Monday, December 5, 2011

Hugh's Fish Fight: The Ethical, Responsible, Healthy Alternative to the Chippy

Waitrose Fish and Chips

Many of you have probably watched, or heard about Hugh's Fish Fight, the recent Channel 4 documentary in which food activist and wholesome, country-chef, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall shows us the devastation that our insatiable, unstoppable appetite for fish is taking on the world's oceans. I was stunned by the information Hugh discovered on his journey. For instance, half of all fish caught in the North Sea are discarded because of silly European laws, apparently trying to curb over-fishing by creating insane limits on certain fish. When a fishing boat reaches its limit for that species, they must discard them... DEAD!If they don't, they will be fined for going over their limit.

Hugh has made it easy for us foodies to find fish that is truly being sourced ethically and sustainably. With videos and apps it is now easier than ever to eat only those species which are not over-fished, or tossed overboard because of legal limits.

Like most people living in Britain, I love fish and chips. Perhaps no other dish defines the UK more than fish and chips. Yet our love of this quintessentially English dish is causing havoc in the seas. Unfortunately, we eat mostly only three species of fish and two of those are a constant offer at the chippies, Cod and Haddock. As a result, stocks are low, or at least they appear to be, leading to EU laws and regulations on haulage limits.

Rather than giving up on one of my most favorite dishes I have begun to research alternatives. And I've found one that is not only more ethically responsible, but healthier and cheaper as well. That is; Line Caught, Icelandic Breaded Cod Fillets, with Organic Oven Chips from Waitrose. Throw in a good handful of Organic Garden Peas and you have yourself a meal that according to Hugh's iPhone app is completely fine to eat, with less calories than a normal take-away and it's nearly all organic. As well as being delicious.

There are of course more choices available. Marks and Spencer has a sustainable Breaded Cod and Haddock, but it doesn't state on the box whether it's line caught, or not and they don't have organic chips. I have yet to try the other UK supermarkets, but will in due course.

Alternatively, you can go to your local fishmonger and get the fish from him, batter and fry it as well as cut and fry the potatoes yourself to make the chips. This is without question the better method, but this entry makes it easy for anyone to eat fish and chips ethically, regardless of cooking skills.

Unfortunately, this entry is only targeting those in the UK, but I'm sure with a little research you can find ethical, sustainably sourced fish and chips in your local area.

Let's all please get behind this. We only have ONE ocean. Let's protect it!

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