Sustainability encompasses many meanings, the least of which is the ability for something to be maintained for future generation use. One important aspect of sustainability is food security, which is defined by the United Nations as the availability and access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life. The USDA has compiled data over the years reporting 12.7 percent (15.8 million) of U.S. households to be food insecure at some time during 2015. This includes households which are uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, at some time during the year, enough food to meet the needs of all their members due to insufficient money or other resources for food. From 2013 to 2015, the U.S. national average of food insecurity came in just below 14 percent.
Most of us know that fish are good for our health, but how do we know which fish are good for environmental health? Like many other foods, we need transparency of where it came from and how it got to our plate. To complicate matters, we don’t have labels like “USDA Organic” to help guide us – you don’t know what the fish is eating, so you can’t very well label it organic. What we do have is labeling of farmed or wild-caught, but that tells us very little about how it was caught or raised or treated after it was caught. The simple answer to a simple question, “How do I know if my seafood is sustainable?” It’s complicated.