Now more than ever chefs and consumers alike care more about their food choices. They want to eat and menu healthy foods without sacrificing flavor, they want to know where their food comes from and they want to feel good about their choices for the environment. One of the smartest choices we can make today to answer these demands is to eat more seafood. There is mounting evidence that seafood is good for the body, the planet, not to mention, it’s delicious which makes it good for the menu. Yet, Americans simply don’t eat enough.
IT’S GOOD FOR THE BODY
Seafood’s health benefits are just too numerous to count evidenced by the mountains of medical studies that show how seafood improves overall health. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), American Heart Association (AHA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) – all recommend two servings per week because it’s high in protein and essential vitamins and minerals and low in saturated fat and calories. Additionally, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to the USDA and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends that the U.S. population consume a diet higher in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy, seafood, legumes, and nuts. They also encourage a diet that is lower in red and processed meat.
IT’S GOOD FOR THE PLANET
For all the negative talk about the oceans, there are actually wonderful stories from well-managed fisheries like those in U.S., Alaska, Iceland, New Zealand, Australia and more. But did you know that, seafood is the most environmentally friendly of all the animal proteins? In a comparison of environmental costs of about 1.4 ounces (40 grams) of beef, chicken, pork, dairy and wild-capture fisheries, wild-capture fisheries have a miniscule cost vs. the other proteins.
IT’S GOOD FOR THE MENU
Consumers’ attitudes toward healthy eating are evolving, but the desire for food that makes your mouth water will always remain constant, especially at the foodservice level. Seafood is incredibly delicious and consumers turn to restaurants to eat it.
Americans spend about half their food budgets outside the home and for seafood it’s even more – 67% according to NOAA Fisheries. Clearly, consumers look to chefs and restaurants to make tasty yet healthy and responsible choices about what ends up on the menu, so that in turn they can make the same choices.