Archive for February, 2010

The future of fish

February 9th, 2010

A guest came into the restaurant tonight and started asking questions.  While you are on stage (behind the bar) you receive questions from every angle, and concerning every facet of the business.  And quite rightly, since people ought to be aware of what they are eating and how it is served and even the basic philosophy of the restaurant.

Granted some questions are quite farcical and evoke gales of laughter back in the kitchen when we are all rehashing the evenings service.  But these were good questions.

“How can it be a steelhead if it is a farm raised fish and doesn’t go out to sea?”

“What’s the difference between a farm raised steelhead and a wild steelhead?”

“What’s the difference between a salmon and a steelhead if they are both farmed?”

I explain that the steelhead  are trout raised in pens in the Puget Sound off Tacoma, and I explain why we have chosen, as a restaurant, to purchase our selection of farm raised fish from these purveyors.

The oceans are growing incresaingly unhealthy with large islands of garbage and huge areas without botanical life, or “dead spots”.  Sure, farms exist that merely pump out the fish with the lowest cost to the farmer.  Farms are even now teaching fish how to eat corn since corn is subsidized by the government and the cost is below the cost of production.  But not all farmers have lost the integrity of the product, nor have all farmers suffered the wrath of the giant corporations and have been driven out of business by Monsanto, or ADM, et al.

Here in the Northwest restaurants still have the choice to buy local, and to find farmers who understand and embrace the obligation to provide only good, healthy food to the customers who consume it.  The word Farm has not yet  been completely devoured by the industrial farming business.  Not yet.  With hope and consciousness perhaps we can prevent the absorption of farming by big business.