Current Weather
The Spy FM

Sustainable Sushi: See The Video. But Don’t Eat The Eel

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
March 5, 2012

Sushi seems like the perfect modern food: Light, healthful and available at seemingly every supermarket in the nation. But is it sustainable?

That’s the question behind “The Story of Sushi,” a new video that’s been pulling a lot of clicks in the past week. Maybe that’s because its adorable format, with tiny, handcrafted figures used to tell the tale, stands in stark contrast to its depressing message: Most of the sushi we snarf up is harvested using unsustainable methods.

The video is a marketing tool for Bamboo Sushi, a Portland, Ore., restaurant that bills itself as “the first certified, sustainable sushi restaurant in the world.”

A claim like that is sure to get our journalistic antennae twitching here at The Salt. Bamboo Sushi is certainly not the only sushi joint that has gone sustainable in a big way. (Think Tataki in San Francisco and Mashiko in Seattle, for starters.)

And chefs who tend to cook fish before serving it are also working hard at sustainable sourcing. But claims of sustainability can be suspect, and it can be hard for restaurants to weigh conflicting standards from different sustainability organizations against supporting local fishing.

“I’ve been in the seafood business for 40 years,” Jasper White, chef and partner of the Summer Shack restaurants, told the Boston Globe last week. “The whole thing about sustainability is that the more I learn, the more confused I get.”

Still, the Bamboo Sushi folks do seem to be working with some of the big guns in seafood sustainability, including the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Blue Ocean Institute.

And a quick glance at its menu reveals that Bamboo Sushi is steering away from some of the big no-nos in sustainable fishmongering, including farmed salmon, king crab, octopus, red snapper, bluefin tuna and eel. Instead, they’re going for pole-caught maguro tuna and wild shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico.

Big-box stores like Costco and Trader Joe’s are also trying to deliver on sustainable seafood, a pledge that should include the sushi counter as well.

But for those of us who eat our sushi from the neighborhood carryout, not from high-end restaurants, odds are that tasty raw fish comes with a less that palatable pedigree. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

12AM to 5AM The Spy

The Spy

An eclectic mix of the Spy's library of more than 10,000 songs curated by Ferris O'Brien.

Listen Live Now!

5AM to 9AM Morning Edition

Morning Edition

For more than two decades, NPR's Morning Edition has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports.

View the program guide!

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center