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Let’s Dish! with Kae Harris

SERVING UP SOME SUSTAINABILITY There are over seven billion people in the world and counting. Of those seven billion people, one billion rely on seafood as a staple food source and this number is also on the rise. Our oceans, while vast and seemingly brimming with marine life of all sorts, are desperately over fished. To meet the demands of a rising population requires us to provide more food from all the sources people normally eat from. When it comes to seafood, approximately 90% of worldwide fish stocks are “fully fished or over fished,” according to the United Nation’s Fish and Agriculture Organization. With a figure like this it’s a wonder we still see as much marine life as we do. So how can we, specifically us in the PNW, help alleviate the strain our seafood populations are currently under? After all, it would be a good thing to ensure some of the pressure the sea life we currently share the waters with, is lifted, and future generations continue on. It would be a plus if our own future generations could still enjoy seafood in years to come. How exactly then, can we do that, as a collective and as individuals? By ensuring our seafood is sustainable. Sustainable seafood is that which is harvested or farmed in ways that prevent the destruction of and limits damage to marine habitats. It also means any species of marine or aquatic animal being farmed or fished, is in abundance and the species are resilient and robust enough to bounce back and continue to reproduce and cope under the pressures of fishing/farming. Furthermore, it means consuming seafood that has a minimal bycatch, and for those who aren’t sure what bycatch is, it’s those marine or

aquatic animals which are harvested or fished unintentionally when fishing for and harvesting the target species. With the many kinds of foods and ingredients that come from the waterways around the world, how are we supposed to know which options bode well in terms of the long term health of the marine life and the overall maintenance of their habitats? Well, I found a wonderful website where you can find a multitude of resources to help you choose seafood that has been fished or harvested with sustainable practices. This website is and is among the array of resources open for public education about issues impacting our marine life, are guides and information about how to make your consumer decisions when purchasing and sourcing seafood. In the meantime however, I’m going to talk about a few ways sustainable seafood can be found and some ideas about how you can work your culinary magic with them! Often the most sustainable seafood in any given supermarket is the canned fish. It is also easier on the wallet which is a definite plus. I’m not talking about tuna (especially those which read ‘wild caught’). Thinking sardines – in particular pacific sardines. These can be prepared quickly and easily. For a quick snack, why not try de-boning and mashing them with some finely diced sweet onions and spreading it on a piece of rye toast? It might sound a little odd, but it is so tasty! We often eat tuna sandwiches so why not try sardines on toast? Anchovies are another species of marine life which meets the criteria for sustainable seafood. They are in greater

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Albacore and skipjack tuna sourced from fisheries that use only the pole and line and the troll methods in order to harvest them, are considered a sustainable food source. As a side note, Whole Foods canned tuna will come only from fisheries that employ these methods of fishing, by January 2018. Not only does this mean bycatch is restricted, it also means job creation in the coastal communities who rely on fishing as a means of income. Ultimately, the reduction in overfishing and support for fishing communities is where this new policy is aimed, and I believe that while the canned tuna is where the heart of this lies, it is not limited to the canned goods section. A win-win for consumer and supplier! And what CAN’T we do with tuna? From a good old fashioned tuna salad sandwich to casserole, seared tuna steaks and tuna patties – so many wonderful meals can be made from tuna. Wild caught salmon is also another great sustainable seafood option for the seafood lovers among us. Apparently, Pacific salmon are a species under intense management with in-depth scrutiny and superb monitoring of the fisheries which catch them, as well as the populations of the salmon themselves. Salmon mousse. Enough said. Prepare this lightweight seafood delight and have an impromptu get-together with some fabulous friends. Serve it up on crackers with perhaps a side of fruit and a veggie platter and you can’t go wrong with pleasing the people in your company! The security of our aquatic life depends heavily on human contribution to their habitats. From an economic, governmental, social and environmental standpoint, how our marine populations fair is up to us and sustainable practices is the only way to ensure our sea life is protected and managed properly. Cooperation is essential, at every level, from the local communities and the people who comprise them, to the fisheries, companies who oversee their monitoring and

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abundance than many other species and the catch method drastically limits any bycatch. I know anchovies can have a strong flavor and for some, overpowering, but it’s all about how you make that flavor count! Try preparing a chicken or pork schnitzel and topping it with a few anchovies. If you prefer it prepared a little different, how about some spaghetti with a creamy anchovy and garlic sauce? Delicious!

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government officials who make policies in this pool of water – cooperation and a commitment to our water world is the only way we can create and maintain long term sustainability. Dear readers for more information about this extremely important issue, I encourage you to visit some of the following websites: The Aquaculture Stewardship Council – The Institute for Fisheries Resources – International Seafood Sustainability Foundation – I’m including a recipe for ‘Spaghetti with Anchovy Carbonara’ from www. This recipe is absolutely divine and using sustainably sourced fish makes it even better! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Please send all comments, questions, information and recipes to letsdish.whidbeyweekly@ and we can do just that! Lets Dish! Spaghetti Anchovy Carbonara ¼ cup olive oil 3 to 4 garlic cloves very finely sliced A pinch of crushed red pepper 1 (2 oz) can of anchovies, drained and chopped ½ teaspoon lemon zest, grated 2 large egg yolks Flat leaf parsley, ¼ cup ½ tablespoon dried oregano 12 oz spaghetti Salt and pepper to taste Cook spaghetti until al dente. Drain and reserve a half cup of the cooking water. In a deep skillet, heat the oil and cook the garlic and anchovies over medium/ high heat until the anchovies have ‘broken down’. This should take about 2 minutes. Add the red pepper, zest, oregano and parsley. Add the pasta and toss to coat. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the reserved pasta water and add to the pasta. Cook over low heat for a few minutes, tossing until the pasta is well coated in the creamy sauce. Season, serve and enjoy! To read past columns of Let's Dish in the Whidbey Weekly, see our Digital Library at

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Whidbey Weekly, January 11, 2018  
Whidbey Weekly, January 11, 2018