Food fight: Barton Seaver

Chef and seafood activist Barton Seaver says it’s not enough to eat and do no harm.

From the Series

Barton Seaver is an American chef who has distinguished himself for his proactive advocacy for conscientious seafood practices. A National Geographic fellow since 2010, he has developed a list of ocean-friendly substitutes, and a consumer guide that evaluates seafood based on health and environmental impact. He doesn’t think sustainable is always sustainable:

Our consumer choices are only truly sustainable if they actively encourage unsustainable products to become better. It is not enough to eat and do no harm, we must eat to incentivise and capitalise positive change across the board. We can use our voices as consumers – our wallets – to actively support companies that are innovating new methods to help restore ecosystems, communities and economies – even if their products are not necessarily recognised as “sustainable”. In fact, we should change the conservation lexicon altogether – from “sustainability” to “restoration”. Restorative food moves us out of the nebulous dichotomy of sustainability and into a more nuanced, evolving and dynamic space that recognises and rewards incremental improvement.