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Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Helps Americans Cook Seafood that’s Good for People and the Planet with NEW Cookbook Featuring Recipes from Notable Chefs

February 3, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 2, 2021 – The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), a nonprofit whose sole mission is to end overfishing, today introduced a new resource designed to help Americans choose seafood that’s good for them, the ocean and the planet. The Healthy Oceans Too Cookbook, a digital compilation of sustainable seafood recipes from celebrity chefs and influencers, is now available in celebration of February Heart Health Month and March Nutrition Month. Both months serve to remind Americans of health-focused resolutions set for the new year. While many consumers have the best intentions for improved health and sustainability practices as they head into the new year, 43% of Americans typically abandon their goals by mid-February.

This drop off comes from unrealistic resolutions, feeling overwhelmed, lack of immediate results, and not being ready for change. The MSC cookbook offers a helpful way to stay on track with healthy recipes made with planet-friendly seafood. The cookbook is available for free on the MSC North America website, and one of its notable contributors is “Top Chef” All Star and the first-ever U.S. MSC Ambassador, Chef Gregory Gourdet

As MSC Ambassador, Chef Gourdet will promote the important role certified sustainable seafood plays in our kitchens. This includes contributing a recipe to the Healthy Oceans Too Cookbook and leading a cooking demonstration co-hosted by the MSC and the James Beard Foundation (JBF) in March.

“Seafood is one of my favorite ingredients to work with because it’s such a healthy and versatile protein,” said Chef Gourdet. “When selecting your seafood, my top piece of advice is to look for the MSC blue fish label to know you’re choosing seafood that’s not only good for you, but good for the ocean, too. I’m honored to partner with the MSC to keep our oceans full of life. I look forward to demystifying seafood preparation and giving home chefs the inspiration and confidence they need to enjoy sustainable seafood at home.”

Healthy Oceans Too Cookbook - Choosing Seafood that’s Good for People and the Planet

For more than 20 years, the MSC has tackled the problem of overfishing through its certification and labeling programs. Americans can find the MSC blue fish label on more than 2,000 products throughout grocery stores nationwide -- including the frozen and canned aisles, fresh fish case, and in the supplements and pet sections -- indicating to consumers that the fish has been caught in an environmentally sustainable way.

The Healthy Oceans Too Cookbook was developed to encourage Americans to learn about the benefits of the MSC blue fish label while preparing seafood that’s dinner friendly and planet friendly. The cookbook includes recipes from celebrity chefs, like Chef Gourdet, and influencers who are passionate about sharing the joy that comes with preparing healthy, sustainable seafood recipes at home. In addition to detailed descriptions of the seafood species featured, many recipes include videos to further simplify the ease of preparation. 

February Heart Health month provides a timely reason to release the Healthy Oceans Too Cookbook. Seafood -- rich in Omega-3s, iron, B and D vitamins, and protein -- is crucial for heart health as well as brain development, immune support, and strong bones. Additionally, research shows that a pescatarian diet is about as climate-friendly as the average vegetarian diet . Specifically, wild fish has the lowest impact on the planet, scoring higher only than wheat, corn, beans, and rice in terms of greenhouse gas emissions per gram of protein, according to the World Resources Institute.

“The Healthy Oceans Too Cookbook is a go-to guide for novice to seasoned home chefs who want to cook healthier at home while also supporting the health of the planet,” said Eric Critchlow, U.S. program director at the MSC. “By partnering with chefs and influencers from across the country, we’ve compiled an eclectic recipe collection that offers a variety of recipes and tips to discover. Whether it’s a familiar species like tuna, or a less familiar species like squid, each recipe features MSC certified seafood designed to be healthy for the preparer, the ocean and the planet.”

Cook with Chef Gregory Gourdet - Virtual Event Co-Hosted by the Marine Stewardship Council and James Beard Foundation

To best demonstrate the ease of cooking healthy, sustainable seafood, the MSC has partnered with the James Beard Foundation (JBF) and JBF-nominated Chef Gourdet to host a virtual cooking demonstration on Thursday, March 11 at 6 p.m. ET. U.S. MSC Ambassador Gourdet, owner of restaurant Kann in Portland, Ore., and author of the upcoming “Everyone’s Table” cookbook, is known for his healthful takes on global flavors - often featuring sustainable seafood at the center of the plate. 

During the free, live virtual event, attendees will get exclusive tips from Chef Gourdet as he demonstrates how to prepare two recipes, including his Healthy Oceans Too Cookbook contribution. The demonstration will also feature guidance on how best to choose seafood that’s good for you and the ocean, as well as details on how the MSC is working to ensure the wild-caught seafood we love today will be around for generations to come. 

“We’re proud to partner with the Marine Stewardship Council on this journey to further our mission of a more sustainable food system and society,” said Izabela Wojcik, Director of House Programming at the James Beard Foundation. “Through this initiative, we hope to not only advocate for the cause, but to educate people on ways to help enhance food policies overall. Eating sustainable from the sea is a lot easier than consumers think, and we hope that the recipes from Chef Gourdet and the Healthy Oceans Too Cookbook will encourage people to choose more better-for-you seafood options.”

Home cooks can learn more and sign up for the March 11 event by visiting the JBF website. 
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