BILLINGSGATE SEAFOOD GOSSIP – Mediterranean Diet Revisited

Posted on December 18, 2013

The Mediterranean Diet Revisited Conference took place at Fishmongers’ Hall on 2nd November.

A number of impressive speakers from the US, Canada, France and the UK examined the Mediterranean diet, specifically from Crete and highlighted the importance of the right balance of omega 3, 6 and 9 in the diet. The long chain omega 3 fatty acids are predominantly gained from seafood and the conclusion of the conference is that we do need to eat more seafood for well being.

The Cretan diet consisted of plenty of legumes, fruit and vegetables. Cheese and fish also feature in the diet with only a small quantity of red meat eaten weekly. Cheese would have predominantly be made from goat’s cheese. Wine was drunk daily (hooray!) but in moderation (of course). Seafood played a key part, specifically the cephalopod group of squid, cuttlefish and octopus.

Questions have been raised recently about the actual benefits of taking omega 3 oil capsules in place of eating seafood and there are doubts that these capsules can offer the same benefit as gaining it naturally in a diet high in seafood.

As part of the conference I was joined by Karen Galloway, head of marketing for Seafish. We both have years of experience trying to encourage the consumer to enjoy more seafood. But we both still find the same old reasons are given as excuses for NOT eating it. We challenged the attentative audience at the conference by asking who had enjoyed seafood within the last week (a few hands went up) and who had eaten squid or cuttlefish in the last week (very few hands went up). We then explained that it is a real challenge to get many consumers to eat more fish.

We have a top 10 list of reasons why we don’t eat fish, this includes not knowing what to choose, how to tell its fresh, how to cook it, how to tell WHEN it is cooked, how to avoid the smell after cooking, what to choose on a modest budget… there are plenty of good and valid reasons and of course – many consumers simply don’t want to manage a fish with eyes, skin, head and bones still attached…

At the Seafood School we have developed a course for those who KNOW they should eat more fish but need inspiration. As a pilot course of Essential Seafood Mornings in January we would like to offer 12 free places to anyone who wants to try more fish but can’t bear the thought of it… our challenge is to try and find ways for everyone to enjoy more seafood.

The course will take place on a Monday morning between 10.230 and 1.30pm. We will show you how to cook 4 easy recipes and you make something to take away for a family supper,

If you would like a place on this course, please contact us through our administration desk admin@seafoodtraining.org – all you need to do is give your reasons why you don’t like fish and tell us what you have tried cooking before. We will choose the first 12 applications that really demonstrate the interest in trying to eat more seafood. There will be no bones and eyes in sight and we will show you how to find any loose ones and lots of tips to make handling, cooking and enjoying it very easy.

We look forward to hearing from you.