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Diving into sustainable seafood with Ren Ostry of Kitchen Catch

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Fish have seasons, just like produce.

ren ostrey

Why is Sustainable Seafood Important?

Did you know most Americans only eat 3 different types of fish? The industry is driven by consumer demand instead of natural supply. That’s why populations of wild tuna, salmon, and shrimp are depleting at an alarming rate which forces unsustainable forms of aquaculture to try to take their place.

What would a more sustainable seafood industry look like? Ren Ostry has built a career in answering this question. Her business, Kitchen Catch, encourages eaters to embrace a more diverse array of seafood by embracing bycatch, unsung species like Opah and Mongchong that fishermen catch alongside popular species like tuna and salmon.

In our chat, we dig into the history of the seafood industry and explore how it became so unsustainable and why a more sustainable seafood industry must involve getting comfortable eating more types of fish. Ren shares practical advice on how to shop for seafood in a more ethical and sustainable way and we also trade tips for cooking with fish for the first time!

If you’re a fan of seafood, food history, or just feel confused about which fish you should be eating these days, this episode has something for you!

Show Notes

  • More than half of our seafood consumption in America is just 3 species: tuna, salmon, and shrimp.
  • Escolar is one of the most frequently mislabeled fish out there according to Ren. Eating it can lead to some digestive issues.
  • Ren recommended 3 books about the seafood and sustainable seafood industry. “Cod by Mark Kurlansky, “Four Fish” by Paul Greenberg, and “Salmon From Market to Plate” by Maureen C Berry
  • Ren recommends against freezing fish more than twice as it will damage the flesh and decrease the nutritional content. She also recommends freezing fish fast and defrosting it slowly to preserve the quality.
  • Ren recommends burning a citrus-scented candle while cooking fish to avoid making your apartment smell like fish.
  • A simple caper and lemon sauce goes a long way in making any fish taste delicious. Here’s a recipe.
  • Ren’s go-to song to sing in the car is “Come and get your love” by Redbone.

If you enjoyed this lesson in sustainable seafood, tune into Putting an End to Food Apartheid with Olympia Auset.