Posts Tagged ‘local’

BC Spot Prawn Named Ingredient of the Year

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

Vancouver Magazine did a great write up on spot prawns in their May Issue this year they’ve gone so far as to award the spot prawn as their ingredient of the year.  Quite an honor for the spot prawn and those that fish them.  Introducing the spot prawn as the ingredient of the year Andrew Morrison, setup the two logical alternatives, the farmed tiger prawn and the spot prawn.  I’d just like to pick up one of the threads that Andrew started to pursue.

“The strongest argument against them [farmed tiger prawns] is that we have always had a superior alternative sourced by fishermen right here at home.”

Local food is important.  Knowing the people and techniques that are used to grow our food is important.  The age old phrase “you are what you eat” is proving to be very true and very important to our personal health.  Localness also speaks to the sustainability of the food.  Fisherman in BC have a vested interest in seeing the fishery continue, and continue at similar volumes.  And it is abundantly clear that the only way to maintain the fishery is to balance the need for fisherman to make a living with the need for prawns to have time to reproduce and replenish their numbers.

The Localness of spot prawns in the North America also means that if at any point you’re concerned about the fishery and its environmental practises you can just immediately talk to someone.  In Canada the spot prawn fishery is regulated by the Canadian Federal Government Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) (Note: you’ll have to get a DFO Extranet login to access this page). If you’re interested to see the details of the regulation of the fishery you can get have an open view of the legalities that fisherman must comply with.

And if you ever want to know exactly what is going on out on the fishing grounds it is relatively easy to go down to strike up a conversation with one of the fisherman on the most any wharf on the Pacific Coast.  Cultivating a relationship with the fisherman also gives you an opportunity to buy the biggest or freshest prawns that he has to offer.

Spot prawns are a food that you can feel unabashedly good about eating, because you CAN know the people and processes involved in producing the food.  Not only that, it is relatively easy to have an ongoing relationship with the fisherman and enjoy the best of their catch.