I should tell you right off the bat that I spent the majority of my childhood growing up in the Bahamas…I know, tough life. It was an extraordinary childhood for many reasons, one of which was the great seafood I got to eat all the time. Some of it I even caught and speared, sounds tough, doesn’t it? Well, when lobster was in season you’d get on your snorkle and mask and head to the reefs and start spearing. Anyway, I love seafood and miss it since it’s quite pricey and not always real fresh here in land-locked Franklin, Tennessee. I’m not complaining because there are trade offs but oh, how I miss lots of fresh seafood.
So, I was at Whole Foods sometime last year and noticed a fish in the freezer section that I had never heard of before…that is not from the sea, Barramundi! Barramundi is also known as Asian Seabass and when caught in the sea is quite large. I read the package which is chock full of all the “right” things to say about farm-raised fish and the health benefits of Barramundi. I am not a fan of farm-raised fish because I’ve heard so many awful things about what the fish are fed and how much they pollute our waters. But, this was different so I bought it, tried it and loved it. It’s a tasty firm white fish so you can do all kinds of things to flavor it up because it might be quite bland without a little something, something on it. So, tomorrow I’ll be posting a lovely recipe for “Barramundi with a Chunky Tomato Sauce.”
Australus is the company in Massachusetts that farms Barramundi and they have recieved top ranking from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch and other seafood watchdog organizations. This a little excerpt from the Better Fish website press page to tell you why it’s ranked so high:
“Blue Ocean Institute based its ranking on a number of factors, including operational risks, feed, pollution, risk to other species and ecological effects. Says Alan Duckworth, PhD and Research Scientist at Blue Ocean Institute, “We looked closely at US farmed barramundi and it scored exceedingly well across all categories, earning a total score of 3.45 out of 4. Australis’ farming operation in the U.S. appears to have minimal impact on the surrounding environment, efficient conversion of ‘food to fish’ and an innovative closed re-circulating system that recycles water, prevents fish escapes and disease, and reduces waste. Plus, chemicals like antibiotics or hormones are never used, so it’s a very clean fish. It really resolves all of the environmental issues in a major way.””
More great news is that it’s mercury free and contains beneficial omega-3′s. I want to say that it’s about $9-11 dollars for a 12 ounce package and is probably sold in major grocery stores as well…just ask your fishmonger. So, give it a try and check back with me tomorrow for a great way to cook Barramundi!
You can go here to get a dollar-off coupon…hey, every little bit helps.
Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch site to find out which fish is best to buy and which is over fished.