Celebrate Sushi Day Sustainably

By / Food / June 18th, 2010 / Like

I’ve noticed a few grocery stores in my area taking the SeaChoice program to heart. Not only are they no longer selling endangered fish species, but they’re also posting signs throughout the fish department explaining the state of certain fish populations. Customers know right away that there’s a very good reason why certain seafood isn’t available. Fortinos and Loblaw, for instance, leave the metal tray (that would normally hold the seafood) out on display. At first, it looks like someone wasn’t doing his or her job and neglected to fill the order that day. Actually, it means that there are a lot of fish that are either endangered or very nearly there.

In an effort to put more focus on healthy environmental choices, Canada’s Bento Nouveau is celebrating International Sushi Day (on June 18) by announcing its commitment to protect the world’s oceans in partnership with SeaChoice, a Canadian sustainable seafood program. SeaChoice is the brainchild of the David Suzuki Foundation, Living Oceans Society, Ecology Action Centre, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and the Sierra Club of BC.

Here’s what Bento Nouveau president, Carl Sparkes, had to say. “We are delighted to partner with David Suzuki and the SeaChoice program on our commitment to become the first sustainable sushi company in Canada. As leaders in the sushi category, we feel strongly about supporting positive change in sourcing and harvesting our oceans resources.”

When you visit a Bento Nouveau outlet, this is what you’ll find the company has done to support sustainability.

• Switching 65% of their products to sustainable fish and seafood including multiple varieties of California Rolls and the replacement of red-ranked tuna with sustainable Albacore tuna. You’ll be able to recognize the sustainable choices because those products will be identified by a SeaChoice sticker.

• Committing to aggressively expanding Bento’s procurement of sustainable sources of seafood, with the goal of becoming completely sustainable by 2012.

•Wworking with suppliers, partners, employees, customers, and members of the conservation community to ensure a productive, sustainable future for both wild and farmed seafood products.

We, on this planet, have, no doubt, a long way to go before all (or at least the majority) of people are thinking, acting and eating sustainably. All of us can do something in this regard. Why not start by picking up lunch at Bento Nouveau and letting them know how much you appreciate their efforts. Maybe our enthusiasm as consumers for healthy, responsible and sustainable choices will inspire other companies to join the ranks.


Rosemary Mantini has always loved words. When she isn't working as the Associate Editor at Tidings Magazine, she's helping others achieve their writing dreams, and sometimes she even relaxes with a good book and a glass of wine.

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