Monday, May 21, 2012

Sustainable Seafood Dinner with Greenlife Grocery

The Tennessee Aquarium and the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute have been working on spreading the message of sustainable seafood into the Chattanooga community.  In March, we took a group to Pickett’s Trout Ranch to talk about local farm-raised seafood options.  This month, we took a different approach by taking people to the grocery store to learn how to prepare and shop for healthy sustainable seafood.

Greenlife Grocery is one of our nine partners for Serve & Protect.  This small grocery store has been a staple in the Chattanooga community for many years and the go-to place to find local sustainable food.  They also have a wonderful team of chefs that perform cooking demonstrations and organize catering.  Greenlife was responsible for the delicious appetizers at the Serve & Protect fundraising event in September 2011 and one of their chefs, Anastasia, helped Alton Brown prepare for his cooking demonstration that evening.  She was there on Thursday as well and it was great to see her again!

After introductions, one of their chefs, Nick, began demonstrating how to cook whole trout.  It was so simple!  Take a butterflied de-boned trout and stuff it with lemon and parsley.  Cover the entire fish in salt and cook it for 45 minutes at 350°.

This little taste was the finished product and boy, was it delicious!  It’s an easy recipe that I can’t wait to try at home.

After the cooking demonstration, dinner was served!  We had an amazing four course meal with two wine pairings.

Wine pairings
First Course: Smoked trout guacamole 
Second Course: Maine lobster ceviche

Third Course:  Grilled halibut taco

Last, but not least, dessert:  Watermelon gelato with dark chocolate chips

After the delicious dinner, we went down to the seafood counter to talk about how to buy fresh, sustainable seafood at the grocery store.  Greenlife uses two ratings: BlueOcean Institute (BOI) and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).  BOI is a colored rating system: avoid red, take caution with yellow, green is sustainable.  Greenlife and Whole Foods do not carry any fish under the red rating.  The MSC is a third party certification agency that evaluated fisheries to determine if they are sustainable.

If you are at a grocery store that does not use this system, buying American harvested seafood is the best way to be a sustainable seafood shopper.  According to a recent report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, fishery management in U.S. waters has been successful.  Six depleted stocks have rebuilt and only 20% of U.S. fish stocks are considered overfished in comparison to worldwide where 33% of stocks are considered overfished. 

We had a great time, and cannot wait to do it again!  Thanks Greenlife!

TNACI and Greenlife team.

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