Sunday, February 21, 2010

Eiglefin, haddock, and sustainability

It's time to start sorting through the seafood in my new home country, Switzerland. It's not a simple job.

Here is the eiglefin from my local Migros supermarché (right). At 28 swiss francs per kilogram (about 13 dollars per pound), it's a bit expensive, but most meat and fish is expensive here in Switzerland. That's challenge number one, I'm not going to be able to eat as much seafood as I did in the Seattle area, where seafood is king. Ouch.

So what about this eiglefin (french for haddock), is it sustainable? I'm an expert on this stuff, and I have to admit to being a bit stymied. After looking at a lot of information, all I can say is "mille millions de mille sabords de tonnerre de Brest." Roughly translated, that's "shut up and eat your fish."

I looked at some seafood guides, and it's frustrating to say that there's not full agreement. Different lists have fish caught with different methods in different places. To sort through the lists precisely, I need to know where it's from and how it was caught, and Migros only gives me part of the information. And even if I had full info, the lists don't always agree on what's sustainable. What am I going to do?

If I google Migros and seafood, I find this useful page on Migros seafood policies. It's informative and it encourages me to rely on Migros rather than try to figure out every detail on my own. Hmmm.... I think I like this. My life is being made easier by the WWF Switzerland Seafood Group, which includes Migros as a partner. Note: it doesn't say every fish is sustainable, but it does say that Migros is making the transition to sustainable seafood.

Now it's back to my french lessons, which at the moment consists of reading Tintin comics with the help of a dictionary. I'll be great at talking about L'ile Noire. What I really want to know is where can I get one of these awesome subs?

Oh yeah, and next I actually get to eat that yummy looking eiglefin, I can't wait...