Trash Fish Dinners

"Trash Fish" is a term used to describe fish species that are not usually eaten. Fyi, this is an interesting video, but be prepared for a fish decapitation!

Trash Fish Dinners were created by chefs "to raise public awareness of overfishing, and create demand for alternative fish species that are not presently at risk." A Trash Fish Dinner is being held tonight at Area Four in Cambridge. These dinners are expanding too. There was one in Los Angeles, last week and one is coming up soon in New Hampshire.

Chefs Collaborative is a nonprofit group comprised of chefs who use their cooking skills to help inform consumers. Their Statement of Principles emphasizes the importance of "cultural and biological diversity" to the health of all of us living on the planet. "Preserving and revitalizing sustainable food, fishing, and agricultural traditions strengthen that diversity."

At the Seafood Expo today, I enjoyed a session called Putting the "Food" back in Seafood - lessons learned from sustainable food systems. Food writer Louisa Kasdon was on the panel and expressed her dislike for the "trash fish" term.

I have to agree with her. It's not an appetizing term and denigrates the fish. Use of the phrase "Fresh Catch of the Day" was discussed as an alternative.

With Trash Fish Dinners, those in attendance learn about and get to taste fish that they might not otherwise encounter. The panel discussion also made an interesting point about protein that we get from the land versus protein that we get from the sea. Being land creatures, we are more likely to encounter a chicken or cow than a fish, since we are not under water.

Based on the discussion, the greater familiarity we have with new species of fish, the more likely we are to eat them. If we go to a restaurant and are presented with a new fish and learn how eating fish that are plentiful helps to preserve those fish with dwindling numbers, we consumers may decide to change our ways. That greater familiarity may help us make changes when buying at the supermarket too.

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Disclosure: I received press credentials for complimentary admission to SENA.

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