Please take a minute today and remember the 9/11 victims. The 2,996 people, including 412 first responders killed, the 6000 who were injured and the nearly 2000 survivors who have subsequently been diagnosed with cancer. This atrocity claimed the lives of people from 90 countries. It is high time to dial down hate speech and racism.
Our oceans are under threat, but not just from microplastics. Overfishing has become catastrophic. Far more fish have been caught globally between 1950 and 2010 than was admitted, leading to a sharp decline in the number of fish in the sea. Industrial fisheries using large commercial machinery to trawl the ocean bed result in millions of other sea animals, including whales, dolphins and turtles, getting trapped and killed in nets. Aquaculture – fish farming – poses a host of health and environmental hazards.
Meanwhile, slave labor, which is particularly rife in the shrimp industry, poses ethical problems, as does the issue of animal cruelty, something often overlooked when it comes to sea creatures. Scientific evidence has found that fish are sentient and feel both physical and emotional pain, as do crabs, lobsters and other crustaceans.
Plant-based fish products are potentially a better-for-you alternative that won’t contain toxic metals like mercury, microplastics or other contaminants that could otherwise be in fish and will help reverse the adverse effects overfishing has on our oceans. Last year, the World Economic Forum reported almost 90% of the Earth’s fish reserves were either fully exploited, overexploited, or depleted. With an estimated 50 billion aquatic animals killed for food just in the US every year, which is five times as much as all land animals combined, fishless seafood, if perfected, could address a number of serious issues facing the planet.
With the average American consumer eating over 14 pounds of fish and shellfish every year, the fish and seafood market might become the next industry to be turned on its head by the alternative meat craze. But, developing the fish product presents a challenge…. the wide range of tastes across different species of fish.
The primary market for fishless fish may not be die-hard vegans, but instead “flexitarians.” Flexitarians are often motivated by a desire to both eat healthy and have a positive world impact, making them the perfect customers for fishless fish.
New Wave Foods plant based shrimp tastes so much like the real thing that in taste tests people can’t tell it apart from actual shrimp. Because it’s plant- and algae-based, this shrimp has zero cholesterol. Shellfish and shrimp are high in cholesterol. It is also shellfish-allergen-free. Shellfish allergies are one of the top food allergies in the country, and they are adult-onset allergies. So, people diagnosed with a shellfish allergy can continue to eat a food they love. New Wave prawns were also certified kosher. So that’s a new market opportunity.
The National Fisheries Institute, a seafood trade group, says consumers don’t need to be saved from what’s arguably the healthiest animal protein on the planet. These companies are marketing themselves by trying to “rhetorically inflate” seafood’s challenges. Ninety percent of fisheries are not in peril. People aren’t becoming toxic from fish. And research shows consumers ingest more microplastics from breathing than from eating seafood. The FDA and EPA do provide guidance on mercury levels in fish and seafood.
Ocean Hugger Foods plant based raw tuna, Ahimi is sold as a food service ingredient, not as a packaged food product for consumers to take home and cook with. Even in retail establishments like Whole Foods, it’s sold at the sushi bar in the rolls, not on the shelf. Designed to be an alternative to ahi tuna, with a savory, meaty taste, Ahimi is made with five simple ingredients, the key one being tomato. The texture and flavor of the tomato are transformed through a special technique and the product has been hailed for its realistic taste to actual tuna.
If the current growth of the plant-based foods and drinks sector is anything to go by, the future looks very promising. Recent data compiled by shows that plant-based foods’ dollar sales grew by 20% over the past year in the retail sector, for a total of $3.3 billion. With overall food sales growth at only 2%, this shows plant-based foods’ growth is outpacing all other retail food sales ten fold..
My cousin’s allergic to shellfish, and I accidentally put shrimp in his soup. You should’ve seen his reaction….