To draw attention to the best and brightest ideas in sustainability, the Lexicon of Sustainability's Food List project defines the words that are integral to a healthy, transparent, and accountable food system. Each week, we explore a new word through artwork, films, recipes, and written works.
Traceability: Traceability provides consumers with valuable, verifiable information about the seafood they buy. It helps explain the integrity of the product, its origin, true identity, and its legal production under a competent management regime. Traceability means accountability; it's a guide for responsible ocean stewardship and a safeguard protecting a vital natural resource.
Location: Norpac, Honolulu, HI
Featuring: Scott Fraser
Image Credit: Douglas Gayeton for the Lexicon of Sustainability
Short film: "Transparency"
Studies show that nearly one-third of all the fish that consumers buy isn’t what they think it is. Scotty Fraser of Norpac in Honolulu, Hawaii explains that one possible solution for seafood fraud is traceability, which tracks fish from the moment it leaves to water until it ends up on your plate, providing consumers with valuable information about the fish they buy.
Wondering how you can help support traceable, sustainable seafood practices? Check out:
Make better seafood choices: video by Seafood Watch
Practicing traceability on the farm and in the garden from Tucker Taylor
"Tracking the inputs and outputs of a garden may not be the most romantic part of farming, but the process is essential for building trust with the consumers and chefs who buy my farm’s produce and for ensuring sustainable production. Using production records, I note inputs like compost, soil amendments, seeds and organic and biological pest controls. As farmers, we care about these items as much as a chef cares about the quality of everything that goes into a dish. My farm plan consists of a map of my field, what was planted, when it was planted, and how much was planted. Using produce flow diagrams, we track everything about the harvest, what was collected, how much, by whom, at what time, and where it was packed for transport. This valuable information helps us in the rare cases we need to trace back and locate challenges in the chain of production. Not only is such attention to detail appreciated by our customers, it helps us as growers become more efficient and productive."
Recipe: Fish Tacos by Chef Ann Cooper
Put your fish sourcing knowledge to work with this lovely summer dish.
Traceability in our food system helps shoppers choose what types of food production practices they support. Which brands do you think do the best job of showing how their product was produced? How do you ensure you're buying sustainable safood at the grocery store?
For the past three years, the Lexicon of Sustainability has sought out the foremost practitioners of sustainability in food and farming to gain their insights and experiences on this important subject. What began as a photography project to spread their knowledge has grown to include short films, study guides, traveling shows, a book, and a website where people can add their own terms to this ever-evolving lexicon. See more at www.lexiconofsustainability.com.