Friday, March 20, 2009

Texting Shamu: R U Green?

As a pescatarian, I eat a lot of seafood. Not as much as Jeremy Piven maybe, but at least five times a week. Given that the FDA appears to barely bother to monitor seafood sold in the US, there are a few questions you might ask yourself when sitting down at the sushi bar. Like, where did this fine specimen come from? Is it endangered? Am I depleting the ecology of the ocean and planet and altering the entire weather system by dipping it in wasabi and savoring its buttery flesh? Or maybe, this is perhaps not yellowfin tuna at all but some sort of fraudulent usurper of tuna?


The Blue Ocean Institute has devised a simple way to help answer the first three questions easily enough with their cool service called FishPhone.

1. Text to 30466 FISH + the name of your potential dinner victim.

2. They'll text you back an environmental thumbs up or down.

For example, I texted them for Artic Char, and their cheerful reply was,"Farmed Artic Char: very few environmental concerns; most char are farmed in inland facilities that cause little pollution."

It won't give you PhD-level insight into the issue, but it's one step closer to gaining peace of mind at the fish market or while perusing the specials menu.

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