Earth's oceans were once thought to be inexhaustible sources of food, but we now know that they cannot sustain the demands we are placing on them. Overfishing has led to the depletion of once abundant fish and shellfish species. Yet seafood is a healthy and desirable choice in our diets. So what is an ecologically conscious, seafood-loving cook to do?
Carole C. Baldwin and Julie H. Mounts have solved the dilemma. Rather than suggest avoiding consumption of seafood for conservation purposes, they present an array of US seafood species to choose from that are fished or farmed in an ecologically sound manner. Furthermore, they have assembled delicious recipes from America's top chefs based on these species: try Alice Waters’s Dungeness Crab Salad with Meyer Lemon, Endive, and Watercress; Mario Batali’s Atlantic Mackerel in Scapece with Lemon Thyme and Sweet Peppers; or Sautéed Soft-Shell Crabs on Asparagus from Jacques Pepin.
By diversifying our seafood consumption, we can lessen the demand for problematic species and distribute the burden among a broad spectrum of well-managed stocks—and still prepare delicious meals.