Slavery touches us all, no matter where we live or how law-abiding we are. It is found in the clothes we wear, the products we buy and the food we eat. This has been underlined in the last few weeks by a series of powerful investigations into the horrors of the Thai fishing industry.
The Hawaiian people have been practitioners of the art of aquaculture for centuries. Being surrounded by ocean, it's an obvious talent, but the advanced fish-rearing technologies that they developed centuries ago are nothing short of amazing.
The two day event hosted by The Monterey Bay Aquarium at The Carmel Valley Ranch engaged 20 individuals in an experiential meeting about ways in which chefs can influence positive change when it comes to issues related to the sustainability of our oceans and fisheries.
Shrimp account for nearly a quarter of the nation's seafood consumption. But these numbers do not bode well for the sustainable seafood movement because shrimp is a tough item to source responsibly in the quantities it is currently consumed.
Sometimes, when we talk about sustainable seafood at Shedd, people wonder why we include the Great Lakes. After all, when people think about seafood, images of fishing boats along the Atlantic or Pacific coasts often come to mind.
In the traditional supply chain, fish passes through many hands before arriving on your plate, and the freshest fish on the market is at least six days old. Luckily, chefs all around the country are beginning to make choices that support independent fishermen and sustainable fisheries.
When we turn a blind eye to where our food comes from in the name of convenience and price, we allow others to make our choices about what kind of food system we want to have. Ignorance may be bliss, but we can no longer afford to ignore the impact of our food choices.