Sustaining Healthy Oceans: FIF Talks Seafood

Offering guests delicious seafood options involves more than just picking the freshest seafood. There’s a responsibility, as well, to make the right choices for healthy, sustainable oceans.

Getting information to make good selections is much simpler, thanks to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. It advises businesses on which seafood items are best choices, which ones should be avoided and which ones would make good alternatives. A given is that you ensure you purchase seafood that’s been fished or farmed in a way that doesn’t hurt the environment.

Seafood Watch’s recommendations are supported by scientific, peer-reviewed information and ecosystem-based criteria. A lot is taken into consideration, such as the fishery, habitat, species, management and many other factors that affect each species. In-depth Seafood Watch Reports are developed and published online after thorough research and review. The Seafood Watch website also offers several other resources, including pocket guides for various regions of the country and applications for iPhones and other mobile devices.

As almost 85 percent of the world’s fisheries are fished to capacity or overfished, Seafood Watch’s ultimate goal is to ensure ocean ecosystems are sustained, providing wild and diverse sea life that will stay around through the distant future.

By choosing the right sources for your seafood, you have the power to improve the situation.


What “Green” Means to a Restaurateur

Green. The word has many meanings. To a restaurateur, it may refer to the new young chef, the freshness of lush vegetables or the restaurant’s bottom line: cash flow.

Certainly the word shares the same meaning for a restaurateur that it has come to mean to the rest of the world: Sustaining our natural resources by reserving, reusing, recycling and repurposing — any and every time it’s possible.

At Food Innovation Factory, we feel that it’s our job is to help our clients with this important element. We want clients to not only be prosperous, but to be responsible business owners who are successful on all fronts, including sustainability.  Nowadays, many consumers demand it, as environmental awareness is often at the forefront of the news and is a topic discussed around dinner tables in all levels of society.

Because of our commitment to providing the best and most current information, we’ve aligned our standards with those of the Green Restaurant Association (GRA), the national non-profit organization that has created a certification process for restaurants to operate in an environmentally sound manner. Certifying restaurants for the past two decades, the GRA focuses on seven environmental categories: water efficiency, waste reduction and recycling, sustainable furnishings and building materials, sustainable food, energy, disposables and chemical and pollution reduction.

Besides feeling good about implementing standards that help the environment, restaurants with GRA certification get some other benefits — like listings in various national restaurant guides and oftentimes positive media exposure. Each certified restaurant has access to resources from the GRA. One of those is the GRA communications manager, who can help integrate the certification message into menus, websites, table tents, take-out boxes and any other marketing opportunity. Restaurants also have claimed that the certification has boosted employee morale and helped reduce costs.

We’ve worked alongside clients through GRA’s certification process to ensure they are successful. We know the ins and outs and are able to assist at every vital point. There’s a good chance that any question you have about the process is something we’ve already fielded. We welcome the opportunity to assist with this important certification. It’s just part of what we do.