In keeping with our values and sustainability policy, Farm to Institution New England and UMass Amherst will be treating Summit attendees to some amazing, delicious, and sustainable local seafood items during the event. The names of the fish may be less familiar than the iconic codfish (so “Sacred” in this region it even warrants a statue in the Massachusetts statehouse), but these underutilized species are sure to please the palate. You can feel good about eating them, too, since the haddock, bluefish, and dogfish on the menu all come from healthy stocks and were caught by independent New England fishermen off the coast of New England. All of these seafood items are rated yellow or green by Seafood Watch, the haddock is Marine Stewardship Council certified, and the haddock and dogfish are verified as "Responsibly Harvested" by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. In addition, we are supporting community-based fishermen by serving dogfish that was caught by fishermen of the Chatham Harvesters Cooperative, a group of owner-operators focused on fair supply chains and based in Chatham, MA.
You can learn more about the dogfish during lunch on Wednesday from the fisherman who caught it, the company that supplied it, and the chef that prepared it! Join us as fisherman Doug Feeney, Jared Auerbach of Red’s Best, and UMass Amherst Chef Robert Bankert tell us about the partnership inspired by the last FINE Summit that is helping reclaim the New England dogfish supply chain.
Keep feeding your brain by attending panels that will share more seafood success stories. At the “New England Food Vision Prize” panel on Wednesday morning at 10:30am, you can hear from current prize winners that committed to serving 75% of their fish from local species, and another group that is adding locally grown kelp to their menus. To learn more about the value of underutilized species, join UMass Dartmouth at their session on Thursday at 9am. Presenters will share their strategies for building the sea-to-campus movement in New England.
Join speakers from the University of Maine, Sodexo’s Maine Course, and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute at “Students Connect with Dining to Increase Seafood Consumption” on Wednesday at 2:00pm. In this session, Professor Jamie Picardy and one of her students, Eden Martin, will share the results of their study into students’ seafood preferences and awareness of seafood labels. Learn how dining services partnered with a nonprofit to use the findings from this study to increase seafood consumption on campus. Participants will come away with specific ideas for how to initiate and improve collaborative partnerships and sea-to-institution programs.
If you’re looking for inspiration -- for your menu, your own health, and for the food system we are working towards -- head to the “Transforming Our Food Future” session on Wednesday at 2:00pm. There, you can literally get a taste of how Mediterranean flavors can easily be used to create healthy seafood meals, after a cooking demo by Shelley Goraj. Learn about dietary patterns that promote population, regional, and planetary health in support of Food Solutions New England’s New England Food Vision.
We hope you’ll leave the Summit having learned more about New England seafood and how good choices about seafood can elevate our shared values of collaboration, community and place, diversity, equity, healthy ecosystems, strategic disruption, the right to food, thriving local economies, and transparency.