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sustainable meals

San Diego viewers learn what to look for when making sustainable meals

I’m sometimes asked for shopping advice when I wear my chef whites to the grocery store. When I appeared on San Diego Living, I encouraged viewers to prepare sustainable meals by reading labels and learning more about where their food comes from. I gave the example of when my fellow chefs and I noticed a change in the fish being delivered to our restaurants. The fish were smaller, more expensive and harder to come by, so we did some research. We learned about different fishing methods, as well different countries’ rules and regulations. Now I support eating sustainable seafood and cooking it with Malaysian sustainable palm oil.

When shopping, look for (Marine Stewardship Council) MSC-labeled seafood. This organization certifies fisheries which are committed to sustainable fishing practices. On the show, I cooked Pacific halibut with sustainable palm oil. Carotino palm oil has a deep red color because it’s rich in carotenoids. It’s also a great source of vitamin E tocotrienols. This naturally trans fat-free oil, sustainably produced in Malaysia, gives your fish a rich, buttery flavor.

I paired the halibut with a colorful salad made with heirloom tomatoes, fresh cucumbers, red onions, garlic and local arugula. A sweet and healthy vinaigrette topped the salad. Life is too short to eat a meal dull in color.

I look for countries which actively protect their environment. Malaysia does a great job. More than 50 percent of its forest land is set aside as permanent forest cover. The country also cares for its wildlife. The Malaysian Palm Oil Wildlife Conservation Fund works to preserve natural environment so the native wildlife can thrive. The fund supports education initiatives, wildlife rescue units and animal sanctuaries. The Malaysian palm oil industry is a model for sustainable agriculture. The palm oil produced in Malaysia is good for your health, as well as the environment.

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