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New York Times calls Australis Barramundi ‘the hope for the future’ of fish

New York Times calls Australis Barramundi ‘the hope for the future’ of fish

Australis Barramundi makes the list ot 7 fishes of traditional Italian Christmas Eve festival. Read more

Celebrating the holidays with fish? Check out Australis Barramundi, named by renowned environmental writers Paul Greenberg and Carl Safina, as 'the hope for the future' when it comes to sustainable fish. Click here to read the article..

Happy Holidays!

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TIME: The Future of Fish

TIME: The Future of Fish

"As a farmed species, the barramundi just might be perfect", says TIME in this cover story profiling how sustainable farms like Australis Aquaculture's may be "the last, best chance for fish to have a future". Read more

"There just isn't enough fish in the sea", says TIME magazine in this week's cover story on the future of fish. The story profiles Australis Aquaculture founder & CEO Josh Goldman, explaining how sustainable operations (like Australis' barramundi farms in Massachusetts and Vietnam) may be "the last, best chance for fish to have a future".  

 

"It's no longer a question about whether aquaculture is something we should or shouldn't embrace. It's here. The question is how we'll do it."

 

The answer might be to find a better fish.. "As a farmed species, the barramundi is just about perfect".Read this compelling look at the last wild food and how aquaculture may be its savior.

Click here for a pdf file of the article.

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The Atlantic: Eat Barramundi! And Forget Salmon

The Atlantic: Eat Barramundi! And Forget Salmon

Corby Kummer, one of the most widely read writers in America and a "dean among food writers in America", according to The San Francisco Examiner, asserts, "Eat Barramundi! And Forget Salmon" in his recent article for The Atlantic, Food. Read more

Corby Kummer, one of the most widely read writers in America and a "dean among food writers in America", according to The San Francisco Examiner, asserts, "Eat Barramundi! And Forget Salmon" in his recent article for The Atlantic, Food.

I'm very glad to see Barry Estabrook's post on Australis, a new fish farm, I mean aquaculture farm, in western Massachusetts--an auspicious location, given that it's on the mighty, or once-mighty, Connecticut River, which before the Industrial Revolution produced abundant catches of Atlantic salmon. There's even a fish ladder you can go and see from mid-May to mid-June, to learn more about the anadromous fish that still survive—including shad, my favorite New England fish along with bluefish—as they swim upstream to spawn before returning to the ocean to fatten up.

The collapse of that population because of overfishing, of course, is a main reason fish farming became an important industry in the first place. (The relatively few Atlantic salmon that do survive have been reintroduced, and are illegal to catch and sell; for more on what the Endangered Species Act protects and the state of salmon in the Connecticut, look here.) It is also a reason that salmon—a carnivorous fish that requires several times its weight in feed to mature, a "tiger of the seas," in Barry's elegant phrase—became a star, lucrative candidate for farming. (For much more, and for good reading, see Paul Greenberg's Four Fish.)

So lucrative that Atlantic salmon is the first genetically modified fish that, if things go badly, will be licensed for public sale—and by another Massachusetts company, yet. See Barry on Frankenfish here and here and on the folly of the current fish-farm system here, including this summation:

A salmon farm is nothing more than a vast, floating feedlot, except feedlots, at least nominally, have to dispose of food waste, dead animals, and excrement in suitable containment areas. Salmon feedlots flush it all into the sea.

I know, I know, the issue here is the labeling of genetically modified fish and the need for long-term studies on human consumption and environmental impact, not just how dirty and destructive many fish farms are. But there can't be enough reasons to bash salmon farming. Stick to wild Pacific salmon, in season. Which is about to end for the year.

And try barramundi! Barry happens not to have eaten much, but as it happens I have, on two trips to the preternaturally pleasant Australia, origin of the Turners Falls company and name, and where barramundi appears on practically every menu. In its wild-caught form, at least, it's a firm-fleshed, meaty fish that is great grilled—a particular pleasure for a fish that can be farmed and unlike salmon thrives on vegetarian meal and much less of it proportionally by its weight. (I wish I could like tilapia, but ... it's a miserable-tasting fish, suitable for salt-laced extruded surimi and healthful filet o' fish sandwiches.)

Or maybe I was tasting farmed barramundi all along—restaurants don't have to specify, of course, a corollary to the battle over the labeling of genetically modified foods, in which theoretically identical foods should not be required to identify attributes that could make them less attractive to consumers. In the case of barramundi and cobia—another favorite firm-fleshed white fish, also great grilled—the fact that they can be farmed is only an advantage, and particularly for the reasons Barry points out. Forget farmed salmon! And resist Frankenfish.

Read the article at The Atlantic, Food online or click here to download the pdf.

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Four Fish Book Excerpt: Barramundi. The fish that could fulfill all the Green Revolution promises

Four Fish Book Excerpt: Barramundi. The fish that could fulfill all the Green Revolution promises

From New York Times award-winning journalist Paul Greenberg, author of Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food.  Read more

From New York Times award-winning journalist Paul Greenberg, author of Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food. "Over the years, fish farming has gotten a bad rap and some of it is deserved. But the folks on the cutting edge of taming fish – people like Josh Goldman of Australis Aquaculture who grows barramundi in closed containment facilities – those people have as great, if not a greater concern about sustainability than anyone in the organic food movement."

From the book Four Fish: The Future of The Last Wild Food:

"If there is one person who has taken in all the lessons of the Israelis, the French, the Italians, and the Greeks in their quest to tame the European sea bass over the course of the last quarter century, it is Josh Goldman (CEO of Australis Aquaculture)...

...Goldman tested over fifty different species and looking further and further afield, each time finding some fatal flaw in the fish he investigated. But finally, at the dawn of the new millennium, he met an energetic Australian entrepreneur named Stewart Graham, who introduced him to a Southeast Asian fish  <barramundi> that Goldman would soon learn met all his criteria.

...So at Turners Falls, Massachusetts, the site of one of the more tragic fish extirpations in contemporary history, the place where Connecticut River salmon were wiped off the face of the earth with a single dam, the possible reinvention of fish as food as we know it could be happening. An animal has been chosen specifically for its small ecological footprint and its natural tendency to adapt to human culture. A fish that could fulfill all the Green Revolution promises of the early days of ocean aquaculture. One that would truly generate more fish for the world than it would consume. One that could actually take pressure off wild stocks of similar species and cause humans to lessen their impact on the ocean overall."

Read the full PDF excerpt.

And watch this video of author, Paul Greenberg, on Bloomberg TV talking about the challenge of declining fish populations and eco-friendly choices we can make, as consumers.

Click here for an excerpt from Four Fish about Josh Goldman and Australis

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Dr. Oz Names Barramundi a ‘Superfood We All Must Eat Now’

Dr. Oz Names Barramundi a ‘Superfood We All Must Eat Now’

Oprah medical guru and TV host, Dr. Oz, named Barramundi fish one of his ‘5 Super Foods To Eat Now’ for its anti-aging, immune boosting and cancer fighting properties. Read more

Oprah medical guru and TV host, Dr. Oz, named Barramundi fish one of his ‘5 Super Foods To Eat Now’ for its anti-aging, immune boosting and cancer fighting properties. Read about it on Dr. Oz’s website.

Says Dr. Oz and National Geographic Explorer Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones: Lessons For Living Longer From the People Who've Lived The Longest.

“If the Barramundi fish were a human, he would be a tree-hugging, salad-loving vegetarian. The Barramundi, hailing from the coast of Australia <and parts of Southeast Asia>, eschews his fellow fish, dining on plankton instead. That means he doesn’t load up on mercury-packed smaller fish and has extremely low levels of the toxin, which is especially important for pregnant women.

"Free of mercury, but full of heart- and brain-healthy omega-3s, the Barramundi, which is becoming more popular in the US, is a shoe-in for one of the top 5 superfoods. Bonus: the white meat is light, flaky and delicious.”

Dr. Oz recommends Barramundi and other superfoods as part of his Ultimate Countdown. Says Oz. "We must all begin to eat these foods. We should stop eating food that makes us fatigued, bloated and overweight… this does not mean eating less, this just means eating smarter!

Editors Note:  Josh Goldman, Australis CEO, wrote to Dr. Oz's  medical producer to clarify some slight innacuracies regarding Barramundi's characteristics.  Here is the text from his letter:

February 15, 2010

Dear <Dr. Oz Medical Producer>,


I was absolutely thrilled to see Barramundi listed as one of ‘5 Superfoods To Eat Now’ on the recent episode of the Dr. Oz show. 

As the CEO of Australis, the Company that is spearheading the introduction of Barramundi in the US, I wholeheartedly agree that this fish is a superstar for its flavor, health benefits and eco-friendly attributes.  I did want to make you aware of two inaccuracies  that should be incorporated into any future mentions:

1.      “Barramundi is a vegetarian that eschews his fellow fish” 

A more accurate statement would be that barramundi can eat a largely vegetarian diet. It is actually carnivorous by nature, but we selected barramundi in part because of its ability to utilize grains in its feed (which is important for sustainability) while synthesizing high levels of omega-3’s. This allows us to bring health and sustainability together in a powerful package. We feed our barra a largely vegetarian diet (80% plant-based, 20% fish-based), which is substantially less than the 50% or more fish meal and oil that is typical for a farmed salmon diet. By significantly minimizing the use of fish-based ingredients in its feed, our barramundi is free of detectable mercury, PCB’s and other contaminants.

2.      “Barramundi has higher omega-3 levels than salmon”

A more accurate statement would be that Australis barramundi has omega-3 levels comparable to wild Coho salmon.  Our barramundi have 833 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per 5-oz serving, which is comparable to wild Coho salmon (at 900 mg per serving) and unheard of in a mild-flavored white fish.  Unlike tilapia and many other farmed fish, we also get the oil balance just right for optimum human health. A recent study(Weaver et al, 2008)showed that tilapia and catfish have 11 times as much Omega-6 as Omega-3, which makes their omega-6 level comparable to that of hamburger (and therefore may actually be  inflammatory while reducing the benefits of omega-3’s that are there) , whereas our Barramundi offers the ideal 1:1 ratio of omega-3 to 6.

Again, we are thrilled that Dr. Oz recognized barramundi’s health benefits and hope your viewers will give this delicious and healthy (but still largely undiscovered) fish a try!

Feel free to let me know if there is anything else we can do to assist you.

Sincerely,

Josh Goldman

Chief Executive Officer

Australis Aquaculture, LLC

One Australia Way | Turner's Falls, MA 01376

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