Sustainability-Focused Brands Share Best Practices

Thanks to today's technology and data analytics, we are well aware of the impact we have on our environment. But knowledge is power.

Brands across the country now have teams dedicated to improving sustainable practices, all committed to a larger mission to reduce their carbon footprint.

At the Foodable.io Seattle event, we sat down with three sustainability experts– Jessica Myer, environmental specialist for Ste Michelle Wine Estates, Julia Person, sustainability and manager for Kona Brewing, and Nelly Hand, founder & and fisherman to learn about each of their roles and how their brands are providing eco-friendly solutions.

But to make sure that sustainable practices are being universally used within a business isn't always easy.

"As we grow as a company and our sustainable practices are actually coming into fruition, our biggest challenge is that our locations in eastern Washington and Oregon are very rural, so we don't have access to the recycling seen in Seattle or Portland. The city of Walla Walla (in Washington) doesn't have any glass recycling, which seems insane. But we have to find innovative ways to get our products recycled," says Myer. "Another thing is the plastic challenge. We are having to sometimes paid to recycle our plastic now, which is not necessarily sustainable for a business but we want to make sure we're doing the right thing."

This movement encompasses much more than recycling. There's water conservation, alternative power sources, fishing techniques, and harvesting practices– that all make an impact on our planet and its resources.

Listen to the full episode above to learn more about how these brands are looking for new ways to be more eco-friendly, while also closing the loop on consumers demands around full sustainability and responsibility from all sides.

What is the Real Cost of Protein?

With headlines published in the media like "Two-Thirds of the World's Seafood is Over-fished" and "Science Study Predicts the Collapse of All Seafood Fisheries by 2050," what is really the state of the ecosystems in the Earth's oceans?

Will we deplete the ocean's resources in the near future? or do we have time to make adaptions to ensure the vitality of fisheries?

At the Foodable.io event in Seattle, Foodable Host Yareli Quintana sat down with Dr. Ray Hilborn, professor of Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington who has been researching the topic of conservation and quantitative population dynamics of seafood for the last eight years.

Hilborn starts out by pointing out that there a two environmental challenges when it comes to seafood supply.

First, it's the substantial fuel used to catch the fish, which generates carbon foot and then, the impact on biodiversity. As specific fish populations continue to be caught, this is changing the ecosystem of the ocean.

The seafood conservation expert also clears up a common misconception that our ocean is being depleted.

"Within the last 20 years the abundance of stock has really turned around in many places, there are certainly exceptions where that's not true though," says Hilborn.

But that doesn't mean that chefs shouldn't be concerned about what fish product that they are serving.

Each type of seafood makes a different impact on the environment. For example, Maine lobster generates a lot of energy to catch, while sardines, oysters, and mussels, on the other hand, make a really low impact.

Oyster and mussels feed themselves and most of the environmental cost comes from feed production.

Then there's the problem of food waste, which is a challenge for restaurants, but more so, for consumers eating at home.

"One of the big issues of fish and food, in general, is waste. Globally, about 30 percent of food is wasted. In rich countries like the U.S., that's mostly at home...So it's important to be more careful about making sure you buy what you need and use it," says Hilborn.

Watch the Seafood Talk Session above to learn more about the sustainability, research and management practices that are being worked on and adjusted every day in order to do right by nature and to feed the masses.

Westward's Chef Will Gordon Shares His Matbucha Braised Wild Alaska Pollock Recipe

On this episode of On Foodable, we are featuring Chef Will Gordon, former Executive Chef of Westward, a Seattle restaurant located directly on the north shores of Lake Union. Chef Gordon will be working with wild Alaska pollock, provided by Trident Seafoods, to make a delicious Matbucha Braised Wild Alaska Pollock dish. This is the last episode out of our four-part series of chef demos that were filmed at our Foodable.io Seattle event, sponsored by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

About the Dish

Wild Alaska Pollock Braised in Matbucha with Preserved Lemon Cream, Charred Shishito Peppers and Herbs

Wild Alaska Pollock is an underutilized, sustainable fish species.

Wild Alaska Pollock is an underutilized, sustainable fish species.


Ingredients:

  • 6 ea. / skinned, Wild Alaska Pollock Fillets

  • 1 recipe Matbucha

  • Lemon juice

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 pt preserved lemon crema

  • 24 ea. medium-sized shishito peppers washed

  • 3 pts mixed pickled herbs: parsley, mint, and dill

  • Finishing salt


Method of Cooking:

This recipe serves 6 people. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Heat up matbucha in two saute pans its oven proof handles (thin with a little bit of vegetable stock, water or tomato juice to the consistency of tomato sauce). When it is at a nice simmer, nestle in three portions of fish per pan, leaving space between each piece. Move to oven and bake for about 5 minutes, or until the fish is just done and flaky.  While the fish is in the oven, blister the shishito peppers in a hot, dry pan until black spots occur, and they are just cooked. Remove to a plate on the side.

After you remove the pans of fish from the oven, gently remove all of your fish to a plate off to the side. Put the matbucha back on the stove and reduce down if it needs it. Add a little olive oil, salt or lemon as necessary to make it taste as you like.  


Plating:

  • To serve, spoon some matbucha on each plate, nestle a few shishitos in the matbucha as well as your fish. Garnish with dollops of the preserved lemon cream and herbs that have been lightly dressed in extra virgin olive oil and salt.

Westward

“Westward is a restaurant with a real sense of place,” says Chef Gordon. “You can sit on the deck there, on the patio and look out and see all of Seattle… and eat oysters or eat a nice piece of fish out of our wood-fired oven and it’s like no where else in the world.”

To hear Will Gordon’s thoughts about what the role of a chef is today and to replicate his delicious sustainable fish dish, follow along by watching the episode above!

Chef David Glass, from Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Demonstrates His Lemon & Thyme Stuffed Wild Alaska Pollock Dish

On this episode of On Foodable, we are featuring Chef David Glass, from Ethan Stowell Restaurants’ Staple and Fancy Mercantile located in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard. Chef Glass will be working with wild Alaska pollock, provided by Trident Seafoods, to make a beautiful Lemon and Thyme Stuffed Wild Alaska Pollock dish. This is the third episode out of our four-part series of chef demos that were filmed at our Foodable.io Seattle event, sponsored by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

About the Dish

Wild Alaska Pollock, stuffed with Thyme and Lemon, with Brown Butter Cauliflower and Salsa Verde

Wild Alaska Pollock is an underutilized, sustainable fish species.

Wild Alaska Pollock is an underutilized, sustainable fish species.


Ingredients:

  • 2 ea. / skin on Wild Alaska Pollock Fillets

  • 1 lemon, sliced 1/4 inch thick

  • 3 sprigs of thyme

  • 1 cup cauliflower florets 

  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed

  • 1/4 lb butter

  • 1Tbs extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup picked parsley, fried

  • 1/4 cup picked sage, fried

  • 1 lemon, juice of


Method of Cooking:

Take the two skin-on fillets and lay slices of lemon and thyme in between. Tie the fish with butcher’s twine to secure the two filets together. Sear the cauliflower in the olive oil. Add the capers and butter. Allow butter to brown and add the lemon juice to stop the browning process. Grill the fish on both sides (about 4 minutes per side).


Plating:

  • Plate the fish, snipping and carefully removing the twine, and top with cauliflower, caper and butter mix. Top with crispy parsley and sage. 

Staple & Fancy

At Staple and Fancy there’s a focus on seafood and utilizing the abundance of quality local resources that are available to chefs in the city of Seattle. For Chef Glass, sustainability is a personal responsibility.

“As a chef it’s easy to think about today and tomorrow or just cooking for now,” said Chef Glass. “But when we look at the big picture and we look at five years from now…, twenty years from now and the impact of the use of the ingredients we have today on the future it’s important for us to have thought in the product that we use and ensure that we’re using product that is gonna be sustainable and it’s going to be available for our children.”

Essentially, he would hate “for species to become extinct and no one would have the chance to taste them again.”

To replicate this delicious sustainable dish follow along by watching the episode above!

Kona Brewing Company is Craft Beer Brewery with a Passion for Sustainability

Some say Aloha means to live in harmony with the natural world and each other, this is the test of our time. Kona Brewing Company is more than just another craft beer company. With a focus on smarter energy, responsible practices, and a dedication to the community around them Kona is embodying the true meaning of Aloha.

On this episode of On Foodable filmed at Foodable.io Seattle sponsored by Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, we get to learn a little more about Kona Brewing Company from Parker Penley, Lead Innovation Brewer at Craft Brew Alliance.

“Two just absolutely integral parts of what we do are sustainability and quality. And I always kind of say that those are not mutually exclusive,” said Penley. “Those actually work in parallel beautifully, you just have to, you know, be very conscious about what you’re doing and the impact on those around you and the environment.”

With this mentality and respect towards the Hawaiian Islands, Kona Brewing Company has established sustainability as one of its primary pillars. From building a state of the art brewery powered by solar panels to investing in a new High-Efficiency Brewing System to use less grain and barley, this company is taking sustainability to the next level.

However, Aloha doesn’t stop there at Kona Brewing Company. Besides having a focus on sustainability, their passion and desire fosters not only a high-quality beer but always creates an experience.

Aloha is all about the connection people have to the land and the way they connect with others on the island. Kona Brewing Company embodies that, by connecting local ingredients used to create their product, connecting with the community, and relaying the spirit of Hawaii and paradise to their consumers.

Watch the episode above to learn more about Kona and its sustainability efforts and the challenges faced in doing so on the island.

Looking for more beer and wine brands that are putting sustainability first? We recently interviewed Rob Bigelow, Senior Director of Wine Education and On Premise Development at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, about Villa Maria Wine Estate—a company in partnership with Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.