From Dock To Dish: A New Model Connects Chefs To Local Fishermen
NPR, September 2015

Nearly 100 pounds of gleaming, fresh-caught California yellowtail and white sea bass arrived at Chef Michael Cimarusti's Los Angeles-based restaurant Providence on Wednesday morning. But this wasn't just another ho-hum seafood delivery. The pile of fish marks an important step toward a fundamentally different way that prominent chefs are beginning to source American seafood: the restaurant-supported fishery.

Do Fish Names Encourage Fishy Business?
NPR, July 2015

Order a rockfish at a restaurant in Maryland, and you'll likely get a striped bass. Place the same order in California, and you could end up with a vermilion rockfish, a Pacific Ocean perch or one of dozens of other fish species on your plate. This jumble of names is perfectly legal. But it's confusing to diners — and it can hamper efforts to combat illegal fishing and seafood fraud. One environmental group wants the entire supply chain — from boat to plate — to ditch the FDA's list of "acceptable market names" for seafood. Instead, it wants the FDA to require that a species' Latin scientific name or common name be used in all cases.

Why is This Fisherman Selling Threatened Bluefin Tuna for $2.99 a Pound?
NPR, June 2015

San Diego bargain hunters were looking to score freshly caught, whole Pacific bluefin tuna for the unbelievably low price of $2.99 a pound, less than the cost of sliced turkey meat at a supermarket deli. But the low price doesn’t reflect the true state of Pacific bluefin. Scientists and environmentalists say the species is in deep trouble—its stocks at historic lows.

Congress is Having a Messy Food Fight Over GMO Labeling
The Verge, August 2015

Unlike other issues such as gun control or universal healthcare that fall neatly into "Red" and "Blue" territories, the divisions over GMO labeling look a lot more like a bento box, especially if you broaden the lens. On the anti-labeling side are large food corporations, farm groups, and many scientists, who worry that labeling will send a message that GM food is unsafe. On the other side lies an eclectic but passionate mix of people who oppose industrial agriculture, have health concerns, or believe that transparency is critical when it comes to genetically modified ingredients. Just how these beliefs translate into partisan politics greatly depends on what facet of the conversation you're examining.

Wild Salmon May Not Be As Wild As You Think
The Verge, May 2015

One-third of all salmon harvested in the state of Alaska are what are known in the industry as "hatch and catch"—salmon who begin life in one of the state's 31 hatcheries. But there’s growing concern among scientists and environmentalists over the state's enhancement program for wild salmon, prompting the state's regulators to take a closer look at practices that have been in place for over 40-years.

California's Drought Has Been a Dream Come True—For Pests
The Verge, May 2015

Bone-dry soil and the demonization of almond crops are no longer the only worries facing growers; insects are now lurking in ever-greater numbers across parched California farms.

Greener Farmed Salmon But at What Cost?
EatingWell, July/August 2015

Farmed salmon is becoming more environmentally friendly. But as salmon farmers turn away from omega-3-rich fish oil and fishmeal in the diets of their fish, the alternatives are altering the benefits many eaters covet most. Today a piece of farmed salmon may contain half the omega-3s it did a decade ago.

Why Farmed Salmon Is Losing Its Omega-3 Edge
Time/Civil Eats, December 2014

Steady pressure on the farmed salmon industry from environmentalists has pushed producers to become more eco-friendly. As a result, a piece of farmed salmon today may contain as little as half the amount of omega-3 fatty acids it did a decade ago.

Sticker Shock: Cheesemakers Grapple With New GMO Labeling Laws
Culture, January 2015

So far, the nation’s fight over labeling food products that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has mostly been contained to the supermarket snack and cereal aisles, but brace yourselves: What may be the most polarizing debate in food is about to reach the cheese counter.

The Guardian

Banning Food Waste: Companies in Massachusetts Get Ready To Compost
The Guardian Sustainable Business, September 2014

Massachusetts recently enacted the most aggressive mandatory composting program in history, to affect supermarkets, colleges, nursing homes, and prisons. How are they adapting?

Quel Fromage! Whole Foods' GMO Labels Make Trouble for Cheesemakers
The Guardian Sustainable Business, August 2014

The scramble to source non-GMO ingredients is heating up for artisanal cheesemakers thanks in part to the nation’s largest specialty cheese retailer, Whole Foods. For cheesemakers, whose products often require a year or more of careful aging, the grocer’s commitment to label products made from genetically modified ingredients by 2018 is sending ripples up the supply chain now.

Pregnant Women: Should You Be Eating More Seafood?
The Guardian Sustainable Business, June 2014

For the first time in a decade, the FDA and EPA have updated their fish consumption advice—quadrupling recommended levels for some eaters. That message marks a big change from the one many took away from the 2004 advisory, which is why the seafood industry and environmental groups want a say in the new guidelines.

Vermont Takes On Genetically Modified Foods With New Labeling Law
The Guardian Sustainable Business, May 2014

With the governor's signature, Vermont will become the first state in the nation to require labeling for products with GMO ingredients—but will it ever take effect?

New Walmart Guidelines put Alaskan Salmon Back on the Menu
The Guardian Sustainable Business, January 2014

In an eagerly awaited decision that spells good news for Alaskan salmon suppliers, Walmart says it will begin accepting seafood certified by programs other than the Marine Stewardship Council.

Fishy Business: Will Venture Capitalists Embrace Sustainable Seafood?
The Guardian Sustainable Business, November 2013

Fish 2.0, a sustainable seafood business competition at Stanford University, aimed to connect entrepreneurs with investors. Can it help jump start the sector?

Fish Fight: Walmart Caught in the Middle of Alaska Salmon Tangle
The Guardian Sustainable Business, October 2013

After a push from Alaskan salmon fisheries, Walmart considers alternative seafood certification systems. Will this undermine the Marine Stewardship Council's dominance?

Scientific American

Help for Kelp—Seaweed Slashers See Harvesting Cuts Coming
Scientific American, May 2014

The Marine Stewardship Council, best known for its ecolabeling and certification program for wild seafood, says seaweeds are an important component of the marine ecosystem that deserve more attention and protection. Last month they announced plans to develop the first global standard for sustainable seaweed, and expects to certify seaweed fisheries by the end of 2014.


TakePart, ongoing

In the Age of Viral Video, Livestock Farms Must Embrace Transparency
Dr. Temple Grandin, the doyenne of humane slaughter facilities design and an expert on farm animal livestock behavior, has a tough message for American farmers: "There are some practices that are going to have to change."

Is It Time to Reconsider Farmed Salmon?
Fish farmers are shifting to more-sustainable practices to lure back consumers.

Here’s What’s Changing On Nutrition Facts Labels
'Calories from Fat' is likely out; 'Added Sugar' is in.

How the Massive Beef Recall Could Be a Chance to Reform Industry
From the meaty stuffing in Hot Pockets to grass-fed beef, millions of pounds were affected.

Here's What's Being Done to Test Seafood for Radiation After Fukushima
Not much radiation is being seen now, but that could change.

Lunch Lady Revolt: No Money, No Food For You
Though fruit does grow on trees, it costs more and lunch ladies are having trouble collecting.

Your Oysters Are Impostors—Expensive, Slurpable Frauds
Here's why your shucker may be a huckster.

The Surprising Reason Fewer Foods Are Being Labeled 'Natural'
Though it has been a lucrative part of marketing, companies have been getting sued for describing less-than-natural food as natural.

Can Radishes Be the Secret Weapon in Protecting Our Water From Big Farming's Runoff?
The crunchy crop—popular in salads and sushi—has proved remarkably effective at absorbing excess nutrients.

Politicians Play Chicken with America's Health While Salmonella Sickens Hundreds
Americans beware, federal shutdown means your food isn't getting the attention it usually gets.


In: Protecting Chickens. Out: Protecting Geese.
Voice of San Diego, January 2015

A California judge ruled the state's ban of foie gras was unconstitutional because it runs afoul of a federal law. If the conversation about the humane treatment of birds who provide us tasty treats sounds familiar—it should. The fight over foie shares a lot with the arguments being lobbed over California's new egg law.

Meet San Diego's 'Aquacowboy'
Voice of San Diego, October 2014

Floating four and a half miles off the sands of Mission Beach, the Rose Canyon Fisheries Sustainable Aquaculture Project will be the first commercial offshore fish operation in the U.S. It is the first and most ambitious offshore operation of its kind, with the ability to produce 10 million fish per year at capacity.

Local Fishermen Land the Big One: A Dockside Market
Voice of San Diego, July 2014

Less than one month after we wrote about a group of local commercial fishermen’s struggle to secure a seafood market of their own, officials announced that permits have been issued, and San Diego’s Tuna Harbor Dockside Market will open for business on Fish Harbor Pier Aug. 2.

What’s Stopping Fishermen From Tackling the Market on Dry Land
Voice of San Diego, June 2014

Using traps, nets, diving or hook and line, San Diego’s commercial fishermen can bring in 28 different species throughout the year. But what these fishermen don’t have is a fresh seafood market of their own. It isn’t for lack of trying. They formed Tuna Harbor Dockside Market LLC last June, but since then, approval to move those seafood sales off the boat and onto land has been skunked.

How an Egg-Centric Amendment Could Hurt San Diego Farmers

San Diego is one of the top five egg-producing counties in the nation. That means a controversial Farm Bill amendment being proposed by an equally controversial Iowa lawmaker could dramatically impact local farmers.

How a Stalled Immigration Bill Could Become a Food Security Issue

California’s growers rely on migrant labor to do the majority of this backbreaking work, but tightening immigration policies have left farmers short on crews, a development that prompted Sen. Dianne Feinstein to speak out.


When In Drought
San Diego Magazine, June 2013

A combination of low snowpack, a threatened Colorado River, and record dry months at the start of the year have scientists cautiously concerned that we may be slipping into a drought. Unfortunately, our ability to fend off drought is complicated, and can’t be resolved with a simple summer soaker or two.

Scientific American

Outbreaks of Foodborne Illnesses Are Becoming Harder to Detect
Scientific American, November 2012

Advances in laboratory tests for pathogens like Salmonella, Campylobactor and E.coli provide quicker test results that are cheaper to process, but those very same lab tests have health officials worried. New rapid, non-culture tests no longer produce the isolate required to do the DNA fingerprinting needed to help identify a source of contamination, such as salmonella in lettuce or E. coli in raw spinach. The result could put public health at risk.

Meaty Bargains
San Diego Union Tribune, June 2012

Did the recent "pink slime" controversy have you fretting over what might be lurking in your burger? The brouhaha meant an uptick in meat sales at local farmers markets. If sticker shock sent you reeling, we're here to let you in on a little secret: There are bargains to be had in some overlooked meaty goodness, especially if you've got an adventurer's heart. Or make that a beef heart.


Sound Barrier: Can High-Power Ultrasound Protect Produce from Pathogens?
Scientific American, March 2012

Perfectly sanitized dimpled spinach leaves or tender greens like baby lettuce has been high on the wish list of the $3.1-billion bagged salad industry since its inception. A litany of food scares—and rules for organic produce—have pushed the industry to look outside the bag for food safety solutions. One of the most promising? High-power ultrasound.


Culture Club: Fellow Fermenters Are Giving Good Bacteria Its Due
San Diego Union Tribune, January 2012

Crouching down for a peek into the tiny closet, it was clear that Austin Durant is an optimistic kind of guy. The small box of Arm & Hammer baking soda tucked behind several large glass containers of fermenting vegetables was a valiant effort, but the smell of yeast-gone-wild won out. The scent floated through the entrance way and into Durant's living room upstairs.


Specious Species: Fight Against Seafood Fraud Enlists DNA Testing
Scientific American, November 2011

Escolar masquerading as white tuna. Flounder passing for Vietnamese catfish. Pricey baby cod replaced with lesser quality hake instead. Seafood fraud has long vexed the industry, but all this fishy business could soon change. The USDA is rolling out new DNA-sequencing equipment in nine of its major laboratories across the country in a push to squelch deceitful substitutions.


Serving Up The Local Catch
San Diego Union Tribune, October 2011

Despite our proximity to the ocean, getting local seafood onto your plate can be a challenge. Much of the fish landed in our port – like spiny lobster, swordfish or spot prawns – is shipped internationally to countries like China for both processing and sale. Unless you know an avid angler, chances are that lobster dinner you enjoyed came from the rocky coastline of Maine. But a group of local commercial fishermen are exploring ways to get their catch into local markets here at home, and clearing hurdles like limited seafood processing or securing refrigerated transportation. Their mission is one being played out in other cities across the U.S.


Pantry Preparedness: Keep Your Pantry Stocked For An Emergency
Food Network, August 2011

For you East Coasters who just got rattled by that unexpected earthquake and are bracing for what looks to be monster Hurricane Irene, we thought this would be a swell time to remind you of what your pals on the left coast already know: Create a well-stocked emergency pantry for yourself. What does that mean exactly? We looked to the American Red Cross for their best tips on how to make sure your family has enough to eat should a catastrophic event hit close to home.

Best Bars Issue: Rent a Stylish Meeting Space
Entrepreneur, July 2011

This bustling American brasserie tiptoes the perfect line between work and play - high ceilings, inviting red banquettes and coaxing restaurant-length bar manned by some of the most skillful bartenders in the city.

Off Shore Wars: Fishermen & Environmentalists
Go Head-To-Head

San Diego Magazine, June 2011

In Southern California, the task of setting aside marine protected areas (MPAs) became a bitter back-and-forth drama between fishing rights advocates and environmentalists. The Marine Life Protection Act is expected to go into effect later this year. It's being heralded as an important victory by environmentalists, while commercial and recreational fishermen say they're left feeling bruised and somewhat victimized.


What's On Your (GE) Dinner Plate?
EatingWell, March/April 2011

Historically, crops have been genetically tweaked to be herbicide- or insect-resistant. Today, scientists are stacking traits to address both weed and pest problems. Others are looking at ways to improve the nutritional values of some staple crops. Here's the backstory and latest news on several GE foods that have made it (or may make it) to our dinner plates.

Trend Watch: Gone Fishin'
EatingWell, March/April 2011

In a time when most of our seafood is imported, the idea of buying fish that is caught nearby appeals to many – both for reducing carbon footprints and to bolster the local economies. CSF's, a riff on the popular CSA model, calls on members to shoulder the risk with the fisherman by paying for seasonal shares of locally caught seafood up-front. Today, nearly 20 CSFs operate in the U.S., with many more in the pipeline.

Gulf Seafood & the Anniversary of the BP Spill
Organic Valley Accused of Violating Organic Egg Standards
Many Imported Olive Oils Fail Quality Tests
Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Recap
Boston Bans Soda on City Property
Japan Sets Radiation Limits for Fish
Radioactive Iodine-131 Found in U.S. Milk Samples
Debate Raging Over CAFOs
Japan’s Nuclear Crisis May Also Affect Fish
Do Culinary Schools Actually Get Chefs Jobs?
Gulf Coast to Obama: Tell Citizens Our Seafood is Safe
Sustainable Seafood for Lent
U.N.:Small-Scale Farming Could Double the World’s Food Production
Nutritional Labels for Booze?
New Seafood Labels: What Will They Tell You?
Gulf Coast Oysters Back on Local Menus After Oil Spill
Veterans Come Home to Farming
Food Allergy Awareness Comes to Restaurants
McDonald’s Maple Settlement
Good News for Seafood Lovers
A Sticky Mess for McDonalds
Lawmakers Tackle Genetically Modified Salmon
A "Blacklisted" Fish Dinner
The Greenest Restaurant in America
The New Project FishMap App
Murky Waters Around Seafood Eco-Labeling
FoodCorps Selects Partners to Fight Childhood Obesity

Health Advice Scrutinized
SeaFood Business, August 2010

While the USDA dietary guidelines are updated every five years, industry experts say they're at a standstill waiting for the federal government to reassess the science when it comes to seafood consumption and mercury. Critics say misinformation means too many consumers, including pregnant women, are not getting the health benefits seafood consumption provides.

Reeling in Stripers
edibleBoston, Summer 2010

Striped bass is either the poster child of a fishery recovered from its near collapse in the early 1980s, or it's once again showing ominous signs of diminishing numbers. Like many topics that touch on shared natural resources, this feisty fish has the ability to ignite passionate debate among those who spend their summer months chasing it off our shorelines.


Sea Change: Environmental Group Gives First-Time Nod to Sustainable Salmon-Farming Method
Scientific American, January 2010

Farm-raised salmon has long been the poster child of unsustainable aquaculture practices. Issues of escape, pollution and inefficiency have plunged it deeply into the "avoid" territory of environmental groups – until now. The Monterey Bay Aquarium took the unprecedented step of approving a farming method for Pacific Coho salmon.


Revolutionary Fare
Arrive, September/October 2009

Whether it's steak frites, frisee aux lardons or handcrafted fromage, Boston's effervescent food scene means you don't have to look far to get a delicious French meal in nearly any part of the city.

Guilt-free Sushi: Environmentalist Tout Sustainable Fish for the Dish
The Christian Science Monitor, July 2009

While Chef Nobu continues to wrestle with the decision to remove bluefin tuna from his menus, savvy restaurateurs in San Francisco and Portland, Oregon have instead seen opportunity. Customer concern over dwindling fish populations has provided the impetus for chefs to do the heavy moral lifting for us eaters. Here, an order of fauxnagi is something to embrace, and turns out to be surprisingly delicious, even though there's not a flake of eel in it.


Taking Stock in Fish
Wall Street Journal, June 2009

The traditional CSA-model has made the evolutionary leap from land to sea. This month, nearly 1,000 Boson-area residents will be collecting their first fish shares through the Gloucester-based Cape Ann Fresh Catch Community Supported Fishery (CSF) program. But a closer look at the details shows the CSF is not without controversy.


A Chocolate-Infused Dinner
Wall Street Journal, February 2009

Chocolatier Andrew Shotts of Garrison Confections is raising the standard for American confectionaries. He places an intense focus on pairing seasonal ingredients with chocolate. Before placing pan to stove, Mr. Shotts conceptually develops each dish by stringing together a line of taste combinations.


Christmas Tamales
The Christian Science Monitor, December 2009

If the first image that comes to mind when you think of a tamale is a flavorless, corn-meal heavy brick that's too far on the dry side, wrap that image back up in the corn husk it came in. Those typical to San Antonio and southern Texas are full of flavor, shaped like a thick cigar and the masa is moist and delicate. In this region, it's the filling that's the star.


Believing in Providence
National Geographic Traveler, November/December 2008

A buzzing food scene and a new splashy art space have revived visitors' faith in Rhode Island's capital. A prosperous New England port town grown gritty in the wake of big industry's decline, Providence had few cheerleaders. But thanks to a downtown revitalization effort launched in the early 1980s, Rhode Island's capital city now has a lot to shout about.

City Shorts: A Spoonful of News
National Geographic Traveler, September 2008

Salt is what's shaking at The Meadow, a gourmet food shop in Portland's Mississippi Avenue neighborhood. In the tasting room, owner and selmelier (that's fancy for salt expert) Mark Bitterman might introduce you to exotic Japanese Kamebishi Soy Salt or Himalayan Pink Salt – just two of the 90 or so different kinds he carries.

Executive Dining: Boston's Green Dining Scene
The Wall Street Journal, July 2008

Conversations about product-packaging reduction or your company's pending LEED certification may be harder to swallow over a plate of bluefin tuna or at a restaurant that serves imported bottled water. For those closing eco-deals – or just keen on being "green" – Boston is among the more eco-friendly dining destinations.

A 'Tapanese' Twist, Japanese Cuisine Gets the Tapas Treatment
Wall Street Journal, April 2008

Arizona chef Nobu Fukuda serves small plates that are his twist on Japanese kaiseki – the formal multi-course meal, where attention is paid to the smallest of details with the goal of creating harmony.

Power Tables - Caucus Cuisine: Where Obama, Romney, Edwards and local big-shots eat in Des Moines.
The Wall Street Journal, December 2007

During campaign season, as long as hungry customers and political staffers keep arriving, chef and owner George Formaro keeps the kitchen humming well past closing time at this see-and-be-seen restaurant.

Chefs At Home: Braising For A Better Bird
The Wall Street Journal, November 2007

Cleveland-based Douglas Katz, known for using local ingredients, makes chicken with a comfort-food twist.


Dining Out Safely
Pregnancy Magazine, September 2007

Regular news reports about food scares are enough to make anyone queasy, but when nibbling for one becomes nourishing two, dining out quickly gets complicated.


Just a Taste: Huitlacoche
The Boston Globe Magazine, September 2007

A subtly flavored Mexican delicacy makes its way into Northern kitchens.


Just a Taste: Go Fish
The Boston Globe Magazine, July 2007

Lean, light, melt-in-your-mouth Copper River coho salmon is a late-summer delight.


For the Allergic, Safe Dining
The Boston Globe, February 2007

Celebrity chef Ming Tsai and some local lawmakers are trying to make dining out safer for those with severe allergies, but they're facing some tough opposition.


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