Friday, February 5, 2010

Channel Cafe: Sustainability Success

Sustainable seafood is a hot topic, as well as a very significant one. But what can a single person do to help protect endangered fish and other sea creatures? Obviously, you can choose not to purchase or eat non-sustainable seafood, and that is an important first step. But, you can do even more than that. A single person can make a difference.

I recently received a press release about the upcoming Valentine's Day dinner at the Channel Café, which I posted about earlier today. Their “Local Love” menu focused on locally grown, sustainable food. In the original release, one of the courses included Gloucester Cod. I was aware that Atlantic Cod is not considered sustainable by a number of major seafood watch organizations, such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium. So I inquired further, asking the restaurant why they would use Cod for their "sustainable" dinner.

Apparently the Chef at the Channel Cafe reviewed the situation, checking on the status of the Cod, and realized it was not a good sustainable choice. He then took it off the menu, replacing it with line-caught Haddock from Maine, a sustainable choice. Congratulations to the Chef for stepping up to the plate and making an excellent decision! It certainly pleased me immensely, and I am sure the cod populations of the Atlantic appreciate it too.

But nothing would have changed unless one person spoke up, and questioned the use of cod. All I did was politely question the use of their cod, and that spurred on the chef to examine the issue more closely. And it worked! Anyone else could have done the same thing, and I encourage you all to do so. If you see a case where a restaurant or purveyor is using non-sustainable seafood, then ask about it. You never know where your question might lead. It might have a far greater impact than you realize.

Kudos to the Channel Cafe for stepping up for sustainable seafood.


Anonymous said...

I think one key to your approach was that you were polite. Sometimes people approach the situation in a condescending way. Great work Richard, the environment gives you a big hug. Cheers and enjoy the event!


Richard Auffrey said...

Thanks very much Josh!