Friday, May 15, 2009

Tip of the week: It can be expensive to preserve our oceans

I guess the title is more of a warning than a tip, but I wanted to share with you a few things I learned about the $35-a-pound scallops I just bought.

I got them at the Whalesbone II*, a fish market that sells only sustainable and responsibly harvested fish and seafood (and delicious halibut burgers for lunch). I was after the fresh halibut, but they were out, so my focus shifted to the scallops.

My friendly fishmonger informed me that these scallops would be more expensive because they were hand-picked, unlike most that are harvested by a process called "dredging."

Dredges are usually nets that are dragged across the seabed to collect bottom-dwelling species (like scallops). This can be very damaging to the sea floor and to other species. My copy of Cook with Jamie adds that dredged scallops "are often damaged" and "will be full of sand and muck."

You can bet that with that price tag I have some pretty big plans for these scallops....

*The original Whalesbone is their sister restaurant around the corner.




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