Friday, August 21, 2015

Eat Them to Save Them & Giveaway!

I was in Alaska recently to go fishing and watch cooking demos, but more importantly to learn a bit about how Alaska helps to promote sustainability, protect the fisheries and in turn, the ecosystem. The effort that goes into maintaining the health of fisheries in Alaska is astounding and something I didn't really appreciate until I met and spoke with environmentalists, biologists, state officials and even politicians, all committed to the long term health of the fisheries. 

Salmon fishermen are projected to harvest a billion pounds of salmon or 221 million fish this year in Alaska and yet consumption of seafood continues to decline in the US and is considerably behind chicken, pork and even beef. In Alaska, those responsibly harvesting seafood take a vested interest in maintaining it. What I learned about the sustainability of salmon fisheries has applications well beyond seafood. We all want more sustainability and biodiversity in our food and to preserve traditional foodways, but how? Sometimes if you love it, the best thing you can do is eat it. 

Sustainable Seafood
Choosing sustainable seafood is getting easier to do. If you enjoy fishing, check out Trout Unlimited. It’s an organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America's coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.

When it comes to eating seafood, one easy way to choose sustainable, is to choose Alaska Seafood which is also wild and natural and represents 60% of the seafood consumed in America. For seafood beyond Alaska, talk to your local fishmonger or explore the SeafoodWatch program to learn more about making the best seafood choices.

Heritage Breeds of Animals
The Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity is dedicated to supporting biodiversity through various projects including the Ark of Taste and Earth Markets. Another organzation that specifically preserves and promotes rare and heritage breeds of livestock is the Livestock Conservancy. They even have a gene bank that saves the genetic material of rare breeds.

For consumers, bookmark the Eat Well Guide, which has 25,000 free listings of farms, farmers markets, restaurants, co-ops, and other places that offer locally grown, sustainably produced food.

Heirloom Varieties of Produce 
Remember when all the tomatoes in the supermarket tasted bland? The tomato selection has improved, but for even tastier tomatoes, head to the garden.

One of the great joys of gardening and even shopping at a farmer’s market is enjoying varieties of fruits and vegetables that aren’t commercially grown on a large scale. Not all varieties of produce ship easily or have reasonably long shelf life.

By supporting farmers and growing your own heirloom varieties, you can help preserve biodiversity. 

Gardener Giveaway! 
Gift Pack containing: 
1 Seeds of Change canvas shopping bag
4 packs of seeds
$25 Seeds of Change gift card

Take a look at the fun 2 minute video above featuring Hugh Acheson, and let me know in the comments what about it made the biggest impression on you. I will chose one winner at random on Sunday August 30th, 2015. You must be a US resident to win and have a US mailing address. Include your email in the comments form, only I will see it. Do NOT write your email in the body of your comment or it will be visible to everyone. 

Disclaimer: Giveaway courtesy of Seeds of Change, I was not compensated in any way, shape or form for this post.