It all started back in the Sixties, when prawns were a kind of luxury dish…
People served them up at dinner parties to impress their guests and they came in a sweet pink sauce and a glass bowl, looking something like this. Yum!
Since then the Brits’ love of prawns grew, as our exposure and access to Asian cooking developed. The fishing industry responded to the demand with cheap supply and nowadays prawns are considered an everyday food by most of us: we can pick up bags of frozen prawns for a few pounds in supermarkets and they are a staple ingredient in salads, stir-fries and fish dishes on restaurant menus.
Many things have changed in the food industry since the Sixties and the greatest of these is choice… but with more choice comes more responsibility. Whenever we buy food from abroad, whether it’s coffee, sugar, tea, meat and fish or fruit and veg, we have an impact on the workers who grow or make that food and on the environment it’s made in.
In the 21st Century our food choices directly affect the quality of their lives and the state of their environment.
This article from the Ecologist shows what happens in prawn production when the industry puts profit before people and does not act responsibly. It’s a sad report of environmental pollution, land degradation and human rights abuse in Bangladesh that far outweigh the economic benefit the country gets from the prawn trade.
The good news we can make businesses change their ways with the power of our pound and that’s why Support Ethical and Save Fish are two of hiSbe‘s 8 Everyday Choices. There’s plenty of guidance out there to help us make more informed choices: check out the Marine Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Restaurant Association for brands, retailers and restaurant with sustainable fish sourcing policies.
Royalty-free stock photo from fotalia.com