Barton is not an environmentalist. He’s not an economist. He’s a humanist, who believes that the best way that we can relate to the land and water is through… dinner. Because who doesn’t think about dinner? We all do, regardless of our station. Through the preparing and passing of food, we relate our experiences, our passions and our beliefs to the people surrounding us. I think that members of the Chefs Collaborative network understand this idea very well, and that understanding comes through in the ways that we work to educate ourselves and form connections within our community. (See here, here and here for awesome examples of how people who think about dinner are making big strides to bring their customers seafood they can feel good about.)
I found myself nodding through parts of Barton’s speech, happy that he didn’t limit his talk to which fish are sustainable and which aren’t. After all, the question of sustainable seafood sourcing is more complicated than forming lists. A lot of stakeholders are involved, from the consumers, to the growers, to the harvesters – really, the issues affect everyone who eats. Understanding these issues in a broader context, in ways we can all relate to, ensures we are able to meet the existing challenges within our food system and change them for the better.