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Ioannis Zabetakis

Diet, Nutrition and Politics

et’s remind ourselves some common sense things that the politicians tend to forget: We work towards the design, development and production of functional and nutritious food following as much as possible sustainable practices. We care for the health of our family and the future of our kids. In a wider and more, ideological context, we (should) care for the well being of Society and the Planet. The public health is a matter of concern. Healthy diet (with lots of fish!) should be promoted more openly. Now, let’s see some recent news coming from US [1]. According to this report, “Michelle Obama has made her strongest political intervention since leaving the White House, stating bluntly at a health conference: “Think about why someone is OK with your kids eating crap.” So, why did she need to state this? Because, earlier in May, Donald Trump’s administration froze regulations that would cut sodium and increase whole grains served in school meals [2]. So, the story goes like that: Michelle Obama’s legacy on promoting healthy eating is in real danger by the current administration in US under Donald Trump. This is the administration that denies climate change and the fact that the Planet gets warmer due to anthropogenic activities! It is quite clear from these stories, that when we work towards the 5 points mentioned at the start of this op-ed article, we are not alone! We have to face politicians that are sometimes misinformed, probably a bit ignorant, somehow with their own agenda and ignoring the wider good! However, there is a dead clear way forward that could boost our companies and products: to communicate to nutritional authorities and politicians the benefits of a healthy diet, the pros of eating fish and seafood and how these foods can promote health and inhibit obesity and cardiovascular diseases. The world is complex and in order to be successful as professionals, as parents, as members of the wider public promoting the public interests we need to ask ourselves: Michelle or Donald?

Further reading

Michelle Obama savages Trump administration for gutting her legacy - Trump administration may scrap Michelle Obama’s health and education programs - may/01/michelle-obama-school-lunch-let-girls-learn-scrapped-trump @yanzabet

After an Academic career spanning 12 years in the University of Athens, Ioannis joined University of Limerick (UL) as a Lecturer on Food Lipids where the ongoing focus of his work will be towards the cardioprotective properties of food lipids with particular emphasis on dairy and aquaculture products.

ASC certified farmed salmon upgraded in the Monterey Bay Aquarium sustainable seafood ranking


onterey Bay Aquarium has announced that farmed salmon, certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), have advanced in their sustainable seafood ranking to a ‘Good Alternative’. The updated recommendation recognises that ASCcertified farmed salmon aligns with many of the Seafood Watch’s guiding principles for sustainable seafood production, and moves ASC-certified farmed salmon onto the program’s recommended list of seafood for consumers to buy. This updated recommendation will significantly increase the availability of sustainablefarmed salmon in retail stores and restaurants, making it much easier for consumers to make an informed decision over the seafood they purchase. Chris Ninnes, CEO of ASC commented, “Producers that have met the ASC Salmon Standard have been comprehensively and independently audited to ensure they meet the highest assurance levels for responsible production and have demonstrated they care for their workers and communities. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch recommendation that consumers buy ASC-certified salmon further demonstrates the growing collaboration and synergy between the programs to promote the purchasing of responsibly farmed seafood.” Gerardo Balbontin, Co-Chair of the GSI and CEO of Blumar Seafoods explained, “Farmed salmon has long been an excellent protein choice for consumers. It is healthy, nutritious and packed full of protein. But now, following the comprehensive ASC standard certification process, we are also able to document the sustainability, and environmental and social performance of our industry.” Avrim Lazar, Convenor of the GSI remarked, “The members of the GSI are making excellent progress towards their ASC commitment. And through this harmonisation of the two highest environmental standards, coupled with rapidly increasing supply, we hope to see even more commitment to ASC products from the market place.”

6 | June 2017 - International Aquafeed

Jun 2017 - International Aquafeed magazine