Drive for Britons to eat more seafood

Drive for Britons to eat more seafood
Seafood Matters pic by Catriona Frankitti

Food educators – including students and staff from Forth Valley College - are converging on the University of Stirling this week and inviting local people to join them in a series of talks and tastings to encourage eating more “cheap and nutritious” seafood.

The Seafood Matters UK two-day free event features activities such as ‘Come Dine with Cat’, where seafood enthusiast and educator Catriona Frankitti promises to get children enjoying pickled herring and tinned mackerel.

Forth Valley College chefs and Start Up Stirling food bank will be showcasing the winners of their competition to create the best fish supper from donated items.

Experts from the University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture and from the universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Lancaster will host sessions such as ‘Blue Fashion – don’t just eat seafood, wear it!’ and ‘Cheap and tasty seafood dinners – analysed for nutrition and environmental impact,’ as well as exploring ‘frontier foods’ such as seaweed.

Organiser Professor Dave Little, of the Institute of Aquaculture, said: “The herring, mackerel and mussels of the UK’s coasts used to be a staple in our diet, but somehow have fallen out of favour. The point of this event is to say, given the cost of living and environmental crises we face, can we afford to ignore this cheap, delicious and nutritious food we have in our own larder?”

Food educator Catriona Frankitti, who runs fun seafood workshops in schools and will host Come Dine with Cat, said: “Our tastes are formed before we reach five years old, so it’s important to introduce children to lots of different foods early.

“Nutritionally, oil-rich fish is great for heart, skin and bone health, yet most of us don’t eat anywhere near the UK recommended amount. My workshop aims to get children and parents thinking about seafood in a new light.”

Forth Valley College chefs worked with food bank Start Up Stirling to create recipes using often-donated items such as canned fish, which staff at the food bank had noted were not often chosen by their clients as they said they didn’t know what to cook with them.

Gareth Davies, Chef Manager at Forth Valley College, said: “Our student chefs were excited to take up the challenge of coming up with healthy and tasty meals using less well known and cheaper seafood products that can be found in supermarkets and are products regularly donated to Start Up Stirling.

“Not only will Seafood Matters raise awareness of the tasty health benefits of including seafood in people’s diets, but it has also increased the knowledge and skills of our students, who are finding out much more about the fruits of the sea.”

Seafood Matters UK runs at the University of Stirling’s Pathfoot building from 10am on Thursday, June 23 to 7pm on Friday, June 24, with the public workshops and activities between 5 and 7pm on Thursday. The event is free but registration is encouraged.

For more information click here

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