Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Seafood, Day 1

Congratulations go out to Cari for completing the Chicago Breast Cancer 3-day walk - 60 miles, people, that's a whole lot of walking!! Way to go Cari!!

Today we did flat fish. If he did name what type of fish it was, I missed it. Since I've barely even eaten fish outside of sushi beore, it was a little creepy for me to touch. Plus, the eyes...

We brushed the scales off both sides, then removed four filets off of each fish (we had two each). Once we did that, we then removed the skin from the filets. Here we had to hold the knife between the skin and the filet, and put pressure hard down against the cutting board. Oh, but I did talk back to Chef today in front of everyone sice he really pissed me off. He announces to the class that we don't need to keep the fish carcasses, and then I dare to ask, so, you don't want to see them? He launched into how he had already explained this three times that he wanted to see everything, and when I said I had been confused by his statement, he repeated it again, and, well, that just pissed me off, so I very loudly said that I had been listening and understood very well, but his most recent statement seemed to say something different... he just looked at me across the room, and I turned around and got ice. That man. I think I'm actually going to do the weekly survey the school sends. There are so many things about this school that pisses me off. The lies in admissions. The rude teachers. The not getting the correct materials for us to learn how to cook.

But this was a pretty simple task, and then we spent the last hour watching a video on fish sustainability. It was a PBS video, and it was really interesting. "Empty Oceans Empty Nets" Basically, oceans are over-fished, which means fisherman are going further and further out to get fish, which are also being fished younger, which means they haven't had time to reproduce, which means they aren't replenishing... You get the point. But. People are trying to do something about it, at least in some places. Farming for certain species works, like mussels, tilapia, and oysters, but not for carniverous fish, since you need to fish to feed them, thus totally nulling the point of farming... Or, like they've done in Alaska with halibut and salmon, fisherman have to buy into a kind of co-op, which has limited membership, which has catch quotas and limits boats. Also, you can buy only from providers that have the Marine Stewardship Council seal on cans or fresh packages, because it certifies fisheries based on their use of sustainable methods. Or go on Seafood Watch, to learn what fish you should or should not be buying.

Lessons learned:
It's important to get as much information as possible. Looking for a seal is a good first step, but it's not like we can expect people to spend a lot more just for the seal when we all have budgets we have to live by. So, do what you can, but if you can't right now, I don't think it should bother you. At least that's my opinion. If I buy fish in the future, I'll probably go to Whole Foods (where I otherwise would not bother to shop since it's expensive and I'm a budget shopper) because they follow the MSC goal.

P.S. Many thanks to Steph who gave me a shout-out on her own lovely blog... you're great, Steph!!

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