We’re in the pre-Lent period when Catholics abstain from meat on Fridays. So we see fast-feeders filling the airwaves with fish commercials, in what could become a new winter ritual.We’re in the pre-Lent period when Catholics abstain from meat on Fridays. So we see fast-feeders filling the airwaves with fish commercials, in what could become a new winter ritual. Who’s on board in a big way? Wendy’s with a premium panko-coated North Pacific cod filet sandwich. Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s with a charbroiled Atlantic cod sandwich on a honey-wheat bun. Burger King with an Alaskan cold-water white fish filet sandwich. And McDonald’s USA, augmenting its 50-year-old Filet-O-Fish sandwich with Fish McBites, a new Happy Meal served up in its nearly 300 Philadelphia restaurants through March; the chain offered a $1 snack-size version between Feb. 12 and 14. Will consumer demand warrant that fish offerings stay on menus year-round, or at least more months of the year? What happens after Lent – is the question begging to be asked. We see a better chance of that happening if fewer fish items are fried and more are paired with light, healthy ingredients such as salad, fruit and yogurt. Seafood sustainability is another way to stand apart—and McDonald’s USA has struck first as the first national restaurant chain certified by the Marine Stewardship Council that it catches Alaskan Pollock in an environmentally responsible way. This applies to all fish products it sells in all of its U.S. locations. The Marine Stewardship Council has its critics, But we at here at TLR think the logo will still convey to consumers that the chain is trying hard to be responsible, just like Walmart, Whole Foods Market, Costco, Big Y, Shaw’s, Food Lion, The Fresh Market, CVS, and Walgreens that also associate with the organization.