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Grist magazine checks in with former Hook and Blue Ridge chef Barton Seaver for a little Q&A. Seaver is the author of a new cookbook, For Cod and Country, which is chock full of recipes for “alternatives to the obvious seafood choices that have become unsustainable for our ocean ecosystems.” In the interview, Seaver plays the role of contrarian, noting that sometimes the best thing you can do to help save the planet’s depleted oceans is to eat more seafood. He is particularly adamant about stuffing your face with shellfish, especially the farm-raised variety:
It’s our patriotic duty to eat as many farm-raised shellfish as we can. It’s the only seafood that recommend overconsumption of. Oysters are an absolutely decimated wild population, and they provide a very necessary and vital ecosystem function of helping to filter the waterways. When an oyster farmer plants a clam or an oyster, that farmed oyster is the exact same species that goes in the wild, and it performs the same vital functions. In fact, in some cases, those oysters will actually breed and reproduce, thus helping to replenish and restore native populations. Every time you eat one of these farmed oysters you’re incentivizing the farmer to plant at least one more. And that creates a vital economic lifeline for areas that are devastated by overfishing.