Ep. 09: Fishing for a Fix

Feeding 10 Billion

12-11-2019 • 35 mins

It’s no secret our oceans are in trouble. Climate change and bad policy continue to contribute to major shifts in one of the most complex ecosystems on the planet. Among the most pressing challenges are ocean acidification (the ocean today is, on average, 25% more acidic than in pre-industrial times), overfishing (a staggering 93% of all fisheries are being fished at or beyond capacity, while demand for seafood continues to rise the world over) and plastic pollution (about half of which is a direct result of fishing and seafood consumption; more than 640,000 tons of “ghost gear” — discarded fishing equipment — ends up in oceans every year). And while efforts to address these issues have ramped up in recent years, they have often focused on the wrong things. In this episode of Feeding 10 Billion, Varun and Ramya sit down with Jen Lamy, manager of the Sustainable Seafood Initiative at the Good Food Institute, to discuss the problems facing our oceans, the complex and opaque seafood supply chain and why plant-based and cultivated seafood are the best way forward.


What is plant-based meat and seafood?

Plant-based products are direct replacements for animal-based products, such as plant-based meat, seafood, eggs and dairy. These include products that use the biomimicry approach to replicate the taste and texture of meat, as well as plant-forward products (like jackfruit, seitan, tofu and tempeh) that serve as functional meat replacements. Source

What is cultivated meat and seafood?

Cultivated meat (often referred to as cell-based meat or clean meat) is genuine animal meat that can replicate the sensory and nutritional profile of conventionally produced meat because it’s comprised of the same cell types and arranged in the same three-dimensional structure as animal tissue. It isn’t imitation or synthetic meat; it’s actual meat that is grown from cells outside of an animal. Source

Dr Mark Post’s Ted Talk at TedX Haarlem in 2013: Meet the new meat

What is aquaculture?

The term aquaculture broadly refers to the cultivation of aquatic organisms in controlled aquatic environments for any commercial, recreational or public purpose. The breeding, rearing and harvesting of plants and animals takes place in all types of water environments including ponds, rivers, lakes, the ocean and man-made “closed” systems on land. Source

What is ocean acidification?

Ocean acidification refers to a reduction in the pH of the ocean over an extended period of time, caused primarily by uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. Source

Organizations, Institutes, Cultivated, and Plant-Based Companies:

  • The Good Food Institute’s Sustainable Seafood Initiative Developing and commercializing plant-based and cell-based seafood is the most tractable path for ensuring seafood sustainability and improving the health of our oceans. GFI’s Sustainable Seafood Initiative provides targeted research and support with a laser focus on accelerating this sector.

  • FAO The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to tackle food insecurity, world hunger, and food sustainability.

  • IPCC The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.

  • Shiok Meats Shiok in Singapore and Malay slang means fantastic and delicious. Shiok Meats is the first cell-based clean meat company in Singapore and South-East Asia. Their mission is to bring delicious, clean and healthy seafood like crustacean meats (including shrimp, crab and lobster) by harvesting meat from cells instead of animals. Their meats are animal-, health- and environment-friendly with the same taste, texture, more nutrients and no cruelty.

  • Avant Meats Avant Meats Company Limited is a start-up that focuses on R&D of cell-based agriculture. They strive to bring down the product costs of cell-based meat by researches (sic) and collaboration with companies of tangential technologies.

  • BlueNalu, Inc BlueNalu's mission is to be the global leader in cellular aquaculture™, providing consumers with great tasting, healthy, safe, and trusted seafood products that support the sustainability and diversity of our oceans. Their aim is to supplement current industry practice, in which fish are farmed or wild-caught in our ocean and seas, by producing real seafood products directly from fish cells, that are as delicious and nutritious as products that have been grown conventionally, in a way that is healthy for people, humane for animals, and sustainable for our planet.

  • WIld Type Wild Type’s mission is to create the cleanest, most sustainable seafood on the planet. They use cellular agriculture technologies to address the most pressing challenges of our generation: climate change, food security, and health.

  • Finless Food Finless Foods is a food startup working toward a world where everyone has access to healthy, delectable seafood, without the environmental devastation or the health hazards of traditional fishing and aquatic farming. Starting with bluefin tuna, they use cutting-edge cellular-agriculture technologies to grow marine-animal cells, creating fish and seafood products enjoyed around the world.

  • Good Catch The Good Catch team are passionate culinary rebels with a cause—seafood without sacrifice. They bring you the rich flavors and flaky textures of fine seafood—from fish-free tuna and burgers to crab-free cakes—made with nutritious, sustainable ingredients. Their mission is to “preserve the ocean’s natural resources while introducing awesomely delicious “seafood” choices that benefit you and the world. Nothing fishy about it.”

  • Ocean Hugger Ocean Hugger Foods offers healthy, delicious and sustainable plant-based alternatives to your favorite seafood proteins. Created by one of America's top chefs, Certified Master Chef James Corwell. Their flagship product, Ahimi™, is the world's first plant-based alternative to raw tuna, perfect for use in sushi, poke, tartare, ceviche and more.


Find more information about Maharashtra's ban on single-use plastics here

Read about Indian Prime Minister Narandra Modi’s pledge to ban single-use plastic here

Read why the push to ban plastic straws — when fishing accounts for 46% of all ocean plastic — is well intentioned but misguided *here**

More information about the dire state of our oceans and why plant-based and cultivated seafood are the best way forward can be found here

Read more about Canada’s seafood traceability issue here

Read IPCC’s “The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate” report here

More information about the rising levels of microplastic in our oceans can be found here

Read more about the Van Cleve Seafood Company’s first plant-based seafood launch, Wild.Skinny.Clean, here

Here’s an article about Northern Harvest’s salmon die-off and cleanup efforts.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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