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By Kevin Scribner with Ed Yowell and Ann Dunlap

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Seafood is in the national spotlight.

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, an expert panel assembled by the Federal agencies, HHS and USDA, recently issued an historic report of dietary recommendations. The Committee is calling on America to establish a human and environmental “culture of health.” They are asking us to eat healthfully and sustainably, for our well being today and for the benefit of future generations’ ability to do the same.

The Committee defines a healthy and sustainable dietary pattern as one that is high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy, seafood, legumes, and nuts, low in red and processed meat, and low in refined, sugar-sweetened foods and drinks. The current U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) dietary guidelines recommend eating seafood at least twice a week, a recommendation echoed by the American Heart Association.

The industrial food complex, Big Ag and Big Food, is not happy with the dietary guideline recommendations.

We are.

These recommendations are compatible with Slow Food’s good, clean, and fair food and farming principles and our initiatives Slow Meat and Slow Fish.

Many of our favorite fish species are in trouble. Waters are warming and changing habitats. Small-scale family fishers are being threatened by industry consolidation. With more people looking to eat more seafood, Slow Fish USA has been asking the tough question, “where does sustainable seafood come from in the future?” Now we’re taking a shot at an answer.

The Slow Fish USA Charting Committee, a network of concerned fisheries, is addressing the health of our fisheries and the priorities of groups including commercial and recreational fishers, environmental organizations, and government.

The industrial food complex, Big Ag and Big Food, is not happy with the dietary guideline recommendations. We are.

Slow Fish USA, inspired by the successful models of Slow Fish Europe and Slow Fish Canada, celebrates sustainable sources, healthy fish populations, family fishers, aquaculturists, and healthy habitats. We’re educating the public on these complex issues to help raise awareness

Slow Fish also provides us with a unique nexus of opportunities to support fisheries through our personal choices and actions – first, learning about and supporting sources of sustainable seafood and, second, advocating for public policy that supports sustainable fisheries.

A new Magnuson-Stevens Act would strike a balance between species preservation, fostering a healthy, productive, and resilient marine ecosystem, and recognizing that our fisheries are a traditional source of livelihood for small-scale fishers and their working waterfronts and sustainable and healthful food for eaters. Perhaps the bridge between these interests is all of us eaters who believe in good, clean, and fair food.

Slow Fish USA is developing strategies to educate members, supporters, and the public about sustainable fisheries and the impact of public policy on them. Brett Tolley, of the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance and the Slow Fish USA Charting Committee, said, “Our source of food from the ocean is becoming dominated by industrial food production models. We know industrialization will undermine the long-term health of the marine environment along with the economic and social fabric of fishing communities that are putting food on our tables.”

It’s time to change the status quo. Join us in the fight for good, clean and fair seafood.

Sign up on Facebook for updates. For more food and farm policy, send your contact information to lisa.g@slowfoodusa.org