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Farmed Fish Production Surpasses Beef

Farmed Fish Production Surpasses Beef

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As beef production slows, fish farming is on the rise amid questions of sustainability

According to The Huffington Post, the Earth Policy Institute has released an article stating that the production of farmed fish has overtaken the production of beef. This shift takes place as we approach another potential upset in the world of food production. This year, the consumption of farm-raised fish could surpass that of wild-caught fish.

Beef production has slowed since the 1980s, while amounts of farmed fish produced have skyrocketed over the last decade. The increased cost of soy and grains used to feed livestock may have contributed to the decline in cattle farming. In comparison, fish production appears to be more cost efficient.

While rapid rates of consumption and depleted resources suggest that farmed fish may soon be our only option, there remain doubts as to the efficiency of aquaculture, as it is called. Farmed fish sold in grocery stores are fed on smaller fish, the quantities of which are such that the overall input of the industry exceeds the output.

Conservancy group Oceana claims that current farming practices culture unhealthy fish, while chain distributors like Whole Foods Market support continued production, claiming it can be done in a way that does not harm the environment.

This debate raises the recurrent issue of mankind’s relationship to our natural resources. Farmed fish or no, the global population is seriously taxing its environment. This imbalance has led the Earth Policy Institute to recommend slowing consumption of meats, dairy, fish, and eggs overall.

How Tilapia is a More Unhealthy Food Than Bacon

The true chicken-of-the-sea, tilapia is a mild-tasting white fish that's cheap to breed and easy to sell.

In fact, for the first time in 2012, farmed fish production topped that of beef, reaching a record 66 million tons, compared with beef at 63 million. But there's a dirty secret about tilapia, the lean-meat alternative that beckons you in the supermarket–promises of weight loss, a healthy heart and beautiful skin ringing in your ears. While most health experts agree we should be eating more fish (for all the reasons listed above), this Eat This, Not That! research has found the inflammatory potential of farmed tilapia to be greater than a burger, doughnuts—even pork bacon! It gets worse …

It's the Worst Kind of Fat

Compared with other fish, farmed tilapia contains relatively small amounts of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids–the heart-healthy and essential fish oils touted by health and nutrition experts as the main reason to eat fish frequently. While a portion of salmon has over 2,000 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids, a serving of tilapia has a mere 135 milligrams. Moreover, because farmed tilapia subsist on a diet of corn and soy instead of lake plants, they're proportionally sky high in omega-6 fats, which studies have proven to harm the heart, the brain, and even your mood. The Wake Forest University study that produced the tilapia vs. bacon findings revolves around this dangerous omega 6:3 proportion.

They Have the Crappiest Diet

There's a good chance the tilapia on your plate was raised on a poop diet (that's poop as a noun, not an adjective). Research from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future revealed the gory details of disease-ridden fish farms in Asia, where pig and chicken feces serve as a cheaper alternative to standard fish food. While the FDA vehemently denied any of these goings-on, the Johns Hopkins investigation revealed only 2 percent of imported seafood to the United States is actually tested for contamination. It's not just mega gross. Experts worry that the large amounts of antibiotics given to the fish to ward off infections may give rise to antibiotic-resistant strains of salmonella.

They've Had a Sex Change

Virtually all tilapia sold in American supermarkets has undergone a sex change–the result of being fed methyltestosterone during the early, sexless stage of life. Tilapia pumped full of hormones grow bigger quicker than their natural bros, because they don't expend energy developing reproductive organs and require less food. Seafood experts consider the effects of methyltestosterone in fish to be insignificant to our health. However, there's research to suggest the drug can be highly toxic to the liver. In fact, methyltestosterone has been taken off the market in Germany due to its high potential for liver toxicity.

They Cause a Negative Environmental Impact

Environmentalists argue that intensive and unregulated tilapia farming is damaging ecosystems, leaving dead lakes and extinct species in poor countries with practices prohibited in the United States. In Nicaragua, for example, huge numbers of fish are bred in cages, where fish waste pollutes the lake water. Such was the case at Lake Apoyo, where pollution killed off the aquatic plants, leaving the lake a wasteland.

Eat This, Not Tilapia!

When it comes to choosing a fish that qualifies as one of the foods that will help you lose weight and one of the healthiest for your body—and the Earth—abide by the number one rule: Stay off the farm. Farmed seafood, not just tilapia, can have up to 10 times more toxins than wild fish, according to Harvard Researchers. Your best choices at the fish counter include: Wild Alaskan Salmon, Alaska Pollok, Atlantic Cod, Clams, Blue Crab, Atlantic Mackerel, Striped Bass, Sardines, Herring, Rainbow Trout and Flounder.

News from the UK

Animal feed company ABN is banking on a boom in pig and poultry production in the UK as it announced plans to develop a new “super mill” capable of producing 1m tonnes of feed a year. The plant is likely to be built in east England.

Morrisons supermarket expects to be able to start selling what it refers to as “net zero carbon” eggs by 2023 and net zero carbon beef by 2025. It then plans to be the first supermarket to be completely supplied by net zero farms by 2030.

Morrisons expects to start selling net zero carbon eggs by 2023. Photograph: James Jackson/Alamy

Fish welfare is being ignored by UK legislation on animal welfare, claims a new report. It comes as the Co-op and Waitrose suspended supplies of salmon from a Scottish company after alleged welfare breaches, including leaving fish to suffocate on the floor. The large quantities of wild fish caught for use as feed by Scotland’s farmed salmon industry has also been criticised by a report urging a shift to alternatives – such as farmed mussels.

Plans to build a rabbit meat farm in Cornwall are being opposed by local people over the potential effect on wildlife, pollution concerns and the visual impact of buildings on the landscape. The person behind the farm told reporters that demand for rabbit meat in the UK could grow with better availability and that the buildings would blend into the landscape.

Welsh farmers have criticised a decision to bring in tough new rules on the use of slurry and fertiliser on farmland. The Welsh government’s move to make the whole of Wales a nitrate vulnerable zone (NVZ) will make smaller farms unviable, it has been claimed, and they should be supported to upgrade and increase slurry storage.

Former students at one of the UK’s leading agricultural universities have spoken out about allegations of vegan and vegetarian students being bullied. A spokesperson for Harper Adams said it had written to all students and staff to remind them of their duty to encourage respect and to report unacceptable behaviour should they experience, witness or hear about it.

Epicurious Stopped Publishing Beef Recipes to ‘Encourage Sustainable Cooking’

Fresh off the heels of President Joe Biden spooking conservatives into thinking he’s going to force everyone to give up hamburgers (he’s not, that was just a leap taken by the Daily Mail), recipe website Epicurious announced its own restrictions around beef. The website said it has officially cut the meat out of its future recipes: “Beef won’t appear in new Epicurious recipes, articles, or newsletters. It will not show up on our homepage. It will be absent from our Instagram feed.” This is all in an effort to encourage sustainable, environmentally friendly cooking. And before you buy that eight pound brisket out of spite, they’ve been doing this for about a year, and it hasn’t ruined anyone’s life yet.

Epicurious began publishing fewer and fewer beef recipes in the fall of 2019, and then stopped altogether in 2020. “For every burger recipe we didn’t publish, we put a vegetarian recipe into the world instead rather than articles about ground beef, we talked about alt-meats,” they said. “And last summer, when America’s annual grilling holiday rolled around, we set our fires on cauliflower and mushrooms, not steaks and hot dogs.” Epicurious also says it’s been a hit with readers.

Epicurious cites studies and facts about beef that are familiar— raising beef is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, the production of fertilizer and pesticides required fossil fuel, the cattle industry’s destruction of the Amazon rainforest, and now the fact that meat production plants have been hotbeds of COVID spread, and have long been unsafe for workers. Individual choice, they argue, may seem like a drop in the bucket compared to reining in corporate emissions and advancing legislation but it is at least a drop. They also note that there are environmental costs associated with everything from seafood to soy. “But every time you abstain from beef at the grocery store or a restaurant, you send a signal — to the grocery store, yes, but also, and perhaps more influentially, to whomever you talk to about your decision,” they write.

The Beef Question is shaping up to be the dietary drama of the time. In India, beef consumption has become a political issue in the fight against Hindu nationalism, as Muslims have been violently targeted in the name of “cow protection,” and beef consumption is seen in some regions as a fundamental issue of religious diversity and individual liberty. Beef consumption is also rising in places like the U.S. and China, as a boom in international production has resulted in cheaper prices, making beef more accessible than ever. And over the weekend in the U.S., conservatives who were mistakenly convinced Biden was going to take away their meat, took to the internet to brag of their struggle beef to own the libs, or something.

There’s also been the rise of “plant-based” faux meat like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, meant to mimic the taste of ground beef so well that it’ll lure eco- and health-conscious Americans away from the real thing. And while it’s been popular, it’s already faced backlash over being “highly processed.” Some argue that beef and dairy can be part of a sustainable diet, as long as they’re purchased from independent farms that use more holistic agricultural techniques. But it’s going to take a massive restructuring of the entire food chain to make that the dominant way beef is farmed, and even if that happens, there will be far less of it to consume.

Epicurious insists it has no “agenda” aside from helping home cooks cook “better,” which is slightly disingenuous. If it had no agenda, no changes would have been made. Instead, the site is working from the premise that both the planet and anyone’s individual life will be “better” with less beef. Epicurious still has hundreds of beef recipes on its site, and that it will still include older beef recipes in broader collections, so it’s still a resource for any beef eater. But it’s also asking readers to rethink beef, something they’ll only be prompted to do more and more in the coming years.

It's tainted with Agent Orange.

Analyzing 700 salmon bought in stores from Edinburgh, Scotland to Seattle, Washington, a team led by Ronald Hites, PhD, of Indiana University, found that the farmed product contained up to 8 times more PCBs—cancer-causing industrial chemicals that were banned in 1979—than the wild variety. Other chemicals found in farmed fish include dioxins from herbicides (the most famous being Agent Orange).

So what exactly is the difference between aquaculture fish and wild-caught fish? And how do you pick the best product?

Put simply, aquaculture is the farming of fish (or other aquatic plants and organisms) under controlled conditions, while wild-caught fish (commercial fishing) is from a natural habitat like lakes, oceans and rivers. Aquaculture can be in land-based systems in tanks, or in enclosed portions of natural bodies of water.

Picking the best product isn't so black and white — and a lot of the information you need (location, fishing practices, feed, etc.) is not readily available to consumers. Labeling can be deceptive — not clearly showing where the fish was raised versus packaged — and restaurants aren't required to tell you the fish's country of origin.

Crowd Cow is taking a step forward in this arena and is committed to transparency so you can get your seafood without wondering if it was raised ethically, cleanly and sustainably. We only work with farms that undergo thorough vetting processes (including taste testing!) to ensure customers get the most premium product. Whether you pick Atlantic Salmon from PrimeWaters, Black Cod from Sena Sea, Lobster from Tenant's Harbor or Arctic Char from Matorka — you're guaranteed fish that was caught or raised responsibly.

Matorka's Land-Based Aquaculture System Rich Wheeler of Sena Sea

What is sustainable farming?

It includes farming regeneratively, improving grasslands and paddock grazing, planting trees, maintaining wildflowers for the bee population, or harvesting and giving cattle rainwater to drink.

British beefs production carbon footprint is just less than half the global average due to the work on sustainable farming practices.

So when you check out some of my favourite recipes, below, make sure it’s with the best of British beef… and enjoy.

(and if you want more ideas, visit, here)

Master plant-based cooking with forks


1. In a creepy, Big-Brotherish tactic straight out of a sci-fi movie, the federal government uses catchy slogans to get people to buy more meat and dairy.

Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.
Milk. It does a body good.

Each year, USDA-managed programs spend $550 million to bombard Americans with slogans like these, urging us to buy more animal foods. Although people in every age group already eat more animal protein than recommended, and far more than our forebears did, these promotional programs are shockingly effective at making us buy even more. Each marketing buck spent boosts sales by an average of $8, for an annual total of an extra $4.6 billion in government-backed sales of meat, dairy, and eggs.

2. Americans eat more meat per person than any other people on earth, and we’re paying the price in doctor bills.

At 200 pounds of meat per person per year, our high meat consumption is hurting our national health. Hundreds of clinical studies in the past several decades show that consumption of meat and dairy, especially at the high levels seen in this country, can cause cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and a host of other diseases. Thus, Americans have twice the obesity rate, twice the diabetes rate, and nearly three times the cancer rate as the rest of the world. Eating loads of meat isn’t the only reason people develop these diseases, but it’s a major factor.

3. Animal food production is the world’s leading cause of climate change.

That’s right. Forget carbon-belching buses or power plants. Animal food production now surpasses both the transportation industry and electricity generation as the greatest source of greenhouse gases. Amazingly, if Americans could just cut back on animal foods by half, the effect on greenhouse gas emissions would be like garaging all U.S. motor vehicles and vessels for as long as we keep our consumption down.

4. There’s no sustainable way to raise animal foods to meet the world’s growing demand.

Two acres of rainforest are cleared each minute to raise cattle or crops to feed them and 35,000 miles of American rivers are polluted with animal waste. We’re watching a real-time, head-on collision between the world’s huge demand for animal foods and the reality of scarce resources. It takes dozens of times more water and five times more land to produce animal protein than equal amounts of plant protein. Unfortunately, even “green” alternatives like raising animals locally, organically, or on pastures can’t overcome the basic math: the resources just don’t exist to keep feeding the world animal foods at the level it wants.

5. A $5 Big Mac would cost $13 if the retail price included hidden expenses that meat producers offload onto society.

Animal food producers impose $414 billion in hidden costs on American society yearly. These are the bills for healthcare, subsidies, environmental damage, and other items related to producing and consuming meat and dairy. That means that each time McDonald’s sells a Big Mac, the rest of us pay $8 in hidden costs.

6. American governments spend $38 billion each year to subsidize meat and dairy, but only 0.04% of that ($17 million) to subsidize fruits and vegetables.

The federal government’s Dietary Guidelines urge us to eat more fruits and vegetables and less cholesterol-rich food (that is, meat and dairy). Yet like a misguided parent giving a kid cotton candy for dinner, state and federal governments get it backwards by giving buckets of cash to animal agriculture, while providing almost no help to those raising fruits and vegetables.

7. Big businesses love farm subsidies. Small farmers and rural Americans hate them.

In the last 15 years, two-thirds of American farmers didn’t receive a single penny from direct subsidies worth over $100 billion – the funds mainly went to big corporations. The subsidy money spurs the growth of factory farms, which are surprisingly bad for local economies (they employ fewer workers per animal than regular farms, and they buy most of their supplies outside the local area). That’s why when pollsters asked Iowans how they feel about farm subsidies, a large majority preferred ending the handouts.

8. Factory fishing ships are exploiting the world’s oceans so aggressively that scientists fear the extinction of all commercially fished species within several decades.

Like an armada bent on victory at any cost, the 23,000 factory ships that patrol the world’s oceans have decimated one-third of the planet’s commercially fished species. They also indiscriminately kill and discard 200 million pounds of non-target species, or bycatch, every day. Because of such colossal destruction and waste, the United Nations says fishing operations are “a net economic loss to society.”

9. Fish farming isn’t the answer.

Sometimes hailed as the future of sustainable food production, fish farming is actually just another form of factory farming. Farmed fish live in the same stressful, tight conditions as land animals, and concentrated waste and chemicals from aquaculture damage local ecosystems. Escapes lead to further problems, as in the North Atlantic region where 20% of supposedly wild salmon are actually of farmed origin. When genes from wild and farmed fish mix, it degrades the wild population.

10. If they treated a dog or cat like that, they’d go to jail.

Industry-backed laws passed in the last 30 years make it legal to do almost anything to a farmed animal. Connecticut, for example, in 1996 legalized “maliciously and intentionally maiming, mutilating, torturing, wounding, or killing an animal” — provided it’s done “while following generally accepted agricultural practices.” Since most states have similar exemptions, farmed animals have almost no protection from inhumane treatment.

What’s a person to do?

Vote with your pocketbook. If you’re concerned about the creepy marketing, environmental damage, health risks, economic problems, or ethical issues that plague the meat industry, you can take action immediately. Make a choice to buy less meat, fish, eggs, and dairy – or better yet, give them up completely. It’s one of the most powerful things you can do.

For more information and additional solutions, get the book Meatonomics.

From Obese Vegetarian to Fitter Than Ever on a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet

Food Footprint Explainer Series: Is Eating Seafood More Carbon-Friendly Than Meat?

With the climate crisis climbing to the top of the global agenda, more people are beginning to take notice of the connection between our consumption choices and the carbon footprint it leaves behind. While some questions about the footprint of food can appear to be relatively straightforward, the reality may not always be as simple as it seems. Here, in our new Green Queen Food Footprint Explainer Series, we tackle some of the complexities surrounding food and examine which choices are really the most planet-friendly. This week, we compare seafood vs. meat, and take a look at the carbon footprint of different types of seafood and meats as well.

The carbon footprint associated with animal agriculture has driven many consumers to forgo or reduce meat products and instead opt for fish and other seafood as their alternative protein source. While often guided by the belief that eating fish and seafood comes at a reduced environmental impact, this only holds true in some cases, and importantly depends on which type of seafood or meat product you are weighing up against.

Of course, to reduce the carbon footprint of your plate as much as possible, scientists across the board agree that eating a plant-based diet – swapping out all meat, poultry and seafood for a vegan protein source – is the most environmentally friendly option. Accounting for multiple proxies of a food’s environmental impact, from production processes and land use to water wastage, transportation and packaging, the recent analysis by Our World in Data confirms that as a rule of thumb, it becomes clear that plant-based food produces the least carbon emissions.

When it comes to what is the most carbon-friendly amongst animal products, poultry meats such as turkey and chicken win out against other meats such as lamb and beef. As shown in the above graph by the US Environmental Working Group (EWG), lamb has the highest carbon footprint of all, producing an average of 20.44 kilograms of carbon dioxide for each kilogram of the meat. This is before accounting for transportation, which we have recently revealed makes less impact on the overall footprint of food than we might think. Much of the carbon footprint of lamb comes from the methane emissions released by sheep through belches and waste in the rearing process.

This is closely followed by beef, which produces only 5 kilograms fewer carbon dioxide emissions than lamb. Pork stands somewhere in the middle between poultry and beef, producing around 4.62 kilograms of carbon dioxide for each kilogram of the same product. Poultry produces around half of that of pork. So if you had to choose between different types of meat, your best bet is to stick to chicken or turkey over lamb, beef and pork.

The picture becomes more complicated when we compare meat to seafood and fish products. Seafood does tend to have a smaller carbon footprint than animal proteins, mostly because fishing does not require farmland and livestock rearing, but not always. Farmed salmon, for instance, has a higher carbon footprint than chicken or turkey because it requires fish feed and fuel use for fisheries, which generates 4.14 kilograms of carbon emissions per kilogram of salmon. So if you are trying to choose the lower carbon option and need to choose between chicken or farmed salmon, opting for chicken is probably more carbon-friendly.

Seafood is not necessarily more carbon-friendly than all meats (Source: 1Zoom)

In addition to carbon emissions, you may also be concerned about the other environmental impacts of farmed fish species such as salmon. Farmed seafood requires the use of large amounts of pesticides that leach and pollute the sea, which then destroys ocean habitats and harms marine life.

So are wild catches any better? Probably not. According to global nonprofit Oceana, wild fishing uses fossil fuel-powered vessels, which also spews out carbon emissions, and how much it does depends on what species are being targeted. Among wild seafood catches, crustaceans such as prawns and lobsters can burn an estimated 10,000 litres of fuel per catch, because nets and traps used to catch shellfish are much heavier than other types of dish.

Among all fish and seafood species, small schooling species such as anchovies, mackerel and herring are the lowest carbon options, averaging around 80 litres of fuel per catch because fishermen use purse-like nets to surround these schools of fish.

But caveats still exist if we look at other environmental factors. If you are worried about plastic pollution, for instance, almost all commercial fishing operations use methods such as trawling and longlines, which are at some point discarded in the sea, making up almost 50% of the ocean plastic waste. Commercial fishing also kills non-targeted species known as bycatch – these include dolphins, sea turtles and sharks. At the current rate of commercial fishing, overall marine populations are depleting so quickly we could be seeing most species consumed by humans going extinct by 2048, according to WWF estimates.

Plant-based protein sources over animal and seafood sources is the most sustainable option (Source: Adobe Stock Images)

You might also think twice about consuming seafood altogether if you are wary of ethical issues, since the fishing industry has long been mired in human rights abuses, from modern slavery to child labour.

Bottom line: in general, seafood tends to be on the lower end of the carbon scale, on par with more carbon-friendly types of meat such as chicken. Among different types of meat, lamb and beef are the most carbon-intensive, so it is best to avoid them as much as possible, along with shellfish, wild catches and crustacean seafood meats that also tend to come with a higher footprint than smaller schooling fish species and poultry. But ultimately, plant-based protein sources top the charts for sustainability, as well as being the most ethical and healthiest choice of all.

Opinion: Why You Should Give Farmed Fish a New Look

We all eat, which means food policy touches individuals from every walk of life, from rural rancher to cubicle dweller and all that&rsquos in between. This diversity is part of what makes the food movement so powerful. In our new op-ed series, we&rsquore featuring voices from the culinary community to weigh in and express their personal positions on the food-system issues they&rsquore most passionate about. Our latest entry comes from Barton Seaver, director of the Sustainable Food and Health Initiative at Harvard, and a chef, author, and advocate. Below, Seaver explores the current state of aquaculture, or farmed fish, and how it fits into a more sustainable future.

&ldquoFarmed or wild?&rdquo is a question that I am asked far too often. Both means of production have their detractors and share of damaging practices. However, aquaculture, or the farming of seafood, has long suffered disproportionately in the public&rsquos perception of this oft-maligned, yet vital food source. As a chef who once quite vociferously preached that aquaculture across the board was &ldquofarmed and dangerous,&rdquo I don&rsquot regret the passions that drove me to that position, but I do proudly sing a redemption song.

The public often hears damning information&mdashsome of it true&mdashabout aquaculture, so much so that it obscures the major advances the industry has accomplished. It&rsquos important that we see the industry in a broader context that goes beyond environmental metrics. When aquaculture is viewed in this larger frame of reference, the acute measure of its environmental impact is no longer a good judge of its value to our society.

One of the failures in our efforts to evaluate the sustainability of aquaculture has been that we have not measured it against other protein choices.

If we compare seafood with terrestrial proteins, measuring each by the environmental impacts of land-use alterations, greenhouse gas emissions, antibiotic use, freshwater use, and feed conversion ratios, seafood is often the better environmental choice. While I am by no means anti-beef or any other properly raised farm animal, our health and that of the environment depend on diversity. When we make seafood decisions based on evaluations inclusive of the environments, cultures, and economies of maritime communities and the positive health impacts of seafood consumption, we can better appreciate its role in our food system.

If we are to be a healthy society, both wild and farmed seafood must be part of our sustainable choices. In fact, farming seafood is one of the great opportunities available to expand food production, increase quality of life and health outcomes, sustain coastal communities, and restore the resiliency and productivity of our oceans.

U.S. dietary guidelines recommend eating eight or more ounces of seafood per week. Research by Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian of Tufts University found that consuming just three to six ounces of fish high in omega-3 fatty acids (farmed or wild) a week has been shown to reduce the risk of death from coronary heart disease by 36%, making seafood so important that Mozaffarian declares &ldquothe three S&rsquos of public health to be: wear your seatbelt, don&rsquot smoke, and eat seafood.&rdquo

If we are to follow this advice, aquaculture simply must be a part of our food system. The United Nations&rsquo Food and Agriculture Organization predicts that without it, the world will face a seafood shortage of 50&ndash80 million tons by 2030.

I do not suggest farmed seafood as a substitute for, but rather an addition to, wild-capture seafood. And though aquaculture still has many obstacles to overcome, as the industry itself seeks sustainability in its processes, the plain fact is that aquaculture on the whole has advanced in sustainability far past what consumers, chefs, and media often allow it credit for.

In the waters of my home state of Maine there are farms producing great product using best practices and constantly looking to improve. Businesses such as Cooke Aquaculture provides a great example of companies committed to forging ahead with innovations that address many of the environmental issues that have plagued the industry, especially with farmed salmon. The company grows salmon ranging from a competitively priced commodity product to True North salmon, a branded product of rarified quality that has captured the attention of some of the very best chefs.

Cooke has helped pioneer a unique approach by which nutrients released from salmon pens support growth of mussels and seaweeds farmed nearby. By reimagining ocean-farming to mimic the natural diversity of marine ecosystems, they are decreasing the negative environmental impact while increasing the positive effects these systems have on our health and improving economies through the number of my neighbors they sustainably employ.

Aquaculture grows not just finfish: oysters, clams, and mussels are well-established industries that have been a large part of this story for hundreds of years. The farming of bivalves is an industry I have long celebrated. The impacts of these systems are more than just sustainable&mdashthey are restorative, improving the ecosystems in which they are raised. In fact, I&rsquoll go so far as to proclaim it our patriotic duty to consume as many farm-raised clams, mussels, and oysters as possible.

Aquaculturists, just like fishermen, are a part of our food system, and it&rsquos time we look anew at an industry that must be embraced and encouraged by consumers and chefs. Sure, producers must be held responsible for continuosly working to minimize their environmental footprint. But we must equally celebrate their efforts to maximize aquaculture&rsquos contributions to our tables and our health. Remember: don&rsquot smoke, wear your seatbelt, and eat farmed and wild seafood.

Barton Seaver is director at the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program at the Center For Health and the Global Environment at Harvard School of Public Health. A lauded author, chef, and public speaker, Seaver has made it his life&rsquos work to improve our relationship to the earth and the ocean. Learn more about his work at

The opinions and viewpoints expressed by the authors in our op-ed series do not necessarily reflect the official position of the James Beard Foundation.


  1. Makya

    absolutely accidental coincidence

  2. Zackary

    You hit the mark.

  3. Arthur

    Bravo, what necessary phrase..., an excellent idea

  4. Tekora

    Nice post! I drew up a lot of new and interesting things for myself! I'll go give a link to a friend in ICQ

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