The ability to get fresh seafood to a diner’s plate in under 24 hours, and new tracking systems that let consumers know exactly when and where and by whom a fish was caught, are capturing the attention of chefs and consumers. That’s all well and good, says Michael Ciaramella, a New York Sea Grant seafood safety and technology specialist at Cornell Cooperative Extension. (and who holds a PhD), but he wants to spread the word that farmed seafood is an excellent alternative.
“Aquaculture can supplement the well managed U.S. capture fisheries to meet the growing seafood demand,” he states in a press release.
Want to find out more? Then sign up for his seafood workshop on Monday, November 7 to be held at Suffolk County Community College’s Culinary Center in Riverhead. (It’s only $15 for the day; $10 for just the evening session.)
The workshop is intended for food media, foodservice professionals, retailers, restaurateurs, chef educators, culinary students, chefs and other interested parties.
The morning session starts with a tour of Widow’s Hole Oyster Company and lunch on the North Fork. In the afternoon there will be two talks: one on seafood safety and nutrition and one on seafood sustainability and availability. This will be followed by a panel discussion and then a reception with a dinner that will showcase U.S. and local farmed seafood. The discussion panel, which is still being finalized, will include New York seafood professionals and producers: farmers, community supported fisheries, aquatic vets, aquaponic farmers and fishermen.
Ciaramella was motivated to put this workshop together because he believes many food professionals are unaware of the safety regulations in place for aquaculture, that currently 94 percent of all seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported and that this knowledge will help educate the upcoming generation of seafood consumers who value locally grown and healthful food.