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seafood

One step at a time

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Visitas: 83

By: The Fishmonger*

As individual retailers you may feel that there is little you can do that will impact the global seafood world but, honestly, that could not further from the truth.

As individual retailers you may feel that there is little you can do that will impact the global seafood world but, honestly, that could not further from the truth.

Sure, if you just sit back and do nothing and you will be right, but The Fishmonger wants to highlight some issues for you to engage and maybe if you followed up on these ideas you might see how you can add value to the industry.

Here is a great example about Henty, a small town in southwestern New South Wales, Australia close to the boundaries of the Southwest Slopes and the Riverina districts, almost midway between the regional cities of Albury and Wagga Wagga.

At the 2006 census, Henty had a population of 863 people. In rough terms it is about 5 hours´ drive to either Sydney or Melbourne.

When graphic designer and mother of three, Izumi Hooper first moved to Henty five years ago, she was the first and only Japanese national in town. She was warmly welcomed by the local population and settled in well, but she soon discovered that the people of Henty were not very familiar with the traditional Japanese dish of sushi – unlike in most major cities of Australia today.

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Izumi was invited to the local Bush Fire Brigade’s Christmas party, so she decided to take a plate of sushi rolls, despite advice by her Australian husband that “no one will eat it”. Basically, he was right except that one lady, the owner of the only café in Henty, thought that Izu’s sushi was the most exotic dish on the table and wanted to add it to her café menu. 

From there, began Izumi’s journey to spread the culture of sushi in Henty, providing it for the cafe’s menu. She learned that encouraging the rural community to try something new was not as easy as she had hoped. Rolls and rolls of sushi went to waste, and Izumi often wondered if it was worth it after all but she continued her quest nevertheless.

Izumi was reported as saying “Persistence was the key. Gradually, people came back for more, and the word spread. Now customers, some who have never before eaten sushi, order a week ahead!”

Importantly the children of Henty loved it, and Izumi’s sushi is now sold in the canteen of Henty Public School.

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Subsequently “sushi girl” (as she is known in Henty), Izumi’s profession is a graphic designer came to the fore and last year, she designed and completed a wall mural behind a “buddy bench” or a “friendship bench” at Henty Public School – a bench that encourages students to play with those who are feeling lonely or have no one to play with.

Such a win/win for all was showing how with a good idea and persistence you can make small steps to get to bigger goals.

The Fishmonger feels this could be taken further – taking the concept to other small towns and educating the kids and along with that the seafood industry could be assisting the process by bringing in an education process about seafood and the important health aspects of seafood consumption to mothers and children.

Just taking that a step forward The Fishmongers friend, Dr. Barry Costa-Pierce, recently commented on his LinkedIn profile ‘Aquaculture is very knowledge-based, so diverse, forever challenging, dynamic, innovative. Each day is a new discovery.

My discovery of Norway continues. Farmed salmon is only ~50 years old. The first farmed salmon hit markets when I was a graduate student. In every place where aquaculture becomes an important part of a society, a substantial investment in meaningful public education needs to be made.

seafood

Not only in courses, social media, films, etc. but also by making significant investments in specific, dedicated, physical infrastructures and people to constantly engage the public in its dynamism! That’s where Norway stands alone in the world of aquaculture.

Here in Bodø (Norway), “The Salmon Center” is right in in middle of town, open 7 days a week. And the amazing Domus Pisces aquaculture education center, , next to a school and small town nearby.

Imagine what could happen if that was able to be done in other towns across the globe? Did you know that fourteen million meals of Norwegian farmed salmon are consumed every day across 110 countries? That was a fact learned from Barry’s comments… amazing, eh?

Back to the seafood and health subject – this year has seen a new report emerge – Association of omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids with incident chronic kidney disease: pooled analysis of 19 cohorts. It covers the findings of an international team of researchers, which was led by the George Institute for Global Health and the University of New South Wales, where results were published in the medical journal the BMJ.

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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects about 700 million people worldwide. It can lead to kidney failure and death, so there is a present and urgent need to identify factors that could prevent its onset and progression.

“While we cannot for certain say what specific fishes had the greatest effect on CKD risk, we know that the blood levels of the fatty acids reflect their intake well,” Dr Matti Marklund, a senior research fellow at the George Institute has reportedly said.

He added “Among the richest dietary sources of these fatty acids are fatty coldwater fish – for example, salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herrings – and, to a slightly less extent shellfish, like oysters, mussels, and crab.”

The findings support guidelines recommending consumption of oily fish and other seafood as part of a healthy diet. Eating at least two portions of oily fish a week is linked to a lower risk of chronic kidney disease and a slower decline in the organ’s function, the research suggests.

“Current dietary recommendations in most countries suggest at least two servings of fish per week, preferably oily fish, which will provide about 250 mg/ day of long-chain omega 3s,” said Marklund.

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Studies in animals have previously suggested omega three fatty acids may help with kidney function, but until now evidence from human research was limited – and relied mostly on dietary questionnaires but now this study has found an association between higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish and other seafood, and a reduced risk of kidney problems.

The link was not found with higher levels of plant-derived omega 3 fatty acids which goes along with the whole fish is best concept. The researchers pooled the results of 19 studies from 12 countries examining links between levels of omega 3 fatty acids and the development of CKD in adults. About 25,000 people were included in the main analysis, aged between 49 and 77.

After accounting for a range of factors including age, sex, race, body mass index, smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity, heart disease and diabetes, higher levels of seafood omega 3 fatty acids were associated with an 8% lower risk of developing CKD.

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When participants were split by levels of seafood omega 3 fatty acids consumed, those in the highest fifth had a 13% lower risk of CKD compared with those in the lowest fifth. Higher levels were also associated with a slower annual decline in kidney function.

Results were similar after further analysis and appeared consistent across age groups. “Higher levels were consistently associated with lower CKD risk,” he added. These research outcomes need to be broadcast globally in any education program as prove that prevention is better than cure and that seafood is a key player.

John McFadden Update

In the Fishmongers last article there was a focus on John McFadden and how he brought all of his skills and unique experiences together to become the World Food Champion -Seafood and having won the seafood world title, Mr. McFadden now on his way to the Final Table event to be held in Bentonville, Arkansas, USA from 18th to 21st May 2023.

He is practicing hard and has booked his accommodation and flights so we will keep you informed. Meanwhile, John has become a Brand Ambassador for Yumbah Aquaculture, which has been announced as one of the 6 Finalists for the 16th Annual President’s Medal by Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS).

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The only competition of its kind in Australia (maybe even globally), the RAS President’s Medal Award looks beyond product taste and explores the overall production cycle of an award-winning business, from its commercial success and environmental footprint to its social and community impact.

To qualify for the President’s Medal, producers must have been a champion-winning product in the previous year’s Sydney Royal Wine, Dairy or Fine Food Shows, which means finalists have been selected from more than 4,000 entrants, 81 champions and from across 276 classes.

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“The RAS President’s Medal is a unique award – not only does it allow us to judge an oyster producer against a dairy manufacturer, but it also lets us get down to the granular detail of how these businesses operate and to recognize them for that best practice and innovation. It is the only award in Australia that judges on a triple-bottom-line approach in the wine, dairy, and fine food industry,” Mr. Halmagyi, renowned chef, and President Medal judge, said.

In March this year, President’s Medal Judges, Ed Halmagyi and Michael Bullen will visit each finalist and conduct site tours to delve into the business’ commercial, environmental and social processes before announcing the 16th Annual President’s Medal winners at an event during the Sydney Royal Easter Show on Wednesday, 12th April.

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More success headed John’s way? Is it me or has the world just become faster! It seems like only yesterday we were celebrating Christmas and New Year festivities and immediately we are seeing hot cross buns on sale in supermarkets. The need for planning ahead becomes more important in such a busy environment so be prepared.

References and sources consulted by the author on the elaboration of this article are available under previous request to our editorial staff.

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