Blue Foods Assessment

The Lempert Report
July 13, 2023

Blue foods is basically defined as those that come from the ocean or freshwater environments, and they have tremendous potential both health-wise as well as environmental-wise, and it looks like this paper that was published in the journal Nature, called the Blue Food Assessment, is really touting the fact that it's time to turn to seafood.

Sally: Yes, and we talked about recently on the show here about the program where the USDA rescued a large amount of Alaskan salmon from this year and is now helping people have access to that, which is wonderful. But in this report, yes, they were looking at, their objectives were to look at nutrition, health, environment and livelihoods and how blue foods support all of those things. We want to have that vitamin B12 and omega 3 fatty acids for our overall health, and we know that people are lacking in those nutrients, so seafood can really help with that. And we also know that supporting our ocean systems and our blue foods that it can help the environment by reducing our use of agriculture and raising cattle for beef and other animals. And we also know that blue foods can support jobs, more jobs for people. So there are a lot of benefits at the industry as a whole looking at how we can support blue foods and get consumers more interested in them.

Phil: And the problem still remains and this is one of the things that I think not only this group but supermarkets in general need to address is people are afraid to cook seafood. We've seen that for decades. And the per capita consumption of seafood is a fraction of what it is for beef or for chicken. So we really need to be smart about that because otherwise, frankly, we're just going to have some severe problems health-wise and environmental-wise. So we need to have our RD's that are out there. We need to have, you know, supermarkets really commit to having more in-store demonstrations, cooking demonstrations for seafood, giving out those recipes, because seafood is probably one of the easiest foods to cook, yet people are afraid to do it and it's been a conundrum for decades. And until we can get past that, I'm not sure that, with all this data that's out there from health, all this data that's out there about sustainability, we're going to be able to move the needle as it relates to seafood consumption.