading health organizations, including the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association and the Arthritis Foundation, to advise eating two meals of ocean fish per week. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 2015 Dietary Guidelines are expected to advise that Americans double their intake of fish to two servings per week when the official recommendations are released later this year.
Things are a little less unanimous in terms of the sustainability of farmed versus wild seafood. “There is a very wide range of seafood sustainability practices,” said Barton Seaver, chef, author of For Cod & Country, and an advocate of sustainable seafood. “It’s been made so difficult because aquaculture and wild have been made different. But it’s all seafood. When it comes to making purchasing decisions, it’s all proteins.”
Seaver advocates looking at seafood as a single category and trusting in our national fisheries and the system that governs them. “All fish that are caught aren’t sustainable, but the system is sustainable,” Seaver said. “If we believe that the system is good, should we then not support the product created by that system?”
The U.S. system of managing stocks of fish, wild and farmed, is considered among the most stringent in the world, Rubino said. For example, when a wild species, such as the Atlantic Northern Shrimp, is in danger of being depleted, NOAA prohibits commercial fishing of that species until stocks return to approved levels. And NOAA is the agency that issues permits for aquaculture activities in state and federal waters, ensuring that fisheries follow strict guidelines for safety and sustainability which have been evolving since the organization’s predecessor, the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, first began experimenting with farming oysters five decades ago.
“We haven’t grown up with fish farms, so it’s new,” Rubino said. “[But] in terms of responsible production, whether it’s wild or farmed, the U.S. has kind of written the book.”
“You know that a man ain't supposed to cry
But these tears I can't hold inside
Losin' you would end my life you see
'Cause you mean that much to me
You could have told me yourself
That you found someone else
Instead I heard it through the grapevine”
~ 1968 ‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine’ by Marvin Gaye hits number 1 on the charts.
TEAM DOWN EAST